I'm so excited to share this information with you all because these tips truly influenced how often I've been able to travel. Let's be honest, traveling is not cheap. I will come home from a trip and start saving money that day for my next one. One of the greatest skills I've learned is how to at save money on the flights, domestic and international. This way, I can spend more money and do more at my destination!!!
This is also one of the most frequently asked questions by my friends. A lot of my friends know a few of my cheap flight deal tricks, but I'm here today to share with EVERYONE!
1. TRAVEL CREDIT CARD!
Seriously, ya'll.... This is the best thing I ever did. I don't know why it took me so long to do it, but it cut the wait time in between trips and the money I needed to save. This is why:
You automatically get miles (sometimes up to thousands of dollars worth) just for signing up. That enough for a plane ticket (or two) right there!
You will get miles for every dollar you spend
Most travel cards have NO INTERNATIONAL FEES! This is freaking lifesaving. Any other card will charge you every time you withdrawal or swipe your card.
Travel cards make it super easy to book your trips through their travel agencies. I've flown to Spain roundtrip for under $300 on DELTA because of my travel card.
So now that I've got you convinced, you are probably wondering "ok cool but what card should I get?" I've got two major suggestions:
Venture card with Capital One
This is a great starter card because it has a $0 annual fee and unlimited miles for every dollar you spend.
You get 20,000 miles for signing up and spending $500 in the first three months.
Sign up here
This card is my favorite but it does have a $95 dollar annual fee. Totally worth it!
You get 60,000 miles ($750) if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Sign up here
Overall, I think the Venture is a great starter card. This is the card I started with, and it has treated me WELL. However, the Chase Sapphire is the most worth it and the best bang for your buck! My husband and I both have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and it is AWESOME!
Pro tip: you and your friend/partner/whatever both sign up for these cards and you basically have a free flight together!
Check out my blog: beginners guide to travel hacking for way more info!
I went to the International Hot Air Balloon Festival for FREE thanks to my credit card!
2. Scott's Cheap Flights (now Going)
Scott, if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU! No, but really, Scott's Cheap Flights is a game changer. Sometimes airlines make mistakes and forget a zero in the price or just put the wrong price, making the flight super cheap, and Scott's people will catch it and send an email alert.
Here's how I use Scott's Cheap Flights/Going and other flight alerts
Sign up for Going, I use premium. Choose all airports near you or airports you are willing to drive to.
Keep an eye on your email! Once an alert is sent, there is no guarantee how long you will be able to get that deal.
Once you get an alert to a deal you want, go to Google Flights to explore your options. I like to use Google Flights because Scott's will typically give you a range of dates. Google flights helps me find the exact dates that align with the deal I'm looking for.
When I know dates, times, and most importantly, the airline, I will either book directly through the airline or through my travel credit card. If you book through a third party site (expedia) and something goes wrong and you need help with your flight, you will get so screwed.
Book the flight, have a great time! Use an App like TripIt to keep up with all your details for travel.
You could be enjoying this view from Granada, Spain for under $300 roundtrip thanks to updates from SCF!
3. Don't check a bag if you can help it
I wish I was lying when I say checking bags has almost cost me as much as the flight itself. A carry on is the way to go, specially if you can bring a free carry on. A lot of cheaper airlines I've used for domestic travel (Frontier specifically) will charge you for a carry on! It's less than a checked bag, but still, make sure you do your research. If you do need to check a bag or pay for a carry on, make sure you do it prior to your flight. If you show up and haven't paid, they will charge you an absurd amount of money. Another thing to be careful about regarding bags is if you are traveling through Europe. Once you are in Europe, flights are stupid cheap between countries BUT a lot of airlines have different size restrictions for carry ons and checked bags. This can really screw you because a bag you travel around the US with may be too large to be considered a carry on with some European airlines and even checked baggage has lower weight requirements.
I'm not sure if my tone was obvious enough, but this is all from personal experience :)
4. Be flexible
This is so simple yet can seriously save you money on a flight. Being flexible can mean flying out of a different airport than you planned, leaving earlier or later than you planned, taking red eyes, long layovers... the list goes on. I’ve had some HARD travel days to save some money, but it’s always worth it when you get there!