Without a doubt, one of the most inhibitive parts of traveling is the cost of the flight. As a lover of travel but also a lover of staying on a budget, I have figured out some great ways to find cheap flights. Plus, who doesn’t love a good deal?
Follow the below tips to find a budget friendly flight
Fly off season
Google is your best friend when it comes to budget traveling. Search the peak season dates for the country/city you are traveling to and avoid them. Search for weather and as long as the monthly average/rainfall suits your taste then you are good to go and for much cheaper.
I wanted to visit Dublin from London and the ticket prices were outrageous due to St. Patrick’s day so I booked my flight for the day after for 20 bucks
Be flexible with your destination
If you’re just looking to go somewhere and aren’t married to a particular destination you can find incredible flight deals. My favorite method is using www.skyscanner.com or www.kayakexplore.com to get an idea
Follow the below steps to narrow down your search:
Start with United States to Everywhere
See what the cheapest destinations are
This option works for set dates or flexible dates. You can set the engine to show you flights for an entire month, the cheapest month in the year, or set dates.
I knew I wanted to take a trip but wasn’t sure where. Using the above method, I found a flight to Panama City, Panama for under $500 round trip. The airport was a four hour drive from my house but the cost of gas/travel time was well worth it. This ended up being one of my favorite trips yet.
Be flexible with your dates
If you have the luxury of being flexible with your dates, this can also help you find a cheap flight. Instead of flying out on a Friday, consider flying out on a Tuesday, for example. These fares tend to be lower as they are not convenient options for travellers
I flew RT to New York City for $100 because I flew from a Tuesday – Saturday
Search nearby airports
Following the above tips try searching nearby airports if you aren’t in a major city. Consider how far you are willing to travel to get to the airport.
I flew to Iceland from Boston for close to $500 round trip. I used miles for the flight to Boston from Charlotte.
Book in advance
If you fly by the seat of your pants, this option may be a little harder for you but for those of you who can prep a little in advance, booking your flight early will help you keep the cost down and budget friendly. If you wait until last minute, flights can jump out of your price range so consider doing your flight search well in advance. According to the Huffington Post, the best time to buy your flight is 54 days before takeoff. I usually book my flight and then figure out all of the other details
I booked my flight to Brazil well in advance. Not only did this save me close to a $1,000 it also gave me ample time to get my visa without any stress!
Make sure you are adding your frequent flyer miles number when you book a flight! You’d be surprised how many miles you can rack up. It’s also a great idea to get a travel credit card. A lot of these cards have signing bonuses that require you to spend a certain amount of money and a timeframe and in exchange you can get a lot of points (completely worth it!!). Check out Million Mile Secrets for a great list of travel credit cards. One of the best blogs I’ve ever seen for credit card tips!
Short just a few miles? Buy them! Search for your trip normally and see how much it would cost in dollars (or whatever your national currency is) and then search again and see how many miles you need. If the trip is RT $2,000 but to buy the remaining miles that you’d need it’s only $500 then you’re getting a fantastic deal!
I opened a travel credit card and got 40,000 points after I spent $3,000 in 2 months. Then in conjunction with these miles and purchasing 20,000 more for $400 I was able to get a RT ticket that would have cost me $2,000+
Combine these options
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can search nearby airports, choose an off season date, and book well in advance. Try a combination of all the tips!
I flew to Cartagena, Colombia for $350 RT because I chose a nearby airport and I was also able to be flexible with my dates.
Budget traveling requires a little more effort than going through a travel agent or booking the first flight you see. The rewards make all the effort completely worth it. With a little patience and practice you will be able to book your next flight for cheap and keep your trip on budget
Success story: All of my travels! It’s all about being patient and keeping your eye on the prize (well multiple prizes if you also reward yourself with a cocktail, which you definitely should)