Your YWAM training is on the horizon, and now it's time to book your flight to Mazatlan. We've been traveling internationally for a long time, so we know the hunt for the perfect flight can be overwhelming.
Which website should you book through? Are budget airlines worth it? Could you really handle a 12-hour layover? Don’t stress. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you shop for the best deal, so you can focus more on getting excited for your time with YWAM in Mexico!
Before you begin your search, clear your browsing history and open up an incognito tab or private window. Airlines use complicated algorithms to calculate the cost of a flight, and they take into account factors such as weather, fuel costs, demand, and holidays.
In addition to that, some claim that airlines actively track which flights you're looking at and raise prices accordingly.
Just to be on the safe side, start with a clean slate each time you search. That way you’ll know any fluctuating prices are based on other factors, and not a website trying to take you for a ride!
Many sites save you time and research by compiling a list of flights from different airlines so you can easily compare prices. Each website operates differently, so we recommend trying at least three or four different search engines to find the best deal.
One of the best places to start looking for tickets is Google Flights. Other good search engines include Skyscanner, Momondo, Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak.
It’s worth noting that while booking with third-party websites can be cheaper, you might be sacrificing on the customer service offered by the airline itself.
For that reason we recommend you book directly with the airline whenever possible. Delays, cancellations, and missed flights are usually much easier to resolve when the airline knows you bought directly with them.
Download your free YWAM Mazatlan packing list
Be flexible when you travel. Long travel times and layovers should be expected when it comes to flying on a budget, so keep that in mind as you search.
The faster and more direct your flight, the more expensive it will be. Furthermore, be flexible when it comes to your departure date. Sometimes moving your travel date by one day can save you a lot of cash.
However, keep in mind that if you arrive prior to your school's official arrival days, you’ll have to find your own accommodations in Mazatlan.
Final tip: Red-eye flights can also cost significantly less—not many people want to leave at 4 am or arrive at midnight!
If you’re comfortable giving out your email address, sign up for airline newsletters and mailing lists (check out Scott's Cheap Flights).
Many sites offer promotional flights, but they're often only available for a limited amount of time, so unless you get a notification, you'll probably miss out. Most offers won’t fit your travel needs, but it never hurts to give it a shot.
If you choose to book a one-way ticket to Mazatlan but stay signed up for flight deals, you might score a cheaper flight home (if you continue to receive notifications throughout your school).
In addition, sites like StudentUniverse give out discounts to students or travelers under 26. Just make sure you check out the terms and conditions to see if you qualify.
Your closest airport isn’t always the cheapest airport—flying out of big cities usually costs less—but you’d be surprised at how many airlines offer cheaper tickets from smaller airports.
Some metropolitan areas have more than one airport to choose from. If someone is able to drive you to a nearby airport, or you’re able to take a bus or train, you might be able to save hundreds of dollars.
Just remember to factor in costs such as gas, train tickets, parking, etc, to be sure the extra effort is worth the savings.
More: 5 Best Places Within Walking Distance of YWAM Mazatlan
If you know your way around connecting flights, buying two separate flights with different airlines could be a more affordable option. It might also be cheaper to buy two one-way flights rather than booking a roundtrip ticket.
Sometimes it can be cheaper to fly first to Mexico City and board a budget airline to Mazatlan from there (check out Interjet, VivaAerobus, and Volaris). Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time between flights—even more time than you think you’ll need (we recommend at least 4 hours).
If your first flight has problems, you want to make sure you’ll still have plenty of time to catch your next one. The second airline won’t care if your first airline was late or cancelled on you.
Seat selection? There’s a fee. In-flight meals? Probably a fee for that, too. The good news is most of these fees are optional, so you can opt out of them.
One fee you probably won’t be able to avoid is for your luggage. Most airlines charge extra for every checked bag you take with you, so make sure you confirm what those fees are.
This is especially important if you’re booking two one-way tickets because you could end up paying twice for the same bag. You don’t want any surprise costs when you get to the airport!
Airlines usually have very strict rules when it comes to changing or canceling your itinerary. However, if unprecedented events are taking place in the world, such as a pandemic, many airlines will temporarily relax these policies.
Make sure you read the fine print before purchasing. Even though an airline may advertise “no change fees”, it’s usually only valid for a one-time change. And if you have to cancel, or your flight is cancelled, you may only get a travel credit instead of a refund.
The majority of people travel without any problem, but you should still be aware of your airline’s change/cancellation policy. It’ll come in handy if you run into any issues.
We hope these tips will empower you to find your plane tickets with confidence, knowing you’re getting the best deal possible. Buying flights is one of the most exciting parts about going to YWAM, so don’t let the details worry you too much.
Let the search begin. We’ll see you when you get here.
These Stories on Missions
+1 (321) 473-7650
Las Palmas 15 Los Pinos,