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Traveling to see first grandchild when should we book our flight advice.

Traveling to see first grandchild when should we book our flight advice.

Feb 5th, 2012, 07:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1
Traveling to see first grandchild when should we book our flight advice.

Any guidance would be appreciated as to when I should book a ticket in order to spend as much time with my grandchild due to be born 3/15. I have no clue when to book without a projected labor and delivery for a first baby. I feel as though I have to wait to purchase the flight. My husband has never been to Europe and is traveling for the first time with me.

We both work so time off is precious and living on a budget doesn't allow us a flexible ticket but I'd like to ask what would you do?

Thanks for any guidance.
TravelingGram is offline  
Feb 5th, 2012, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,076
I lived abroad when DD was born, and my mom found herself in your position.
If you are restricted as far as how much time off work you can take, the next question is: are you aiming to be in Europe for the birth? Because that is a really wide window of dates.
Next: when would baby's parent's like you to be there? If that answer is also for the birth, you really don't have much option other than wait as long as you possibly can and book as late as you dare, hoping not to miss it.
What we decided was that my mom would rather take advantage of a cheaper ticket and more baby time, so we booked her to come see us about three weeks after my due date. That gave us time to get used to things and then we had her help when DH had to go back to work. For us, that was better than her hanging around waiting for me to go in to labor, only to have to go home two days after baby was born.
txgirlinbda is offline  
Feb 5th, 2012, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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You don't say how long a visit you are planning but if you are on a budget and can't afford to purchase a refundable ticket , don't want to pay any change fees for non-refundable tickets and are limited in the amount of time you can take off from work the ONLY WAY you can maximize your time with your new grandchild is to plan your trip for sometime shortly after the child's birth.

There's no way to predict when the child will be born. If you wait until labor begins to purchase your ticket you'll probably miss the birth and pay top dollar for your ticket. If you plan on getting there on a fixed date in hopes of being there for the birth you may be there too early or too late to witness the birth. If you wait for the birth and want to travel within a week or so of the birth you'll still end up paying top price for the ticket - certainly not something someone on a budget would do.

Most times you can book "restricted fare tickets" about 2 to 3 wells prior to travel. The fare you pay may not be the lowest ever for that route but they should be significantly lower that full-fare tickets. That's your best course of action.

Once the baby is born, look for a flight 2 to 3 weeks out and choose the best fares you find for that particular time period. You'll see your new grandchild and, if you happened to have paid a few dollars more for the ticket it won't really matter as the memories of seeing your grandchild for the first time will far outlive any thoughts of how much you paid for the ticket.
RoamsAround is offline  
Feb 5th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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You'll likely be of more help when the baby is a few weeks old anyway. So I'd go ahead and book now for 3 or 4 weeks after the due date.That way you can maximize your vacation time, hopefully get a much cheaper fare, help the new parents, AND be guaranteed not to arrive too early.
janisj is online now  
Feb 5th, 2012, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
No clue where you are going to or coming from. www.farecompare.com good general tips. We just
booked AA.com found our cheapest flights with them.
cheapoair.com another great site. March and April flights will be cheapest so book as much time as you can at the best
rates you can as work and budget allow.

Congrats Happy Hunting and Good luck!
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 5th, 2012, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
No clue when in relation to birth you want to be there. But unless mother-to-be has made other requests, you would be better off all the way around to book a flight for mid-April. You can then book 2 months out and have some flexibility in price/schedule. Work can get plenty of notice.

And in many cases the new family will appreciate your visit more at that time. They will have adjusted to new baby in household and all the local visitors dropping off fruitcakes, casseroles and baby gifts will have disappeared. Exhaustion may have set in, and a friendly visitor who might even help with a bit of laundry or childcare so parents can sneak out for dinner or even just coffee will be a blessing. And in the unlikely event their are any immediate post-delivery health issues for Mom or baby, these can get worked out so that a visit will be more welcome.
gail is offline  
Feb 5th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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My main piece of advice would be to offer the new parents-to-be some options and do whatever they choose.

When granddaughter #1 was born (in NY), we arrived a few days after she was born. My DDIL's older sister was there for the birth, leaving the day before we arrived. DDIL's parents arrived the day after we left.

When granddaughter #2 was born (in Germany), we left home the day after she was born.

When granddaughter #3 was born (also in Germany), I went a few days before the due date, to assist my very tired DDIL and learn the household routine. I stayed for two weeks, and while I was waiting for the shuttle to the airport, my DDIL said, "I'm so sad that you're leaving", so I guess I did OK. My husband spent two weeks there a couple of weeeks later, so we could stretch out the amount of time when there was extra help in the house.

Thats's what we're doing this time, too. On Thursday, I am flying to San Antonio to be with DS, DDIL, and granddaughters ages 2, 3, and 6 when (we hope) the new baby arrives.

I even get to go to grandparents' day the the 6 year old's school. We haven't decided on the dates of my husband's later visit--still several factors to consider.
abram is offline  
Feb 10th, 2012, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Just remember that you are heading into high season because of the Easter holiday at that time of the year-alot of flights will be packed from the beginning of March until the end of April.
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
We've been through this a few times. For the mother's first child, you would probably just be in the way if you went before the birth and recovery. You would be more useful then, and the baby would be developed enough to play with and enjoy. For her second child, you might want to go early and be a baby sitter during the birth and recovery. But that is a call you would want to make after discussion with the parents.

A deep discount ticket costs only a fraction of what a full fare ticket costs, especially if you buy it more than 30 days prior to the flight. A deep discount ticket, even with a change fee, costs far less than a full fare ticket, and might be your best option, since you may not have to make a change. Also, look into Southwest Airlines; I think they sell one way tickets, so it might make economic sense to buy two one-way tickets if your return date is uncertain.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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And where does one find these deep discount tickets?
koen is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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clevelandbrown - OP is flying to/from Europe - Southwest is a US Domestic airline - it doesn't fly to Europe so buying a one-way fare on that airline won't help her see her new grandchild.
RoamsAround is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You get the deep discount fares by selecting lowest lowest cost fare option on the site you are using.

I'm sorry I missed that you need a transatlantic flight. I think a very few airlines do offer reasonably priced one-way fares, but I know that some that did offer that failed.

For the best advice on this question, I suggest you post your departure and arrival destinations. Not all airlines fly from every airport, nor to every destination.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Make sure you both have current passports?
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 07:36 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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I arrived the evening of Feb 9 (due date was Feb 7). I get up with the three girls in the morning, do breakfast, make lunches, take the two bigger girls to school--all so Mom can rest a little. I do baths, laundry, help with cooking dinner, Last night, I babysat so DS and DDIl could go to the movies,

Tomorrow morning, DDIL will be induced. She and DS will have to leave for the hospital at 5 AM, so I'll do morning duty alone. She planned out the next few dinners for me to make, for which I'm grateful.

It's all such a labor of love that it doesn't seem like labor at all--just love,
abram is offline  

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