How To Book Flights For A Bodyboard Trip

With life being forcibly shifted into perspective over the last couple of years, it’s no surprise that you’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and embark on a Bodyboard Holidays trip away! You’ve had enough of bad news and bad weather; it’s now time for perfect waves, awesome people and tropical destinations. But before we go anywhere there’s just one tiny detail left to navigate – booking those all important flights!

Perhaps you mastered backpacking in your early twenties and a return flight to the tropics, bodyboard in hand, doesn’t phase you at all. However, for those who find organising the details of travel slightly overwhelming (and I would hazard a guess that’s the large majority!) then we are right here to talk you through it – every snore, paddle and step of the way.

Do take the time to read through this whole article before making any decisions or booking anything that confuses you. We are also on-hand to help whenever we can via our online chat function. (Just look for the message icon!)

So, without further ado, let’s get into it…

Step 1: Dates + Destination

Given the stage we’re at, it would be logical to assume you’ve already decided which of our epic Bodyboard Holiday destinations you’ll be enjoying. Whether you’re paddling in Portugal, making moves on Sumatra or barrelling in Bali; this article will be applicable and helpful for all.

First things first then, KNOW YOUR DATES. These can be found via our handy ‘Dates’ tab at the bottom of each destination page. We recommend that your plane lands in the country on the first day of your trip. Therefore, we also advise that your return flight leaves the country on the final day of the trip. It really is that straight forward. This also helps to avoid extra hotel and transfer expenses – which means more money for spending on bodyboard related goodies! Hurrah!

The specific airport you need to fly into is listed under the ‘Travel’ tab at the bottom of each destination page. It also pays to be aware of the total flight time from your home country to the holiday destination, and then apply that to your departure date.

For Example: If you were to fly from London to El Salvador for a holiday that starts on 5th December, you would have to depart London on the 4th December – this is because it’s a 20 hour flight.

Top Tip: If you’re using SkyScanner to book flights, look for the ‘+1’ next to the landing time. This indicates you will land the following day after departure.

Step 2: Choosing a Flight

If we followed Step 1 correctly then we should have confirmed the first few bitesize chunks of important information – destination, outward flight date and homeward flight date. Got it? Epic. Next up: deciding what TIME of day to fly. This will vary depending on your holiday destination and the services we have on offer.

To cover all bases, check out the ‘Travel’ tab of your chosen destination for any note-worthy things to consider. This can be found at the bottom of your destination page. It’s also worth bearing in mind your return flight time and any necessary transfers between your accommodation and the airport. We generally recommend a later return flight to give you plenty of time between leaving your hotel and arriving at the airport. Nobody likes the stress of rushing through airport queues!

Top Tip: Important things to consider are accommodation check-in times and airport pick-up services.

For Example: If you’re flying to Morocco, we advise that you arrive at Agadir airport between 6am and 8am to make use of our inclusive airport transfer. So focusing on the landing time of your inbound flight is what’s most important here.

Step 3: Being Cost Effective

The internet is a wonderful thing and online sites such as SkyScanner and Kayak are both great tools for finding cheap flights. They’re easy to use and hassle free but (here comes the curve ball) not always the cheapest! There are dedicated travel agencies out there that often have the power to negotiate prices and put you in a better position before parting with your pounds. It’s always worth shopping around!

Despite its relative ease of use, booking online can throw up lots of additional extras that may seem confusing during the booking process. Small details such as choosing your seat, unnecessary insurance and in-flight meals can end up adding money onto each flight. All of a sudden that cheap and cheerful ticket has doubled in price! Look for the (often very small) print that allows you to skip these kinds of extras to avoid paying more than you need to.

If you’d like to talk to an actual person (remember those?) Bodyboard Holidays has a great relationship with Lee Coughtry at Dial-a-Flight. Thanks to Lee, we’ve found on many occasions that he can provide cheaper prices for our long-haul destinations.

If you’re UK-based and would like to see if Lee can save you money on your flights, you can reach him at [email protected] or on 020 7295 1556. On top of being an expert in what he does, Lee is friendly and experienced having worked for Dial-a-Flight for over 20 years. He will also happily accommodate any time stipulations you may have.

Top Tip: Grab yourself a cup of tea and a pen and a pad. Shop around for your quotes online, over the phone and in-person. It pays to get as many quotes as you can. Don’t be afraid to use your lowest quote as barter material either – some companies like to beat their competitors!

Step 4: Getting to the Airport

It’s no secret that the pressure of departure day can manifest in all kinds of forms. Anxiety, stress, worry… increased consumption of coffee. But remember, this is the beginning of your holiday and you should start as you mean to go on – happy and relaxed!

A little bit of forward thinking is all it takes to minimise putting yourself under undue stress. Think to yourself ‘What is the best way for me to reach the airport?’ Is it close enough for a taxi? Do you live near a train line? Would you feel more comfortable driving yourself? Is there a long-stay car park? Do you have any friends that would be happy to take you?

I always find it easiest to start with the flight time and work my way backwards. For international flights I like to arrive at the airport around three hours before departure whilst allowing an extra hour on the road for any potential traffic. Just to be safe.

If you’re going to be arriving by train or bus, the same rules apply. Always err on the side of caution and arrive much earlier than you need to. Trains can be cancelled, buses can become stuck in traffic. You’ll be WAY more relaxed if you’ve got plenty of time on your side.

Top Tip: Google Maps is great for checking journey times as it works on real-time updates. This provides a much clearer idea of what you’re likely to face on the roads. If you’re travelling in wintery conditions then it’s also worth taking the weather into account. Afford yourself even more travel time for heavy rain or snow fall. You’ll be in the sunshine soon, don’t worry!

Step 5: Covid-19 Protocols

I’m sure you’re as done hearing about it as much as we are, but in reality the rules around Covid-19 are still in place in many countries around the world. One more vital piece of equipment to add to your ever-expanding travel list: passport, suitcase, phone, boarding pass, headphones and… MASK!

As we know different countries have different rules so it can be quite confusing knowing what to do and where to do it. Generally speaking, a face mask is going to help you in most situations so it’s always worth having one folded up in your back pocket.

Again, rules will change depending on your destination so you should definitely do your research around travel restrictions. Which list is your holiday destination on? Does your travel insurance cover Covid-19? Do you need to be vaccinated to enter the country? Should you self-isolate?

Check out the Government’s latest advice here.

Bonus Steps: Booking Tips & Tricks

Much like a good DVD from the early 2010’s, this next section is all about bonus content. Behind the scenes tips and tricks to make your money go further. These booking hacks could see small changes make big savings!

  • Search for flights on an incognito browser! Don’t let browsers store your data and then ‘reward’ you with increased flight prices. The next time that cookie notification pops up – hit ‘Reject All’ and keep your flight research private!
  • Multi-stop flights save cash. If you have time on your side then why not split your journey into multiple flights. Direct flights generally cost more so see how much you can save by adding in a little sight-seeing visit midway!
  • Money off for off-peak travel. Doing anything off-peak, by its very nature, is always cheaper. The same applies for travel. Flying before 7am and after 8pm should see your plane ticket come down in cost. Not to mention quieter departure lounges!
  • Timing is… key! We’ve discussed times of the day, but would you believe times of the week make a difference too? Midweek flights offer the most availability for the lowest cost. Something we’ve capitalised on for our Morocco Bodyboard Holiday saving you even more money!
  • Buying at the right time. There’s research to suggest 47 to 120 days in advance of your flight is the optimum buying time. This doesn’t work in all cases though so it’s worth doing some local research for your area. One thing to avoid is leaving it too late though. Two weeks prior can see prices hike!
  • Know your place. If you’d be more relaxed knowing exactly where you’ll be sitting for the duration of your flight (close to the toilets, aisle seat, emergency exits etc) then com could become your new best friend. Choose your seat and understand why and where the best places to sit are really located!

Luggage and equipment

Do you really need all three of those jumpers for two weeks in Bali? Overpacking is easily done and it’s natural to want everything you’ll ever need whilst you’re away. Have a think about what you packed .Vs. what you used the last time you were on holiday. I reckon I use around 30% of what I actually pack during my time away. And that’s being generous. Save those kilos and pack smart.

Keep the amount of bags to a sensible minimum too. Generally speaking you will need one checked bag (limited to around 20kg) and a carry on. It’s always tempting to pack way more than you need but this should be plenty. Check out our handy ‘Kit List’ tab on each destination page for what you should be packing.

If you’re planning on bringing your own bodyboard, definitely check with your airline beforehand for size and weight restrictions along with any extra costs. The guys over at Wave Tribe have compiled this super handy list of different airline fees, and the best and worst companies to look out for if you’re a travelling booger.

Lastly, the most important piece of equipment is the boarding pass itself. Many airlines provide QR codes in confirmation emails these days. This makes it super easy to have them readily available on your phone when it comes to boarding.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are joining us on our Morocco trip, you will need to print your return flight boarding pass off and have a physical copy for airline staff to scan.

Brief overview

✅ Know your destination airport

✅ Find your arrival and departure dates

✅ Choose correct flight times to suit airport transfers etc

✅ Allow budget for taxis if unable to land in specified time slots

✅ Shop around for cheapest fares – online and via travel agencies

✅ Try our booking hacks to save money

✅ Get to the airport on time

✅ Be aware of restrictions on luggage and surf boards

✅ Have your boarding pass printed off or on your phone

And there you have it. Everything you need to know about booking flights for your up-coming bodyboard trip. Now, relax and enjoy those waves!

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