The Basics on Getting a Good Flight Deal
The smarter you are in travel planning, the better you will do in finding a cheap but good flight deal to Europe for The Catalyst. It can be tempting to dive in and buy a ticket as soon as you know you want to go on the program. Sometimes that works out great. But mostly it doesn't. Why? Flight prices are highly volatile and can change many times in a single day. To get a sense of how this happens, we always suggest you go to Google Flights and set an alert for our big travel days and cities. Then we. encourage you to play with some key variables.
Consider the City You Fly Out Of:
It might be obvious to fly out of MSP. But if you look at flights from MSP to London and then home from Prague to MSP, here's what you get for our dates if you bought now:
What's good about these flights if you live close to MSP is that they're convenient, they're all Delta and your fight over to London is non-stop. So if the $1470 price tag doesn't scare you off, then this might be the right deal for you.
In previous years, we've had Catalyst students score amazing deals on flights to Europe out of Chicago. If you're a Wisconsin student and don't mind car pooling to Chicago to get your big flight to Europe, then this fare might feel like a real winner for you at half the price of the MSP option above, even if you have to add a $58 bus ticket to Chicago into the mix. Here are two looks at this itinerary:
Consider Flexibility on Fly-Out and Return Dates:
Sometimes if you look at flying over to London a day or two earlier than the start of the program, your ticket price can go down as much as $250. Think of the fun you could have coming over to The Catalyst a day earlier and saving that much money? Even after you spend $50 on a hotel for your extra night, you're still $200 ahead.
Consider Trip Insurance
Before the pandemic, we almost never told students to look seriously at trip insurance. But since Covid, we've strongly urged everyone to look at buying insurance that will cover the entire cost of the program and all associated expenses. This way it's possible to make all travel plans for The Catalyst and know for sure that you are covered in the event that changes in the Covid situation make it impossible to travel in the weeks or even days leading up to the adventure. Or if changes happen while we are away that mean we need to come home. Here's an example of a policy that covers everything as far as we can tell. All policies like this note whether or not they cover "cancellation for any reason," and this is the option we advise you to get on any policy. At $171, this is massive peace of mind for every traveler.