Who wants to travel more? Oooh…me, me!
Since I have traveled to London twice within the last 6 months, I have received many questions regarding how I am able to afford to travel so much. I have to admit that I am the queen of travel as I have a knack for finding deals. I have learned many tips and tricks throughout my travels so I wanted to share my knowledge with you. I am pretty sure I gained this skill from my mother and I am so happy I did.
Travel Hacks 101: How to get the best travel deals
The first thing that I do when looking for airfare is to make sure that my email subscriptions are up to date for the major airline and hotel websites. Many airlines email special discounts before they release deals to the public so it’s important to ensure that you have those subscriptions up to date.
For international travel, I signed up for the WOW Air Club. This low cost long haul airline provides affordable flights from the US to Europe with a stop in Iceland. My last flight from Los Angeles to London was $350 roundtrip! Yes, $350 to fly from the US to the UK. My jaw dropped when I found that flight as I was actually stalking their website the month prior to buying. I had signed up for their email alerts and I received an email regarding low cost flights and jumped on the deal. I am so glad I did because the flight prices went up the next day! Check out their website and make sure to sign up for the WOW Air Club. You never know what kind of deals you will get.
Another low cost international airline is Norwegian Airlines. I have never booked directly on their site but their fares are included in many travel search engines. For instance, when I took my family to London last October, I found $415 roundtrip flights for each person using Cheapoair’s search engine. Make sure to register for an account on Cheapoair’s website so you will receive email alerts for the locations that you want to travel. I have booked many domestic and international flight using this website so I highly recommend this being a primary search engine to use.
Other travel websites that I am subscribed to are OneTravel, SmarterTravel, Airfare Watchdog and Kayak. Now, some of you don’t want a ton of emails sent to you regarding deal alerts. I totally understand that. If that is you, then I recommend taking a look for travel deals on Tuesdays. I have had quite a bit of luck booking travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. According to Barron’s Next, the best time to book at flight is on Tuesday at 3pm EST. I have found that the best days to travel for the cheapest flights are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mid-week flights are also known to be cheaper. The best flight deals that I have seen are flights that leave in the middle of the night or early in the morning.
In order to get a good deal on flights, tell yourself that it’s okay to have a flight in the middle of the night. Most people groan at the thought of flying in the middle of the night but you could potentially be saving hundreds of dollars for choosing the most inconvenient flight. I flew to Dallas, Texas last year for only $100. My flight left Phoenix, Arizona at 12:58am and landed in Dallas, Texas at 5:00am. You may be thinking that it was horrible but honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I was so excited about my trip, I wasn’t worried about being tired.
In case you are curious, I flew Spirit Airlines on that trip. Spirit is a discount airline in the U.S. that many people forget about. Along with its budget friendly competitor, Allegiant Airlines, Spirit boasts of offering extremely discounted flights. However, both of these airlines are “a la carte” so that means that choosing your seats, checking bags and in-flight snacks are not included so be prepared to pay a pretty penny if you want to indulge. These airlines are great for short weekend trips when all you need is a carry-on bag as the luggage fees are very high at the airport.
Once you book your flight, it will be time to look for accommodations. Many travel websites offer bundled options that include hotel stays and while you can find great deals, I haven’t had too much luck with buying bundled plans. Most of the time, I book the flight and hotel separately. The last two trips I took to London, I booked accommodations through Booking.com. I absolutely loved using this website as you can filter results based on certain criteria. They book hotels, shared rooms, hostels, flats, etc. Some properties will have you pay up front but others, you can pay when you get there. This website is great for european travel so I recommend checking it out!
Another popular website around the world for accommodations is Airbnb. Airbnb is awesome for someone looking to experience something different. People rent out their homes so you can experience life as a local while you are in your favorite city. They have some very affordable accommodations around the globe.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you find amazing airfare for your next vacation. Allow yourself some flexibility and you will find great deals. Create email alerts a few months prior to when you want to buy. Be on alert because you just never know when you are going to find a great deal!
I’m curious to know what you do to find great deals! Comment below with your favorite tricks to find travel deals. Traveling has changed my life so much and I hope this post can help you travel to the destination of your dreams. Go travel, be kind, stay active and live a healthy life!
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
Be bold to live free, xo Aimée
P.S. Next week, I will share my secret to packing for your travels. You will not believe how small of a bag I took to London!