Louis and I have been invited to stay with The Second Martha Stewart and her husband in New York state in August. The lure of easy access to the Big Apple and a nostalgic visit to the Appalachian Trail that's only ten miles from where we're staying means that I've decided to forego our usual amble around Brittany and go for it. So I've spent the best part of Boxing Day trying to get the cheapest possible flight deal that doesn't cause us untold suffering. I don't want excessive journey times or long periods sleeping on the floor at airports. It's supposed to be a holiday after all.
The Second Martha Stewart's journey over to the United Kingdom inspired me to approach the challenge a bit differently from other occasions when I've flown to North America. I've always headed out of one of the London airport with all the rigmarole that entails. My friend flew into Bristol via Dublin this time. I wondered if following her example could be advantageous.
So I popped some details into Skyscanner. The cheapest return flight from local airports on the dates that I wanted was £531 each. It involved an incredibly convoluted twenty two hour outward trip from Bristol. It involved a transfer in Brussels then a trip back to Blighty to catch a transatlantic flight from Heathrow. Ye gods! What could possibly go wrong? The cheapest London flight was a shade over £400 per person. Quite a saving and a direct flight to boot. But it went from Stansted, a right royal pain in the arse to get to from deepest darkest Devon. Immense bargains would have to be had to persuade me to fly from there. Sensibly timed flights from more accessible London airports weren't any cheaper than the lowest local fares.
What if I just booked a flight from Dublin to New York and then arranged the flight to Ireland separately? Now I was getting somewhere. I sourced flights to a little known airport called Stewart International at just £560 total return. It's north of where my friends live and will save them the hassle of getting to one of the main New York hubs to pick us up. Ideal! I've added on separately booked flights to Dublin from Exeter airport making the total cost just under £700 for both of us. We're using a bit of the money we've saved to have a one night stay in Dublin. Neither of us have been to Ireland so we're excited to have the opportunity to get a taster of the land. And yes there is a long wait between flights on the way back. But some of our savings will go towards booking a room at day rates so we can have some shut eye in comfort.
I'd always thought that the flight comparison sights would give me the best deal but it seems otherwise. A little bit of creative thinking and I've beaten their prices by a considerable sum that will go towards enhancing our special holiday. And if I take into account the cost of the ferry, motorhome fuel and a campsite or two I don't think that our Stateside trip will cost a whole lot more than our usual European jaunt.