I get asked daily how I am able to travel as often as I do. (Obviously not as often right now because of COVID-19) I have been to 35 countries and many of them more than once. This may come as a shock to you, but I do not get paid to travel. I pay for my travels out of pocket and these are my traveling hacks for anyone who is looking to stretch their dollar as far as they possibly can. While you are sitting at home, you can plan the trip of your dreams for when this is all over! This guide will help you book the flight, find the perfect accommodation for your budget, and help you to save the money you need for your dream vacay!
How To Find Cheap Flights:
There really is such a thing as cheap plane tickets! Finding them is very dependent on a few things: time of year, where you are purchasing from, date you book the flights on, and whether or not you are willing to compromise comfort for affordability. Don’t let the price of a ticket discourage you from traveling to that destination. Chances are, you just looked up the flight on a bad day or on one specific airline. I am going to share three ways, that I use to avoid over priced tickets so that you can make it to all your dream destinations!
Flight comparing websites:
There are so many places to find cheap flights. A great place to start is Google Flights, kiwi.com , or Sky Scanner. They compare all kinds of different airlines on multiple different dates to provide you with the best, and cheapest flights. Google flights takes you from A to B with one airline or partnering airline. Sky Scanner & kiwi.com takes you from A to B on the cheapest route possible. Sometimes that means different airlines, sometimes not. For example, I was looking for a flight to Bali and on my original search the total for a round trip was around $1500. I looked up the flights on Sky Scanner and purchased my tickets for $425. (Unfortunately due to COVID-19 the flight was canceled…) Flight comparing websites are the place to go to find the cheapest flights.
Change Your Departing Airline:
I am from Utah and unfortunately, to travel from Utah, the flights are typically hundreds of dollars more than other major airports (ex. New York, LAX, Boston Seattle, Vegas, and Miami). If you change your departing airline to a more international friendly airport, the prices for your plane ticket will be more than half the cost of your original search! From there, you can either plan a road trip to that airport or book a cheap flight there. For example, I have found that typically searching Salt Lake City to Paris, the flights were $1193. The flights from LAX to Paris were $398. If the airport near you only offers insanely expensive flights, like mine, change your departing airline and the prices will fall dramatically.
Book The Ticket On The Right Day Of The Week:
This huge travel hack is the best kept secret! From what I have found, flights are cheapest to purchase on Tuesdays. I have searched flights on other days of the week and the flights have been hundreds of dollars more expensive.
Be Willing to Compromise Comfort:
This is when the unglamorous side of traveling comes into play. Some of the cheapest flights are on cheap airlines. That sometimes means long hours, layovers, and no free pillows! If you are willing to have a rough 12 hours in order to experience an amazing week in another place than you can handle this!
How To Find The Best Accommodation:
If you go to Bali or Thailand you can get the prettiest beach houses and split it between your friends. It ends up being $10 a night right on the beach! If you are getting an Airbnb in Europe, be prepared to pay for cost of travel going in and out of the city. For the most part, cheap Airbnbs are just outside of the city and you’ll need to factor in the cost of travel.
A hotel or a hostel is a great choice. I prefer it when I am traveling in Europe! The cities accommodate for tourists, so they have a wide range of options. If you’re on a budget, a hostel for you and some friends could work great. You can use www.hostelworld.com to find the cheapest ones in the best locations! If you are traveling with your kids or a significant other, that might not be the best idea. I would recommend two websites www.booking.com/hotels it’s basically like the google flights of hotel finding! I’ve booked a few places on these sites and you can get some pretty good places for really good deals!
Here is the FREE option! House Sitters is a great service! You pay $60 for the year and you can choose to stay in homes and apartments all over the world for free. You are basically “hired” to house sit someone’s place while they are out of town. You may have to do some small task like grab the mail or walk the dog, but free accommodation is free accommodation! It’s great for travelers on a budget.
Also a FREE option. This is an experience not for the faint of heart. This allows you to stay with other locals. I personally have never tried this before, but if cost is an issue you can sleep on other people’s extra beds or couches and experience what life is like with the locals.
Traveling Has to Mean Something To You:
Isn’t it crazy that at the end of the month you can always afford your rent? Isn’t it crazy that somehow you are always able to cough up $12 for lunch out M-F? That’s because those things mean a lot to you and you somehow can find enough money for the things that are important to you. If you want to afford to travel, it has to mean something to you. You have to think about it, put it on your vision board, and think about the future memories you are going to be making. When it means something to you, you will find it much easier to save up for it!
When all of this crazy COVID-19 is over, I hope we can all make it to our next dream destination and I hope that these travel hacks can help. If you need any additional help or some recommendations for your trip just send me a message!