First things first: go incognito. I don’t do ANYTHING without switching my web browser to browsing “incognito” or “secret”. This will save you so much on flights and hotels. Websites use your cookies to see your browser history and use that to adjust prices accordingly, so I always delete the cookies on my computer then go secret. Sometimes, you can search a hotel or flight, then make your web browser go private, and immediately see a difference in the same search! This is the biggest lifesaver and so many people don’t know to do it!
Book Your Trip 54 Days in Advance
It is said to be the cheapest to book flights 54 days before the trip. Some people say they find it best to book 6 weeks in advance, and that’s the rule that I have always heard. So when are flights the cheapest to book?
Cheap Air recently did a study for 365 days and tracked their booking patterns. They found that flights were the cheapest about 54 days before the flight. Now, this is an average number, so I would say it is best to book flights from 54 days to 42 days (6 weeks).
Going UP on a Tuesday – but prices are going DOWN
Many people ask “when are flights cheapest?” or “What is the cheapest day to buy flights? If possible, try to book your flights on a Tuesday. That is when most airlines post their deals for the week, and usually the best day to buy airfare. This usually lasts until about Thursday, Then on Friday, they will hike them back up for the weekend. Tuesday and Wednesday are best for catching airline deals. I think Tuesdays are better because we have learned that if a deal is really hot it will not last.
Superpro tip: BOOK ON A TUESDAY 54 DAYS IN ADVANCE
Sounds like a double win to me! Super deals. Best timeline for booking. I would really search the deals around 6-7 weeks from your trip, on a Tuesday. WIN – WIN!
Get on Email Lists
Sign up for the email lists of airlines! DUH! It’s like snagging a membership to their secret club where they slip you the best deals and flash sales. You can’t find many of these online. They are exclusive to members only. You never know what other deals you may get sent to your inbox for your birthday or holidays. I am always down for a free drink or maybe an upgrade. It also helps when the deals are sent right to you rather than you searching for them. I don’t know about you but im allllllll about working smarter and definitely not harder.
Follow Flight Accounts on Social Media
Social media is amazing. We mostly love Instagram – be sure to follow us here! But seriously, follow flight accounts of all sorts for deals. Some local accounts post deals every single day. We also recommend following different airline accounts as well. Some accounts give away free trips. Be active and check often. You never know what flash sale or discount code you will come up with. They can really blow your mind.
I find flight accounts to follow by recommendations from my favorite travel influencers. I follow their stories on Instagram often where they shout out accounts or I see they are working with certain brands. Here is a list of my favorite influencers that have helped me follow my dreams in so many ways, such as teaching me to travel on a budget!
Sky scanner is like the Holy grail of the best flight deals right now, if you use it correctly. It is always easiest to find the cheapest travel the more flexible you are, with Sky scanner or any site. If you are flexible with your dates of travel, you will have the best shots of saving some serious money. Prices drop severely during the slow season of a destination. It is also great to be flexible with the airport you are flying to AS WELL as the airport that you are flying out of.
Sky scanner has this amazing feature where you can select “everywhere” for your destination. Put in your home airport, and if possible include the airports within a certain amount of miles from your home airport. This will vastly widen your options.
If you are flexible with the dates you can travel, we recommend selecting the cheapest month out of the year to fly. You don’t even have to research it. Sky scanner does it for you! If not, you can select your ideal dates or certain months that you want to search. This may take a few minutes to search, so go make some coffee and come back in just a few minutes. It is fun to see where the cheapest destinations to travel to, and plan your trip around your findings! That is how many travel bloggers admit they find their next destinations if they’re not preplanned.
Sky scanner also has an app so you can plan travel on the go. You can also turn on price alerts which let you know when the airfares drop. I am obsessed with checking prices so this saves me from constantly needing to search.
For a huge list of all of the flight websites that we compare when booking flights, see our post on booking cheap flights.
Break Up Your Trip into Multiple Flights
Another thing we love to do is break up our flight into multiple flights. Usually, you can find a layover in other city for a huge discount. Do some research and make another trip of it! It is so much fun to explore new destinations and find gems that you weren’t originally looking for. We have so many amazing stories of accidental finds. These have always seemed to be our best adventures.
In the list of websites we use for cheap flights, you will find one of our favorite sites, Air Wander, because it is perfect for finding the perfect layover. It really is a perfect way to make your trip into part one and two! That is so much more exciting!
Fly to A Nearby Airport
We kinda mentioned it above, but we love flying to a nearby airport within the country we are traveling to. It is our favorite to create another part of our trip exploring another new place. It is almost always cheaper to travel within any country. When you fly to Europe especially, it is extremely cheap to travel throughout the beautiful country via trains and buses.
Be flexible with where you land in Europe, and explore that new city. Then use the cheaper transit to go to your originally planned destination. For example, it is usually much cheaper to fly from Miami to Albania than it is to fly from Miami to Athens. Awesome. We can fly to Albania for a huge discount, sightsee for a day or two, then fly or take the train to Athens. Maybe even stop in Macedonia for a bit as well. BAM! Sounds like a triple win if you ask me. I am one happy sightseeing gal, and I didn’t even have to beg Travis for another adventure (he always willingly agrees anyway).
Research Slow Season for Your Trip
Research and flexibility seem to be the main keys to successful cheap travel. Research when there are not many people visiting your desired destination since this is usually the cheapest time to travel. This is my FAVORITE thing to do for so many reasons. Of course, we love the huge discounts, but I love going to places where they are not overcrowded, and I can get great pictures. I always find our interactions to be better in less crowded areas and we can really get to know people without all the extra hustle and bustle.
We especially love traveling to golf courses and resorts during their off-seasons. Sometimes the weather isn’t ideal, but our experiences are always so much better than when they are busy. We also spend less than half of the normal price on a. round of golf during the courses off-season. Sometimes that means the weather isn’t ideal but it is worth the gamble and the experience.
Take Time To Compare Multiple Websites
Sky scanner is always the first website that I check and seems to be the anchor for many frequent travelers, but the well-seasoned travelers really take the time to budget and don’t skip out on comparing many other websites as well. We created a full list of the many websites and apps that we compare when we plan our trip anywhere. The more you compare the best websites, the best chance you will have at traveling cheapest! Spend less money getting somewhere, and more money in your destination!
Be patient when looking for flight deals. I try to set aside specific amounts of time to sit and compare and write notes. I write everything out on a piece of paper so its all in one place. Then cross out, circle, highlight, and arrow. Take time to plan. Do not skip this vital step
Things to Pack to Save You Money
Buying as little as possible while traveling is a no-brainer for saving money. I would much rather spend money doing things and exploring rather than eating, drinking, or wasting money on other things that I can just bring along.
Collapsible Water Bottle: This one is easy and most important. Personally, I am not paying $5+ for water at the airport. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it once you make it through security with the empty bottle. Side note: If the bottle is filled before going through security, you will have to dispose of it. Do not throw it away. Simply empty your water bottle and stick it in your bag.
Travel Size Toiletry Bottles: Buying the travel size version of any product is basically throwing money out the window. The margins are horrible on most products, especially beauty products in travel size. Buy the full size for your home, and simply pack bits in empty travel tubes. I love getting the most bang for my buck.
Sunscreen Stick: Tropical vacations are my absolute favorite, but skin cancer is not. STAY PROTECTED! I always bring a sunblock stick with me wherever I go, because the cost of sunblock at any destination is way higher than it ever should be. Unfortunately, they can hike up the prices because sunscreen is really something you should never go without. Solution? Bring a sunscreen stick everywhere you go.
Duck Tape: This one that I more recently came across while doing lots of research online. Surprisingly, duct tape could come in handy for so many things. Of course, it is great for sticking things back together if they rip or break but think outside the box a bit. Duct tape can be used as a lint roller to get those awful fuzzes off your clothes. The best duct tape hack I found was to tape important belongings such as jewelry (in bags) and a wallet under a table or bed! This is probably even safer than a safe box.
Anti-Theft Wallet: You are your first defense against theft. We have been a victim of identity theft as well as money theft, so it is important to be extra careful. Did you know, with the right device, someone can walk past you and steal all of your personal bank information? Stay protected with anti-theft wallets to block these signals.
We guarantee if you follow our tips for booking cheap travel, you will find some great deals. Do you have some travel tips that I left out? Leave a comment. We would love to chat!