A question that I often get asked is “How are you able to travel so much?” Is it magic? Am I just rich? The answer is no for both of those questions.
The main reason I am able to afford traveling so much is because I barely spend any money while doing it! In certain countries I actually spend less money in a day, counting lodging, than what I spend back at home.
A huge way of saving money is getting cheap flights! By getting a cheap flights, you can use that saved money to do more things in whichever city you visit.
Here are some tips and tricks that I use for finding the cheapest possible flights.
- Check prices for the whole month, not just a specific date — My preferred website to check for flights is Skyscanner. Skyscanner does several things that most sites don’t do. First, when you click the departure and return day for your ticket, you can choose “Whole Month.” This feature is extremely valuable, as it’ll show you the prices for X destination for the whole month. You can then play around with the dates and see which dates can be cheaper. Many times you’ll save hundreds of dollars by just leaving a day or two before or after your initial plans, and same goes for coming back. If your schedule is somewhat flexible, you can save lots of money.
- Don’t book through sites that charge you a fee — Avoid sites like Expedia that charge you a fee for booking with them. You can book directly through the airline without paying more.
- Book directly through the airline website — Even when using Skyscanner, book directly through the airline website. How do you do that? Once you find your dates on Skyscanner, see which airline you’d be flying with. Open a new window and go to the airline’s website and put in the dates shown on Sksycanner. Although Skyscanner is great for actually finding the flights, sometimes they’ll send you to third party sites, like Expedia, where the price is higher. By booking directly through the airline you can save $10-20 extra dollars.
- Subscribe to airlines emails — I got my ticket to Scotland for $69.99 on WoW Air because they emailed me about it. Subscribe to lowcost airlines emails to make sure you receive their latest offers and deals. For international traveling, subscribe to WoW Air, Norwegian Airlines, and Eurowings. For domestic travel in the United States, do Jet Blue, Spirit, and Southwest.
- If traveling in the United States, check the JetBlue and Southwest Airlines websites — Many times these airlines don’t come up in regular search engines like Skyscanner, but they offer great deals.
- You don’t need travel insurance — Unless you think that you might be getting sick or there’s a circumstance that might make you miss your flight, don’t get travel insurance. Most of the time you need to show proof even if you’re sick in order to get a refund.
- Don’t buy a seat — Many budget airlines will ask you if you want to buy a seat when buying your ticket. Don’t do it unless you really need a window/aisle seat. The “Skip” button is sometimes hard to find, but it’s there. If you skip that step, they’ll just give you a seat themselves.
- If traveling international, try to have a layover — Tickets to places like France and Italy can be expensive, and tickets are even more expensive to places like Croatia or Albania. What do you do in that case? This takes a bit more time, but play around with cities. Find out which budget airlines fly international from your local airport. In the case of Miami, I already know that there are weekly budget flights to Norway, Germany, Sweden, and Iceland. If I want to go to Paris, for instance, I know that I can save money by booking a flight to Norway and then one from Norway to Paris. You can save hundreds of dollars this way. My friend and I recently went to Croatia. She flew to Miami > Manchester > Croatia and to return she did Croatia > Germany > Miami. All of that for under $500. That ticket would had been close to $1,000 had she done Miami > Croatia, and she’d still have a layover! Create your own layover and save lots of money.
- Be open minded when it comes to destinations — If you want to be truly adventurous, go on Skyscanner and when selecting destination click “Everywhere.” Skyscanner will then give you a list of all the cities you can fly to, from cheapest to most expensive.
- Check often — Flights change in price very, very frequently, so check often! If planning a vacation three months from now, start checking flights every day before you go to bed. It just takes a couple of minutes.
Do you use any other tricks to save money when booking flights? Let me know in the comments.