Travel is expensive. I know. However, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it is. A lot of my friends and family tend to think of vacations as all-inclusive resort getaways in paradise. If this is the case then yes, your travel is most likely going to hit the bank a bit harder.
If you’re interested in truly traveling to learn about the world that surrounds us, whether it’s the culture, the people, the history, the art, the architecture, the food…. it doesn’t have to be as pricey as you probably think.
Here are a few travel secrets I use that will set you on the budget-friendly path:
Utilize Google Flights.
Everyone that talks to me about travel knows that I tell them to use Google Flights. When I’m itching for travel, I check Google Flights just about daily for trips any time of the year and to anywhere. In the travel community, I’ve heard of a lot of people using Skiplagged, SkyScanner, and ITA Matrix but I personally love the simplicity of Google Flights and it’s worked best for me.
- If you have a destination in mind but no date set, it works well to search for cheapest times to go by showing you prices for months out. Select the calendar and scroll through the months. This is helpful also if you’re trying to determine good travel prices for future destinations!
- If you have set dates in mind but don’t have a destination (and want some inspiration)…select your departing airport and the dates and scroll down to the map that says “explore destinations” you can check out pricing for all over the world from the dates you set.
Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights.
This is my biggest travel secret for deals. There are two methods to go about this.
- First, you can sign up for the free emails and you’ll receive the latest error fares and sales.
- Secondly, you can sign up for premium emails and you’ll receive the error fares and sales that Scott finds but you’ll get them 1/2 hour earlier than the free subscribers and you’ll get about 2-3 times more deals in your inbox each week. This makes sure you’re not missing out on anything! Since error fares typically happen quickly this can be the difference between snagging that deal and not. An annual membership is $39 (that’s only $3.25 per month!)
Now, what do I mean about error fares? More frequently than you’d expect, airlines (and some hotels) accidentally post deals for steep discounts. These usually only last a couple hours before the company finds out and fixes the problem. Many times the companies will honor the mistake and you get an amazing discount, however, sometimes they don’t honor it so make sure you wait a bit before making other booking arrangements. If you’re lucky, some error fares are extreme discounts. I’ve seen round-trip (RT) flights to Europe and Asia for as low as $300s! Just be patient and be flexible.
3. Social Media is Key!
Do you feel like emails are a bit too intrusive and want to check on your own time? Look into following TravelPirates.com on Facebook or also Secret Flying. They have millions to hundreds of thousands of followers (respectively) on Facebook and post a variety of sales and error fares. If you don’t want to follow them on Facebook you can also follow Secret Flying on Instagram.
Personal Case Study: I really wanted to get another international trip in for the 2016 year but I knew I had to be a bit more budget conscience. I told myself if I found something for $100-200 less than the usual cost to get to Europe (round trip) than I’d buy tickets. Unfortunately, I didn’t jump on tickets that Scott’s Cheap Flights found for $550’s to Amsterdam. I delayed… big mistake. And I missed the opportunity.
I waited it out for another month in hopes that something else would come along. I searched Google Flights daily. Now I was dead set on finding tickets to Amsterdam and I did! They were around $650 for a RT flight. Not as cheap as the first, but I knew I had to jump on this one so I didn’t miss it! This is about $150-250 cheaper than the usual cost to get to Amsterdam. Big takeaway…we’re going to Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris this fall!
Well, it’s official, you know all of my travel secrets, stay tuned for the next post for my tips on how I personally cut my travel costs down. If you ever need help with keeping an eye on deals let me know and I’d gladly help out! You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, make sure you’re following me on IG for daily content!
Sidebar: Just to remain completely transparent, anyone that signs up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, (free or premium) I’m signed up for their affiliate program so I do get a kickback. However, I really do love getting his emails. It also helps me to gauge the ebb and flow of travel sales going on for years to come!