12 Secrets to Book Cheaper Airline Tickets

How to find the cheapest flights

How to find the cheapest flights for your yoga retreat

Whether you’re headed across the country or to a different continent you want to book cheaper airline tickets. No one wants to pay full price. There are plenty of airline ticket deals out there if you know how/where to find them.

This past year alone I have gotten some ridiculously cheap tickets from the west coast of North America; for example: Nicaragua  ($450), Thailand ($440), Bali ($460), Paris ($587/$408)… all from the West Coast! Awesome cheap tickets are out there; you just have to know where to find them.

Here are my favorite tips for finding the cheapest airline tickets.

1. Travelpirates.com and Holidaypirates.com

Travel Pirates rocks my world… in fact I have to make sure that I don’t go to their website too often because every time I do I see awesome airfares to places I want to go. I now limit myself to visiting only once or twice a week. Travelpirates.com posts airfare deals all over the world… some fares are error fares, some are sales, and all are at great prices. Also, they use kayak as their search engine, so it’s easy to use.

2. Kayak.com Flexible Date Search

ALWAYS use Kayak’s flexible date search (if possible +/- 3 days). It can save you hundreds of dollars on a flight. I don’t think I need to explain this one any further.

3. Travel Hubs

What are the travel hubs near you? Are they within driving distance? Or a short flight with a domestic carrier? I live in Bend, Oregon… the nearest international airport is Portland, which is a 3+ hour drive away. Portland sometimes has cheap flights, but I can usually save hundreds of dollars by commuting to Seattle or Vancouver, BC. The airports are busier, more flights, means more options and more competition. Look into hubs near you.

4. Check Regularly & Book When The Price Is Right

Do some research, check out Hopper, and find out what the best fare is. Know your buy price and when you see it, book it. Don’t wait. Also, check multiple search engines.

5. Flexible dates

You can find great deals flying most days of the week… although from experience Friday and Sunday are typically the most expensive… if you have any flexibility in your schedule take advantage of it and book an extra couple of days on your vacation. It will be totally worth it. You’ll have extra time to see the sights and get over any jetlag.

6. Farecompare.com

Farecompare.com has some decent tools for finding cheap flights when you don’t care too much about the destination… perhaps book a cheap flight to a destination and then look for a yoga retreat? This would only work in a place like Bali or Costa Rica where there are tons of yoga retreats.

7. Hopper App

Hopper app is a new to me app and I love it. You search your flight route and it will tell you whether it’s a good price or not, by color coding the airfares. It also shows up on a calendar, so you can see when flights are typically cheaper. And for more popular routes it shows the airfare history.

8. Consolidator Fares

I’m a little hesitant to recommend consolidator fares, but I’ve had decent luck with them even though the booking process can be a bit “sketchy” seeming. I’ve used ASAP travel and had both success and frustration. If you book a consolidator fare it’s likely non-refundable. Also, don’t consider your flight booked until you have a confirmation number from the airline.

9. Book 6+ weeks out

Start looking for flights as soon as you see a retreat you’re interested in, watch the fares. Once you start creeping past the 6 week mark the fares will start creeping up in price.

10. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is useful for finding out which airlines fly into specific airports. Go directly to the airline’s site and check out their fares.

11. Hacker fares

luxury-yoga-retreat-france-dordogne

Book your ticket to paradise… whether it’s the French countryside or the tropics.

Hacker fares are multiple one way tickets. They also may be open jaw tickets. Kayak now has an option to book hacker fares.

Here is an example flight that I paid $440 USD for:

Vancouver, BC to Denpasar Bali

Lombok to Vancouver, BC

The one-way flight to Lombok is less than $50 USD…. and if you were interested in getting to Lombok super cheap there are also ferries to Lombok from Bali.

12. Mileage cards

Get a mileage card with a good rate and no annual fee (or at least a very low annual fee) then put all of your bills, rent, groceries, travel expenses on it. Also make sure to stay up to date on their mileage plan, so your points don’t expire.

That’s what I’ve got for you today yogis. I hope this blog hopes you book cheaper airline tickets to your next destination. I would love to hear how it goes!

Chateau de Bardouly: Luxury Chateau Offering Yoga Retreats

I look forward to visiting France in May and exploring the Dordogne region from our Chateau de Bardouly yoga retreat. Chateau de Bardouly is a meticulously maintained 17th century manor house located between Bordeaux and Toulouse in the Dordogne Purple region of southwest France.

luxury-yoga-retreat-france-may 2017-chateau-drawing-room

Chateau de Bardouly- France’s Best Kept Secret

France’s best kept secret, the Dordogne Purple region, is renowned for it’s gastronomy and wine. In addition to enough fine wine and food to delight any oenofile or foodie the region bursts with local heritage sites. You will find vineyards, fields of flowers, orchards, fortified “bastide” towns and medieval castles. The region is easily accessed via train or plane from Paris, London, or Nice.

hanging-gardens-marqueyssac-luxury-womens-yoga-retreat-france

Historical Luxury Chateau Draws Guests Seeking Charm and Authenticity

Back to Chateau de Bardouly… this 400 year old chateau draws visitors seeking a luxury experience that brims with charm and authenticity. Past visitors have included John D. Rockefeller and Charles de Gaulle amongst other illustrious guests. Visitors return annually to enjoy the meticulously kept chateau and grounds.

luxury-womens-yoga-retreat-france-bordeaux

An Estate You’ll Swoon For

This Perigordian chateau has 9 unique en suite bedrooms that blend modern amenities with beautiful antiques (swoon) and luxurious fabrics. The property has multiple spaces to dine and lounge including formal and informal dining spaces, living rooms and terraces. The paneled formal dining room was installed by the same artisan that did the state rooms at Versailles!

Stay at Chateau de Bardouly for a Yoga Retreat

Two yoga spaces are available for yoga retreat guests… one outdoor platform and a cozy indoor room for cooler days. The chateau has every yoga prop you could desire! But if you’re staying at the chateau you won’t be practicing yoga the whole day and there is plenty to keep you occupied.

luxury-yoga-retreat-france-yoga-for-women

Grounds For Exploration and Play

The chateau grounds are ripe for exploration with nearly 100 acres of land that includes forested hills, a nearby lake within walking distance, orchards of plums, cherries, apples, pears and walnuts, a heated pool and tennis court. The spacious lawn is perfect for a little friendly competition. The chateau has badminton, croquet, boules, football or cricket equipment available.

womens-luxury-yoga-retreat-france-chateau

Time and Space to Relax and Unwind

Or spend an afternoon relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine in the chateau’s exquisite rock garden complete with it’s own water fountain or relax on the lime tree shaded terrace; a perfect place to swap stories with a new friend over tea. Or if you’re a sun worshipper like me grab a poolside lounge chair and soak up the afternoon rays.

luxury-yoga-retreat-france-heated-pool

Looking for a spring getaway? Join Toni and Acevedo and I in France this May for a life changing yoga retreat built on the foundation of self love.

Happy Birthday Oregon and A Special Gift for our France Yoga Retreat

sale-luxury-yoga-retreat-france-sale
The founders of Ambuja Yoga & Barefoot BLISS Yoga are both Oregonians. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, these ladies love playing in their home state and around the world!
Autumn & Toni embrace the sense of adventure. Yoga, hiking, biking, snow shoeing and more, they love nature, travel, food & their dogs!
 
These adventuress Yoga Instructors are your perfect guides for your next Yoga Retreat.
 
Their next retreat is in beautiful Southwest France. From May 20th-27th 2017
 
Because the ladies are from Oregon and Oregon’s birthday is February 14th, turning 158 years old. Happy Birthday OREGON! They decided to give you a special gift in honor of their beautiful state!
 
For the month of February you can receive $400 off the full price of this France Yoga Retreat!
And now some cool stuff about the number 158
In numerology number 158 is pretty AWESOME! Who knew?
 
Blending attributes and energies and vibrations you get some pretty powerful stuff going on.
 
Things like creativity, initiative, new beginnings, self-reliance and tenacity just to name a few.
 
Making positive life choices, abundance and inner-wisdom!
 
I told you it was cool! So if you’ve been feeling a stirring within and something has you moving in new and exciting directions it might be because our beautiful Oregon is turning 158 years old!
 
Namaste’
Toni ~ The Blissful Blogger, Founder of Barefoot BLISS Yoga
Autumn Adams, Founder of Ambuja Yoga

Be a “Bad” Yogi And Enjoy That Bergerac Wine!

luxury-yoga-retreat-in-southwest-france

Al-fresco dining at Chateau de Bardouly

It’s mid-winter here and I am at my dining room table writing, enjoying the last few moments of golden sunlight, listening to a French cafe inspired playlist and sipping a delightful white wine from Bergerac, a small township in the Dordogne valley. I sat down to plan our May yoga retreat in France, but instead I sit and daydream of long lunches with new yoga friends, sipping rosé, soaking in the sun and basking in the post yoga glow during our next yoga retreat. Attending a yoga retreat in France? You should plan an extra day (or two) to explore the local vineyards and countryside.

For our retreat attendees we always give them an afternoon off to do as they please. If they’re like me and Toni they will head out into the countryside, camera in hand and explore local vineyards, lakes and orchards. There are so many vineyards and châteaux nearby it’s hard not to explore. May and June are the best months to explore southwest France because the temperature is comfortable, not too hot and not too cold. In the late spring the days are longer and if it rains it won’t rain all day. The countryside is in full bloom. The orchards, lilac and wisteria are lovely this time of year.

luxury-wine-yoga-retreat-southwest-france

Beynac on the Dordogne River.

The Dordogne’s culinary heritage, vast fields, lazy river, and picturesque villages carved into limestone cliffs captivate. In the spring the hills are vibrant and green and the markets overflow with fresh seasonal produce like white asparagus and strawberries. The Dordogne region, Bergerac included, boasts delicious wines to suit most palates. Travelers will find plenty of interesting wine gems in the Bergerac area.

luxury-wine-yoga-retreat-southwest-france-excursion

Issigeac Sunday market.

Bergerac alone has 13 different appellations. The area’s soil has excellent drainage provided by the Dordogne river that meanders through the region and excellent growing conditions. The region mostly produces hearty red wines made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blended with local varietals (they produce malbec too!). These tannic reds are perfect paired with the cuisine “du terroir” like foie gras, local pates, charcuterie, confit and red meats. They could also work well with a hearty vegetarian pasta or roasted vegetable dish.

luxury-wine-yoga-retreat-southwest-france-bordeaux

Bergerac wine.

The Bergerac region also produces some excellent drier white wines (with big fruit) and roses perfect for a relaxing afternoon or al fresco dinner. Château Monbazillac produces a sweet white, simply known as Monbazillac that is surprisingly good and perfect for dessert. Château Monbazillac makes a nice day trip from Château de Bardouly. You can take a peek around Château Monbazillac and it’s grounds, enjoy a wine tasting and winery tour. Château Monbazillac is symbolic of the Bergerac region. The Château has stood proudly since the end of the 16th century when the quality of its wines was well known far beyond the borders of Aquitaine. The château is exudes both renaissance and medieval architecture and just a few kilometers from Bergerac.

monbazillac chateau yoga retreat southwest france

Chateau Monbazillac.

For the wine geeks, I mean oenophiles, here is a list of Bergerac appellations:

  • Bergerac AOC: dry white wines, rosé wines and red wines. These are wines that can be enjoyed young (from two years old).
  • Côtes de Bergerac AOC: mellow, soft red wines (reach their prime after several years’ storage in the wine cellar)
  • Montravel AOC: dry white wines and red wines.
  • Haut-Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
  • Côtes de Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
  • Monbazillac AOC: white dessert wines (storable for a long time)
  • Pécharmant AOC: red wines. These are wines suitable for medium-term storage.
  • Rosette AOC: sweet white wines. This appellation, which is the smallest within the wine-growing area, produces little-known wines that are medium-sweet to sweet.
  • Saussignac AOC: white dessert wines (store medium to long-term)

    monbazillac-wine-yoga-retreat-southwest-france

    Monbazillac vines.

Wine and Yoga Retreat in Southwest France

During our yoga retreat in France in May 2017 a local wine curator will join us at Château de Bardouly for an evening wine tasting event. We will enjoy the best Bergerac wines and learn about the history of the Dordogne wine culture and local vineyards.

Have you considered attending a yoga retreat… perhaps a luxury yoga retreat in a château??? They’re not all for hard core yogis… some retreat leaders like Toni and I like to “keep it real”. We provide an opportunity to enjoy a luxurious week away from all the daily commitments with a bit of yoga and meditation thrown in… and yes wine, friendship, and sunshine.

yoga-retreat-france-bordeaux-bergerac

Chateau De Bardouly our home during our yoga retreat in southwest France.

The Truth About Yoga Retreats

Discover the Truth About Yoga Retreatsluxury-yoga-retreat-in-france

 

Discover the truth about attending a yoga retreat as we put these common yoga retreat myths to rest. There seems to be a lot of myth about attending yoga retreats and a lot of fuss in the yoga community about being a perfect yogi with the perfect body and the green juices, the incredible Instagram account and the fancy leggings, but yoga retreats are for real people like you and me with all of our lovely imperfections and uniqueness. So lets be real for a sec and get to the bottom of these myths that keep us stuck in a mindset of fear and uncertainty.

Myth 1: You have to be a rockstar yogi to attend a yoga retreat.

Nope. Absolutely not. You don’t have to be a rockstar headstanding yogi to attend a yoga retreat or know the difference between your warrior poses. You don’t need to know Sanskrit or have your own yoga mat. The only thing you need to attend a yoga retreat is a sincere desire to learn, expand, and improve your wellbeing. That’s it! And honestly you’ll be just fine if you’re not there yet and would like to attend a yoga retreat to go on a fancy vacation or support a friend or partner.

Myth 2: I have to be a vegetarian/vegan/(insert special diet here) to fit in on a retreat.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to attend a yoga retreat. From my experience most people that attend yoga retreats are not vegetarian. Many retreats will offer a protein option in addition to the regular (typically vegetarian) menu during a couple of the evening meals or sometimes eggs with breakfast. Not sure if you can survive a week on mostly veggies, fruits and grains? You can! Retreat centers have their menus dialed in. You’ll be surprised by the variety and deliciousness of the food offered… from raw lasagna to homemade rustic breads with marmalade, creative farm fresh salads and soups, to local delicacies like seafood stew, stuffed eggplant or that famous french cheese.

People who do have special diet restrictions are typically easily accommodated on yoga retreats as long as the retreat leader knows in advance and is able to give the retreat center notice. So don’t worry about what you’ll eat… it will be nourishing and divine. I always joke that I may be the only person that can attend/teach a yoga retreat and gain weight. The food is that good!

Myth 3: You can’t attend a retreat solo.

Say what?!?! Lady (or dude) you can attend a retreat solo. In fact, I recommend it. You will be embraced by a group of likeminded people and will form amazing friendships with people from all over the world. You may just find a lifelong retreat partner that you meet up with once or twice a year and attend yoga retreats together… I’ve seen it happen in real life! You will share stories. You will laugh until your tummy and cheeks hurt and you have happy tears pouring down your face. So attend that retreat solo. Invest in you… and if a friend does want to join in on the fun AWESOME. You’ll have an old friend to share the experience with.

Want a roommate? Talk to the retreat leader. The best retreat leaders will do there best to help you find a roomie.

luxury-yoga-retreat-france-bordeaux

Fish pose with a smile at our Luxury Yoga Retreat in France.

Myth 4: Don’t go on a yoga retreat unless you know the yoga instructor.

Well, lets go ahead and say goodbye to this idea. There are so many phenomenal yoga instructors out there and you can’t possibly know them all. With the invention of the internet and cell phones it’s completely possible to connect with an instructor before attending a yoga retreat. Check out their social media accounts… Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest etc. and see if their message vibes with you. Get them on the phone, exchange emails or better yet Skype or FaceTime them. Instructors that are invested in their students will happily chat with you about yoga, philosophy, retreats, food, life, etc. Retreat leaders are there to support you along the way.

sunbathing-yoga-retreat-greece

New friends all brought together by a connection with one instructor.

Myth 5: The cost of attending isn’t worth it. I can practice with my favorite teacher at home.

yoga-retreat-mythsWhether you need to rest your weary body, find your inner power, discover self love… retreats have a way of bringing about awesome transformation and healing. You’ll get out of a yoga retreat exactly what you put into it.

You say, “but I can practice with them at home”. Yes, you can and you should. On retreat your yoga instructor has the leisure of time… longer classes (and seeing you everyday day) means they can weave in more philosophy, anatomy, and stories about growth, perseverance, love, etc. They can share workshops and knowledge that they just can’t squeeze into a regular group class. Your teacher might have a few extra tricks up their sleeve that they only pull out at yoga retreats, think dharma codes, breathwork, reiki, and shamanic journeys.

Yes, it’s true yoga retreats cost money, sometimes a lot of money. Instructors leading retreats have done hundreds of ours of prep and self study along with thousands of hours of teaching and learning so they can create an incredible experience for YOU. They are experts in their field and they put a LOT of thought into the nuances of a yoga retreat, the location, the classes, etc.

If you’re struggling to find the financial means or are hesitating about attending a retreat talk to the retreat leader. They will be able to answer your questions and occasionally there are scholarships or work-trade options available.

Wheel pose with a little assist.

Myth 6: There is a lot of yoga during yoga retreats.

Well, this is true. There is a ton of yoga during yoga retreats. Your yoga classes will also likely include more meditation, pranayama, and/or anatomy than they do at home. The classes are usually geared toward a certain theme, idea, or concept that is revisited throughout the week.

Here’s a little insider’s secret: you don’t have to do all of the yoga. If you’re tired sleep in. If you need an evening/afternoon alone to watch the sunset and enjoy a glass of wine DO IT. We understand that this is your vacation and want you to find your perfect balance of doing and being.

vinyasa-restorative-yoga-retreat

That yoga isn’t always intense. There is plenty of time to rest and restore with restorative yoga, yoga nidra and breathwork.

So relax, unwind, let go of the masks, the pretenses and preconceived ideas about attending yoga retreats and enjoy your week away from the hustle and bustle of daily life while focusing on you. You’re worth it!