I will be traveling from Tampa, FL to Heathrow Airport for a 12 day trip through Northern Wales, Ireland and ending up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Any suggestions on how to book my air flights? One way flights seem so expensive. I am new to this and want to make sure I book the most cost effective and efficient way.
babmarino. No one would recommend booking one way flights for this. What you want is a "multi-city" aka "open-jaw" ticket. That is, flying into one city, out of another. This is usually not significantly more than round trip to/from one city. Are you looking at Orbitz, Expedia or one of those multi-airline sites? Or a particular airline? On most of these, there is a place to enter multi-city at the beginning of the search.
I'd suggest open jaw too. and look at where you're traveling. Unless you need to be certain places certain days, I'd think about line of travel. For example, northern Wales would be closer to Dublin (via ferry if you wish) or Manchester airports. Edinburgh is northeast away from the other areas so consider your paths of train travel or driving or however you're getting around. I'd get the map out, figure out what you want to see then buy flight tickets based on your land route. Nothing wrong with roundtrip by LHR, it just may involve more zig-zagging than you need to do. Great places all- have a good trip!
Kayak.com shows open-jaws from Tampa to Manchester and Glasgow to Tampa, via Philadelphia (on American) or Newark (on United). No reason to fly to or from Heathrow unless you want to spend time in or near London, or to experience one of the developed world's worst airports (Newark is bad enough).
you need to think about your start and end points then look at multi city flights
for example, fly from the US into Dublin and fly out of Edinburgh or Glasgow
if you can't fly direct then you can connect in hub airports such as AMS, CDG or LHR
Your itinery is a bit back to front! Unless you are covering London which you don't mention, start in Dublin then fly to Manchester or Liverpool with Easyjet or Ryanair. No use looking on websites that don't cover the discount airlines. Then take the train to Edinburgh or as you are going to North Wales, I assume you are hiring a car to make the most of the scenery, so you could drive to Scotland.
Fly back from Edinburgh. Does your 12 days include getting to and from here? You will loose half a day each time you change destinations, by the time you get back out to the airport, 2 hours to check in and an hour for each flight plus another hour to clear the airport at your destination then travel to your hotel. If you are also including London and your 12 days includes travel from America, you are trying to cover too much in your timescale and need to reconsider, otherwise you will be spending more time in transit than seeing places.
When are you travelling? Booking internal tickets as far in advance as possible will be cheapest.
Possibly worth mentioning that if you are taking a domestic connection to an international flight at Heathrow that providing you aren't changing terminal you don't do any additional security etc but simply go straight to the departure are. In practice this means flying BA after the demise of Virgin Red after September.
The new security hall at Edinburgh has been a bit of a shambles but hopefully it is already on its way to settling down.
I am taking my son and daughter and their significant others to the Republic of Ireland and Edinburgh, Scotland for 10 -12 days in late May, 2016. I have used Rick Steves to plan many European vacations and both Mediterranean and Baltic cruises. I would like to fly to either Edinburgh or Dublin and return from Edinburgh or Scotland. My daughter is flying from San Francisco, my son from Atlanta, and I'm flying from Charlotte. My daughter and I have flown on East Jet last year. Since I am paying for the entire trip, I am seeking the most reasonable costs for travel.