“You’re going on another adventure for how much?!” This is the typical response I always get when telling my friends what adventures I’m going next and for how much! People often think I’m a cash trucker rolling in the dough for all the traveling I do but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve just learned through my many travel experiences how best to find those uber cheap flight deals while maximizing my two weeks annual vacation time. In this two part post I’ll help you achieve just that: getting most out of your hard earned green bucks and vacation time.
FINDING CHEAP FLIGHTS
First things first you’ll need to master the art of finding cheap flights, duh. Flights can be costly and believe me I’ve been there and spent that. No one wants to spends more than they want to on just getting to your destination right?! There are a couple of ways to do this and it’s pretty freaking simple.
Step 1: Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights! Never heard of it? Well now you have! It’s free to sign up, unless you go premium, with any email. What it does and does so well is send you email notifications, usually two to three times a day, on the cheapest flights for the locations you selected.
These flights can range anywhere from $200 RT to Bogota from BOS or $550 to Shanghai RT also from BOS. Trust me I’ve seen some bonkers of deals that had me suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out) every time I open their email. These deals can last from a few days to just a couple of hours! So be ready to pounce.
Cheap flights with dates and airline information at your fingertips? Sounds too good to be true right? Kinda sorta is but let me explain. You cannot directly book on SCF, they’re just sending you flight info their programs scour the web for. What you’ll need to do is go right into step number 2 if you want to book!
Step 2: Bookmark Google Flights. Once you get the travel dates and airline carriers from SCF head over to GF. Punch in the numbers, departure cities and boom watch the magic happen. Google’s algorithms will search the entire web-verse across all airlines and give you two month calendar view with listed prices, always cheapest, for each day. From here I usually just skim through each month to find the cheapest departure and arrival days. Viola you have two peas in a pod acting in perfect travel harmony to bring you the cheapest flights on the daily.
Not ready to book just yet? Don’t fret would-be world traveler as Google is equipped with flight trackers! Find your flights and track them via email notifications. Anytime prices go up look away and when they’re back down hit that book button! I use this feature often and it’s helped me tremendously when I fear that prices will bounce around. It’s always good to have a few of your flights tracked so you can have a better sense of when to book. This feature allows you to see price fluctuations over periods of time to make informed decisions. HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS!
Not sure where to go but don’t want to spend all that cheddar either? Don’t fear for Sky Scanner is here! This website lets you pick a departure city and then pick the entire world as a destination. OK maybe not the entire world but it’s seems like it. Once the back-end does its thing a list of countries by cheapest price flights will populate. All you have to do is see what price:destination you like and go for it. An awesome tool for those unsure of where they want to go exactly.
Note: Google Flight has this feature as well but it’s not as intuitive as I found Sky Scanner to be. I always use GF as a reference when perusing flight prices.
Step 3: HIT BOOK NOW! You’ve done all that research and you’re ready to hit that book button you’ve been staring at on that third party website. Wait! At this point I would kindly divert you to whatever airline you are interested in and purchase directly off of its site. Sure third parties like Expedia and Travelocity are great but there are some perks when purchasing direct. One might be a cheaper flight, another be it better seat selection, earlier check-in and heck maybe even an in-flight meal. OK the latter you may do without but seriously 6+ hours in a long haul and you’ve finished all your snacks you’ll be begging the stewardess for a mediocre meal.
My personal reason for booking direct through the airline is mainly to deal with them direct and not the third party. A good example was earlier this year when my Delta flight to Paris was canceled last minute due to a strike. Had I booked through a third party I might have never gotten through to anyone. Luckily we called Delta direct within minutes notice and they had us on a different flight asap to get us to Paris. Clutch Delta, clutch.
Simple tricks and tips like these helped me find cheap flights that has saved me hundreds in booking cost. Now that you’re a seasoned cheap ticket finder I encourage you to book those flights and save save save!
Join me on the next post where I divulge the secrets on how to maximize your two weeks vacation time for optimum adventures!