Last night I got on the computer to go back to planning. This part of my trip planning is called ... Ta-dah! ... booking flights!
Best money-time-value relationship
Expedia. However Kayak.com is a great helper too!
I checked leaving from a nearby airport. It was so much more expensive, that it was cheaper to rent a car in and out of Logan.
So yeah, check for different starting options. and consider how to get in and out of there:
Do you have a ride?
Where are you going to leave your car? How much do they charge for long term parking at the airport? Some airport motels charge very little to have you leave your car at their parking lot. Call them!
Will you take the subway or a cab into the airport?
Do you really want to drag luggage (if you travel with large luggage like I do when I go to Brazil) cross town till you get to the airport?
In case you are wondering, all Brazilians carry large luggage when going home to visit. That's because they are carrying order packages for mom, little brother, neighbor, church friend, classmate from first grade they just reconnected to on Facebook and the classmate's dog. If you are like a Brazilian - remember to consider how to get to airport carrying all that luggage. it might be worth to pay more for transportation.
I considered how to maximize the itinerary and specific dates that had to be met. We had to spend one Sunday in Cookstown for family connections and another Sunday in Wendover for more family connections.
To maximize time on task and minimize time in transit - still keeping budget in mind - I looked into a number of flight combinations - single and multi-destinations:
-Boston-Dublin-Edinburgh-Boston (that would made need for only one flight between islands)
At first I had opted for Boston-London-Edinburgh-Boston. I figured we'd land in London. Saturday - London; Sunday-Wendover; Midweek-Cotswolds; Luton-Dublin via Ryanair; Ireland till Sunday. Dublin-Liverpool via Ryanair; midweek-Lake District; end of week-Scotland; then home.
This was the second cheapest option. It made sense from a travel line point of view, and not lose a day going back to your original port of entry.
I had to take into account the cost of the tickets between islands as well. Ryanair is the cheap way to fly if you are not carrying luggage. Tickets as low as €16. But you have to keep checking for sales and they usually have sales for flights in 14 days - don't book too early.
Since the cheapest option was Boston-Dublin-Boston, I considered the option of starting the trip in Ireland. Then Ryanair Dublin-London. Then follow the path up to Scotland. on the day we fly home we would take Ryanair Glasgow-Dublin. To get to Glasgow from our final destination was just a matter of hours and no day would be lost except for the day already lost which is back-home day.
BOOK IT! After I made sure the dates were set on stone, I started booking. I booked the flight with Expedia this week, after I made sure every Tavern and B&B we wanted was available and car rentals were reasonable. Then I went on to book the lodging.
Booking lodging is another posting.
For now, that's all, folks!