The time has finally come….my travel blog.
So here we are. You. Me. My advice. My stories. My thoughts
You maybe are reading this because my mom posted it on her Facebook wall, or maybe you found it on Pinterest. Or maybe you have been waiting for me to finally start my blog. Fingers crossed it happens to the be last one.
As I type this I feel, so narcissist, but I kinda love it.
I am really excited to give you all my advice, but I thought to myself, if none of my broke Millennial friends can even afford to get abroad, what good is writing the advice? So to begin my blog, we are going to start off together by me giving you all my tips and tricks for finding the cheapest airfare, either domestically or abroad!
I have heard all sorts of rumors, the best time to buy your ticket is 6-8 weeks in advance on a Tuesday before 9 am. And I just think these rules are sooooo silly. But maybe they work for you! Just not for me, its a little more strategic.
1. Use Incognito Mode Like Your Life DEPENDS On It.
A fun scam fact is when you search repeatedly for a flight, the price will increase ever so slightly with each refresh. Some of the major websites–Expedia, Travelocity, etc– are the worst about this, and also, American Airlines (Sorry to my girls who are Flight Attendants with AA). The best way to avoid this is to search “incognito mode.” Which is a setting that hides your history.
If you use the superior internet browser, aka Google Chrome, then it is very easy to switch to Incognito Mode.
To find Incognito Mode first have a your Chrome open. Find the 3 vertical dots on the right upper corner of the browser
Click that then find “New Incognito Window”
And the browser will look like this!
You are able to also do this on the google app on your phone if you are logged in.
For any other browsers, I would recommend googling how to find Incognito Mode as I have not use another browser in about 4 years, and I have no idea how to do it. But I promise they all do.
Search for your flights, rental cars, hotels, etc. ALL in this way!
2. Do NOT fall for the “2 seats left at this price!”
We all have seen this every time you want to book a flight, but I promise that flight will still be there next month. Especially in off season. This is merely a sales tactic to push you into buying quicker, and it might not even be the best deal out there.
3. Build Your Own Itinerary
Okay, bare with me. Because this is where my advice gets stressful.
Look, I know it is so easy to type into Expedia “Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Munich, Germany” and then 100s of flights appear. All filtered for you with layover times, flight times, departure times, arrival times, It’s easy, but is it cheap? Probably not. But hey! Maybe you struck gold on a great deal!
This is a good base though. Find the international flights this way. Now you know that there is a flight from Newark to London or Atlanta to Frankfurt. Now type that into google or the company website. See the cost of that flight, it is probably much cheaper. Now find a way to get to Atlanta or Newark. Another flight? A bus? A friend can drive you?
This is where my advice becomes limited to Europe. I do not know what it is like to fly into an International Airport in Latin America, Asia, Africa, or Australia.
BUT once you’re in Europe, getting from London to Munich becomes much easier and cheaper. They offer more budget airlines than we do. A list of the most famous of those are RyanAir, EasyJet, Thomas Cooke, WizzAir, WowAir.
Another way to tackle this is to find out if there is an airline hub located where you want to fly into, because flights to the hub are much cheaper! For example, and a slightly obvious one, Air Berlin has a hub in…..Berlin, haha. But if you know you want to fly to Berlin, go backwards. Find an international airport in Europe that has cheap flights to Berlin via AirBerlin. Then find an international flight into that city for cheap, and then from your city to the major airport within the US.
You will have to go through security each time, and go to baggage claim to recheck your bag at each airport since you are going to be using separate airlines so give yourself plenty of layover time to accomplish this. But ultimately you can save hundreds and hundreds of dollars this way.
A list of the major international airports in Europe including their airport code are:
London Heathrow–LHR, Paris Charles de Gaulle–CDG, Frankfurt Airport–FRA, Istanbul Atatürk Airport–IST, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol–AMS, Adolfo Suarez Mardrid-Barajas Airport–MAD, Munich Airport–MUC, Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport–FCO, London Gatwick Airport–LGW, Barcelona El Prat Airport–BCN
A list of major international airports in the USA including their airport codes are:
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta–ATL, Los Angeles–LAX, O’Hare (Chicago)–ORD, Dallas/Fort Worth–DFW, Newark (New Jersey)–EWR, JFK (NYC)–JFK, Charlotte,–CLT, Miami–MIA, Logan (Boston)–BOS, Ronald Reagan (Washington DC)–DCA, Philadelphia–PHL, Baltimore–BWI.
4. Use Budget Airlines
I know we all dream of flying first class with our satin eye mask and wine being served to us, but hey we wanna see the world too right?! Budget airlines are a great way to accomplish this–they might not feed you, give you movies, or a blanket, but they will get you across the ocean safely for really cheap.
Budget Airlines: Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United, Virgin America Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat, Flair Airlines, Porter Airlines, Sunswing Airlines, Westjet (My family and I have used this airline they have tickets from Nashville to Toronto to Gatwick for a STEAL), easyJet, Ryanair, Eurowings, Transavia, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Wizz Air, Wow Air, Norwegian Air, AirBaltic, Air Berlin, Iberia Express,
5. Be flexible in your time
I know, I know at the beginning I told you I thought some of these rules were silly, but it is proven the cheapest flights are Tuesdays! Since it is such an “off” day to start a trip. Try to have a time frame for a trip rather than a flat out date structure, it will help you find better options. Kayak has a way to view all the flights during that month. StudentUniverse shows you a combination of lights in a 3 day gap from before and after each day you put for the departure and return so you can see the cost and find the cheapest option.
6. Use Airfare Watch Dog
If you don’t have a specific time or location in mind and you just want to travel, really harness this website! They have flights from all over the world to domestic flights for sometimes as cheap as 3 dollars. It follows websites and looks for computer glitches or major sales where the plane wasn’t filled. Now, not every flight is that cheap. I can only dream, but it never hurts to sign up for their email list.
Another website to use is one recommended by my friend @Oliviaashford (IG) is secretflying.com. This personally has never worked for me. But she swears by it. And I want to give all the tricks that are working for people, not just myself.
7. Harness StudentUniverse
If you are young harness StudentUniverse, the deals are amazing. If you have a valid student I.D PLEASE harness StudentUniverse, their deals are even more amazing for you. I have booked several flights with them, and they never cease to amaze me! You must have a valid student I.D. to be able to access some of their deals, other deals you just need a valid passport that shows you are under 28!
I really hope you can all find these tips and tricks to work for you so you can see the world. And maybe come bump into me in a new city. I think it is so important to travel in our generation, and I really hope you will all be able to experience the world in your own unique way!!
Drop me a comment to let me know if these tips helped you, or if you have any other recommendations! Community over competition, we’re all in this together!!!