Bundling with Expedia: Surprising Savings on International Travel

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Have you ever thought about visiting Disneyland Paris? Well, if you’re planning a trip over to visit Remy and the gang, make sure you check out the air and hotel package deals available through Expedia. I was in the process of researching a trip this upcoming holiday season, and our friend Tammy Whiting  tipped me off to the shockingly good deals that were available by booking your hotel and airfare together.

I should note at the outset that this isn’t a Disney-specific deal–it will work whether you are going to Disneyland Paris or not. But this is a Disney blog, so I’m going to use my upcoming trip to Paris, including a couple of days at Disneyland Paris, to highlight the sort of deals that are available. Prior to learning about this tip, I was looking to piece together my trip manually. I began by looking for airfare from St. Louis to Paris. I try to minimize connections wherever possible, so I filtered out flights that had more than one connection. Flights that I think most people would consider reasonable ranged between $1425 and $1500. For the purposes of this demonstration, I selected a flight on the low end of this scale that was $1,424/person.  The grand total for the three of us for the flight alone would be $4,273.

 

 

We actually need two hotels while we’re in Europe — a hotel for two nights for the time we’re at Disneyland Paris, and another closer to the City Center while we’re in Paris. Disneyland Paris is in Chessy, a suburb of Paris that is an hour train ride from central Paris — you could stay in Paris and commute, but especially if you plan to spend more than one day at Disneyland Paris, staying closer to the resort is advisable. For the two nights near Disneyland Paris, we picked the Disneyland Hotel, which priced out at $592/night, for a total of $1,320 for the two-night stay.  For the remainder of the trip, we picked the Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opéra, which was one of the least expensive 5-star properties we were able to find that was relatively close to the City Center.  A standard room with a queen bed and a sofa bed was $287/night for a total of approximately $2,600 including local tax.  

Adding those three things up, we’re now looking at $8,118 for this trip for airfare and accommodations.  I then went back to book the same trip through Expedia again, except I booked it as a flight and hotel bundle. Unfortunately, you can only bundle one hotel at at a time (i.e., I couldn’t book my flight and both hotels in a single bundle), so I opted to bundle the longer hotel stay in Paris. The same flight I had previously chosen didn’t appear to be available, but I did get a comparable flight, and was also able to find availability at the Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opéra again. The grand total for the package came to $4,167:

I’m going to repeat that, because it bears repeating.  By bundling the flight and the bulk of my hotel stay, I brought the price down to $4,167 for the flight and 8 nights at a 5 star hotel, which is less than the price of the flight alone. Even if I had free accommodations with family or friends in the area and didn’t need the hotel, I could still come out ahead by bundling. I was thunderstruck. Moreover, if I didn’t want to stay in a 5 star place, or was OK being further from the center of Paris, the cost would have been event less. Even paying the Disneyland Hotel booking separately, the total price for flights and hotels comes to $5,486 for a 10-night trip, a savings of $2,632. If I didn’t need to split between two different hotels and could bundle everything, I could have saved even more.

While I strongly recommend visiting Disneyland Paris as part of a larger trip to Paris — both because Paris is an amazing city, and because it would be tough to justify flying all the way across the Atlantic just to visit what is ultimately a fairly small (albeit gorgeous) resort — this is a Disney blog, of course, so for fun, I priced out the Disneyland Paris-only portion of our trip, and the result was even more stunning. For some reason, flights were much more expensive for the shorter trip from December 18-21.  For these dates, the cheapest flight I was able to find on Expedia was a 2-connection flight via Aer Lingus for $1260/person. The cheapest single connection flight was a $3,168 flight on Air Canada with a lengthy layover.  Flights that I would actually want to take were about $3600/person. Options at this point are paying around $3800 for all three of us to take a long, awkward flight (which is a bad use of time for a quick trip like that), or paying nearly $11,000 for the three of us to take a more reasonable flight.   Add the hotel, and we would be looking at around $12,000 for a quick trip to Disneyland.

Bundling, however, the price for this exact same trip plunged to $1,099/person — just under $3,300, for a savings of more than $8,500. Now, $3,300 is still a lot for a quick jaunt across the pond, but it does highlight the incredible savings that can be realized by bundling. People who live in cities that have non-stop flights to Paris can do a trip like that for even less. (I checked New York for those dates, for example, and it was $2,823.)

Do these same savings apply when bundling domestically? There are savings to be had, but based upon several spot checks that I did researching for this article, the “pay less than you would for the flight alone” phenomenon seems to be something that exists only for international travel. You can save money by bundling, but it’s not near as dramatic.

In closing, I want to again thank Tammy for the amazing tip! Also, in case you were wondering, Expedia is not an affiliate of ours, nor is this gushing post sponsored in any way by Expedia — I was just floored by the savings that were possible and wanted to share the tip with you all!

So, have any of you used Expedia to book a trip abroad? Have any other tips for saving money on a trip to Disneyland Paris? Let us know in the comments!  

James Rosemergy

When not planning for or traveling to Walt Disney World with his beautiful wife and impossibly adorable daughter, James practices law in St. Louis. He also really likes cheese -- and loathes kale. He can be found on twitter at @jrtoastyman.

One thought on “Bundling with Expedia: Surprising Savings on International Travel

  • June 26, 2019 at 7:26 pm
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    I have used Expedia in the past with no problems, but recently had flights that were changed to a time 12+ hours earlier/later than originally booked and also had long layovers added. The new times didn’t work with our schedule, but any other flights still available were prohibitively expensive. Worse yet, we weren’t even notified of one of the changes and only found out by chance a few days before our flight. So, good bargains can be had, but only if you are flexible with flight times and make a point to check with the carrier regularly to ensure flight times haven’t been changed.

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