For many, driving (or walking) to Kenya is not an option. So, it leaves us with flying! When considering your arrangements for getting to Kenya to volunteer with us, be sure to check out all the options! Depending upon where you are coming from, time of year, day of departure and return, day of the week you are even looking…. it will all impact the cost. For example, when coming from the United States, one of our volunteer team members has found really cheap deals coming out of IAD (Washington Dulles). Although she ends up driving a few hours to take advantage of it, it ends up being very worth it at just $625 round trip (at one point in all her travels). Oddly, leaving from her home airport was up over $1100 USD, sometimes reaching $1800!! So lesson # 1 in choosing a flight: Be willing to use a different airport other than your “home” airport and check them all within a reasonable distance. In that, she learned lesson # 2: Make friends with the places you fly out of most often! Since Washington Dulles was a few hours from home, leaving the night before and staying overnight in a nearby airport hotel worked out well. This even led to use of the hotel shuttle for free to and from the airport. Given the cost savings from the flight, it was still cheaper. She uses the same hotel every trip and made a connection with the Manager/Owner which has led to a great friendly rate given the purpose of travel. This ongoing relationship over the last 5 years also helped with parking that is often associated with airports or long term hotel parking (via a nominal amount given the reason for travel or a waived fee altogether). You might also consider bringing back an item of small value, but meaningful for the front desk person that gave you the deal or that you plan to have an ongoing business relationship with. Share the country you have just been to and share your thankfulness for the relationship with them. It goes a long way!
Wondering where to look for some airline tickets? These are some websites our team member has used that have been successful. (Please note that this information is solely based on an individual experience with the website or company) She notes that she has had the best luck with the following websites on pricing!
Lesson # 3 when using websites like the noted ones: Be willing to fly any airline! While these websites will sometimes let you check the box of your preferred airline, that might not always be the best deal available! Be flexible! Another tip: If you have flexibility available in your travel plans, sometimes the websites will offer you flex dates of travel that make it even cheaper by leaving on a different day than what you put in. Be sure to give it consideration to help save travel costs.