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8 Hacks for Booking Flights to Summer Camp

After working on your application, getting placed, and landing your J1 visa, you’re ready to start booking flights to summer camp.

If you’re waiting on arrival info, don’t worry; camps have lots to sort ahead of thousands of campers arriving, so their initial goal is to get everything in place.

Once they have, they’ll send out your exact details of where, when, and how to arrive (which we’ll also upload to your profile).

Author: Camp Leaders
21 Mar 10:15

With this info, you’re ready to begin booking your flights to summer camp.

It takes time and research, but get it right, and you’ll bag yourself the correct, flexible ticket at a bargain price.

We have staff who work at summer camp every year and have learnt a thing or two about the process, so here are their top tips for booking your flights to summer camp.

Booking flights to summer camp
  • Wait for your visa/camps arrival info
  • Don't book the first flight you see
  • Shop around
  • Tuesday's can have cheaper flights
  • Be aware of flight change costs
  • Clear Cookies and use private mode
  • See if date flexibility pays
  • Use flight alerts (if you have time) ________________________

Read on below for more info on each of our hacks for booking flights to summer camp.

Wait until you have your visa and your camp’s arrival info
A laptop and notepad, looking at booking flights to camp.

This is up to you, but booking flights before this is a gamble.

If you’re booking flights without a visa, you can come unstuck if anything goes wrong during the process.

Hold off until your visa and passport are back to give you that security.

You may also have a rough idea of when camp wants you, but booking before they confirm could make things more difficult for you.

Say your camp has 40 international staff arriving on the 11th of June, with everyone sharing an organised bus up to the camp. Yet you booked to get there the day before to save some money. It means you must book a hotel for the night or head to camp alone.

It’s a fun trip to camp with your new camp colleagues and an excellent way to settle the nerves, as everyone is in the same boat.

Our opinion: hold off on booking until you have all the details.

Do not book the first flight you see
A person holding a card whilst purchasing flights on a laptop.

You’ll be buzzing to go, so getting the first flight you see booked is tempting.

But, in your rush, you forgot to notice you’ve got no baggage included, expensive flight change costs, and a 24-hour layover somewhere with no WiFi.

Then, 15 minutes later, you find a cheaper deal with everything in.

Take an hour or two and do your research; it'll pay off.

Our opinion: Take a few days to scope out the best flight/price.

Shop around using price comparison sites
A person on a laptop.

There are so many websites nowadays that you won’t stand a hope going through each one individually.

Get onto some flight comparison sites and check out the best deal you can get. A lot of the time, you’ll get even better deals by doing so, so it’s definitely worth shopping about.

Here are some of our favourites:

Our opinion: Use the likes of Skyscanner and Google flights to get a rough idea of the price.

Try to buy your flights Tuesday morning
A flight in the sky.

Some argue for this, and some are against it.

Still, with the likes of Confused, Which and Expedia all stating that you have a better chance of cheaper flights on Tuesdays (when airlines rework pricing based on availability), it’s worth trying to see if you can save a few pennies.

Our opinion: Check your chosen flights on different days and computers. If there is no/little change, so be it.

Be aware of flight change costs
Looking down the aisle of a full airplane.

There’s a good chance your plans will change once you’re in America.

You’ll meet new people and want to see new places, so it’s unlikely you’ll do as planned before booking your flights.

If you’re open to making date changes, ensure it’s inexpensive.

When looking at possible flights, take your time to be aware of these costs, as they’ll come into play later in the summer.

Our opinion: Below £100 for a flight date change is an acceptable hit to take.

Clear Cookies and use private mode
A mobile phone with flight booking apps.

This is a controversial one, so don't take it as gospel.

The argument is that companies can track, using cookies, when you've searched with them and for a particular date/route.

There's a lot of contradicting info out there, with airlines (obviously) saying they don't, whereas others saying clearing cookies will bag you the cheapest flight deal because it avoids dynamic pricing.

Our opinion: We’re not sure either way. But it can’t hurt to try; if it works for even a few people, it's worth trying.

See if date flexibility pays
Airplane seating, looking out of the window.

Flight routes vary massively on the day you fly.

Just because camp wants you there Sunday, that doesn't mean it'll be the cheapest day.

We've seen instances of £100s difference between flying on Sunday and a Friday. If it makes sense, fly out Friday, get a cheap hostel, and get over your jetlag.

You can still return to your arrival point, more refreshed than if you had just arrived, and with extra spending money in your pocket.

Our opinion: Date flexibility pays, so see if it works for you.

Use flight alerts (if you have time)
Looking down the aisle of a full airplane.

If you're one of the lucky ones that landed their role at summer camp months in advance, then flight alerts are your friend.

You can set them up well in advance, letting you know when your chosen flight route drops in price.

Google Flights and Kayak are two providers that allow price alerts, so check them out if you have time.

For those flying within 3 months, the price will only go up instead of down, so it's best to try one of the other hacks for booking flights to summer camp.

Our opinion: If your departure date is 3+ months away, flight alerts can help.

These are just a few tips previous Camp Leaders alumni have had to keep the pennies in their pockets instead of the airlines.

If you’re looking for any help or advice when booking flights to summer camp, contact the team directly, who will be happy to help.

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Camp Leaders
With over 20 years of travel experience, the Camp Leaders team has the answers to almost anything you can think of. We're here to help you sort your ultimate summer - feel free to ask us anything.

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