Monday, March 12, 2012

Nuts and Bolts: Tickets!

The deed has been done. We have purchased the tickets! And the date is.................

July 11th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!     7-11-12   9:45 a.m... Just in case anyone would like to wait outside security and wave to us as we take off our shoes.



One-way tickets to Poland, just about the best deal we have ever seen. Thank you, Holy Spirit!

Now to finish packing.


Buying Tickets.
Oh, the frenzy.
A good deal here
A better deal there
Kids eat free
Kids cost less
Kids all share a life vest?
No thank you!
Next site...


I just have a couple things to say about buying tickets. These are things I have learned over time although not necessarily special so you all probably have it all down by now. MARTIN has taught me some of these things. I would just put in my credit card number and hope all goes well. I have way too much faith in "the system" he has absolutely no faith in it and pretty much always assumes something will go wrong due to human or computer error. I call him a paranoid Pole, he calls me a naive America, we both have a glass of French wine and work it out. Even buying plane tickets can be a time of togetherness and relationship building, folks, never miss out out on an opportunity!

First of all, never take anything for granted and always follow up. Keep all your paperwork and confirmation numbers. I know this seems obvious but I tend to just rely on everything being in my email Inbox. Once, we were on our way to Poland and we bought our tickets with "points" through two separate airlines and one of the airlines was supposed to mail us our ticket through USPS. It never came. We kept following up. It never came. Finally a week before we were supposed to leave Martin tracked down the original guy who had taken our order over the phone and he says, "oh, yeah, that's been sitting in my outbox ready to be shipped and got covered by some papers. I'll overnight it." It got to us the day before we left. These things *do* happen.

Check first about how much they charge for extra bags. It used to be that you could take 2 bags for an international trip for free. Most airlines now charge a fee for that second bag. If you are taking more than 2 bags it can get pricey. If one ticket is cheaper but then they charge for extra bags and another airline doesn't then it might be a better deal to buy the more expensive ticket and get the bags for free. Who knows? Worth checkin' out.

Speaking of "points"... we have a credit card that gives us sky miles for any airline, for any date. The only catch is that you have to use Expedia to actually purchase the tickets. (This has never been a problem except for once when Martin found much better tickets on another site that just didn't show up on Expedia at all. There was nothing we could do about it.) We use this credit card for EVERYTHING. For the points. If we were traveling in the U.S. a lot I would probably get a Southwest Airlines card or something similar but since we travel to Europe more than anywhere else we have found this to be the best way to go. It usually allows us to get one whole ticket for "free." I strongly suggest going this route if you plan on traveling as your big family expense.

Request bulkhead seating or the very back of the plane. I really need to and will very soon, write an entire post on traveling with children. It must be done. Especially after reading this article. For the record, Martin and I have never actually had the bulkhead seating on the long leg of the trip. It is almost impossible to get this seating it seems. We will be calling today, in fact, to request it. The biggest downside is that it makes it harder to watch the in-flight films, an upside, if you have a very small child, some airlines do have folding down bassinets in this area. Felek once slept across two folded down tray tables, never knew the difference. If we can't get bulkhead then the very back of the plane, near the bathrooms and away from the majority of other people, is the next best thing. This is usually where we travel. It works out fine. The very last seats don't recline (this is where the kids sit) but there is extra leg room back there, I'm not sure why. It's louder, because that's where the engines are (drowns out the screams) and it's also very "hummy" for the infant set who fall asleep easily in the car and other places with lots of white noise. (also, if you're really lucky and there are extra seats they will usually be at the back of the plane since they fill in the plane in numerical order...extra seats will be at the back, extra seats means that the lap child becomes "sleeping on the extra seat child". So luxurious!)  I am now treading on my "traveling with children" post and will stop here. Just sayin', request these two types of seats if you have lots of young children. The small percentage of people traveling to Europe which actually fall into this category will thank me later. All the rest of you, keeping fighting the good fight at getting those aisle seats and exit rows. I am with you in spirit.

If your child is under two they do not pay for a full price ticket. But they still need a ticket, and you still have to pay something. We only had to pay 27 bucks this time around for Kacio. 27 dollars! Can you believe that!? So awesome. The cheapest we've ever gotten for a "lap child" is 100 dollars and that came with no food or snack. Anyway, don't forget to check them all in and get that "lap child" ticket, which they generally staple to an adult ticket so don't throw the adult one away thinking you don't need it anymore. Almost did this once. Wouldn't have been great.

Other than the actual traveling part this is all I can think of to mention about buying tickets. It's really not that difficult. Good luck!


  1. Hi Olivia!

    I've gotta say - You've got a great blog! Very engaging - I think I've skimmed through most of your posts. Congratulations on finalizing your move date, I hope things go smoothly... I'm sure you will enjoy the move (I've heard that the first 6 months are the hardest, and then if you can make this, the rest should be a piece of cake).

    We too are planing on moving permanently to Poland in the next 8 to 15 months... not so far from Krakow, just outside a town called Nowy Sacz (the house is just halfway built). It's a big move for us as well - I've lived my entire life here in California (but have a Polish background and speak the language), but my wife is from Nowy Sacz which should make it easier. We're looking for having more family in our life (and for soon to be baby) and a better work-life-balance as the motivating us.

    Just wanted to ask as I didn't see it mentioned, what are your plans for employment? With your writing, I'm sure your could make some a decent living with an affiliate-income blog, but is your husband planning on finding a job locally?

    Anyway, Best of luck! - Please do post on how it goes!


    1. I am so glad you found my blog, Witek. It is always wonderful to hear form people who will be doing the same thing we are. It makes us seem a little less "crazy" and it is encouraging also to know that others have seen the beauty and the opportunity in Poland which we are so eager to embrace.

      It is so wonderful that you are building a house in Nowy Sacz. It is beautiful there! How exciting! We will be moving to Northeast Krakow to start while we build our house just south of Krakow in the Mogilany area. We have much to do in the next 2-3 years...and the first 6 months...well, I am likening them to walking off the edge of a cliff and the only assurance I have is that I won't die, other than that, who knows... ;)

      My husband works in online/web marketing. He has also worked in Poland in the same industry. We're lucky enough that he already has some work lined up there. It allows him much flexibility in his schedule to help me get familiarized and feel comfortable with the every day stuff. And, as you say, a better work-life balance.

      Speaking the language is such a leg up. It is my biggest hurdle and I will learn it, but I know that it will make everything more difficult in the beginning. I will be seeking out English speaking Pediatrician's/ G.P.'s and possible an English speaking priest, but other than that, I will just have to do my part. I think it's great that you kept the language.

      Congratulations on the little one on the way! Do not hesitate to write to us, or contact me directly. We appreciate all our friends that we have "met" through this blog. So many others moving to Poland this year!
      Take care,

    2. That's awesome! I hope you post some pictures of the type of house you plan on building. Are you going with custom plans or purchasing ready made plans? Have a spot picked out yet? It's a lot of work to do it right - But very rewarding.

      It's funny that Martin is in online marketing - I'm also in that space. I'm an affiliate marking manager for an internet company + have a few coupon-related websites on the side (which I'm betting on to help us have a decent income once we make our move).

      The language will be frustrating at the beginning... but a lot of people do speak English and once you're settled in, you will be able to pick up Polish over time. The first 6 months may be the hardest - Just be positive and you'll be ok. :)

      Have a good afternoon!

    3. Ahh, the house. Well, we plan on a "custom" home but that doesn't necessarily mean "American" but rather a combination of Polish style with American amenities, like the kitchen. ;) I will most definitely be posting pictures along the way. Firstly, the land we buy, which will hopefully be done by the end of the summer! Fingers crossed.