Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Links Golf Travel – Tips to an Affordable and Fulfilling Trip - Part 3

This is the final installment of the three part series, Links Golf Travel – Tips to an Affordable and Fulfilling Trip. In the first two installments (Part 1 and Part 2), we discussed saving money by avoiding travel compaines and if you do use a travel company, opt for the self-drive option. Other tips centered around lodging and scheduling tee times. In this post, we discuss tips for airline reservations, travel between courses, and trip transportation.

7. For optimal savings, airline reservations should be made well in advance, preferably in December or January. Sometimes a window opens in the spring that can have the lower rates found in December and January. The availabilty of cheap rates in the spring is strictly a function of the percentage of seats sold in December and January. Get commitments early from those planning to travel. The best way to solidify your trip list is for a potential traveler to make the plunge and buy the ticket in December or January.

8. Do yourself a favor and plan your travel times between venues with a cushion for traffic delays, narrow roads, and rest stops.

9. The best way to travel with up to four golfers is an 8 passenger minivan. This vehicle will handle clubs, bags and up to four, possibly five golfers. For larger groups use an eight passenger minibus and a cargo van. The cargo van rents cheaper than the bus and will carry all luggage and gear. It will also carry three people. These are only available in Great Britain and Northern Ireland as the Republic of Ireland bars foreigners from renting cargo vans. For even larger groups a fifteen or seventeen passenger bus can be utilized.

10. Good luck! If you find this process exasperating, “The Secretary” will do your planning for you at a fraction of the cost of a golf travel company. With the above described process our group played 12 courses, 12 nights lodging, airline tickets, ground transportation including fuel for vehicles for less than $3,500 including airfare. Included were Connemara, Enniscrone, Carne, County Sligo, Donegal, Royal Portrush, Portstewart, and three rounds at Ballyliffin. Try doing that with a golf travel company. They will charge you that for three or four top courses and a couple of nags.

What are your tips or questions? I would love to read them; just leave a comment.
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