Most travelers are on a budget and want to see and do as much as they can within that limit. They also want to spend their hard-earned money on something that will be meaningful. Some people make the mistake of assuming they can’t afford to travel at all. If this is you, you’re probably wondering how your peers are always posting vacation photos on social media, or how they can afford to take so many trips. I’m an avid traveler and the founder and CEO of a travel site, so I’ve learned a few travel hacks along the way. Ready to learn how savvy travelers get the most bang for their buck?
One of the biggest secrets I’ve learned is that if you want to travel more (and travel farther) you should be saving as much as you can on flight costs. Think about it, if you’ve spent $1000+ for the flight itself, you’ll have left to spend on other aspects of your trip like lodging and activities.
The secret to finding deals on flights is knowing how to work the system. Finding cheap flights no longer means searching the internet constantly to find no real change in the price. Instead, you should focus on two main ways to find flight deals that will keep your wallet happy.
1. You should be flight coupling to get the best deals to your dream destinations.
Let's say you want to fly to Bali because you’ve been seeing it all over Instagram and it looks like an amazing adventure. But flights from your home in Colorado are nowhere near affordable. What do you do?
Segment the trip and book two separate tickets for the best deal.
First, you should do some research to find out which airport has cheap flights to Bali. Let’s say it’s LAX - a major hub especially for travel to Asia. Find a cheap flight from LAX to Bali, then find a flight from your home airport to LAX. Be sure to include plenty of layover time so you don’t miss the international flight if there happen to be any delays.
This works once you get abroad, too. For example, you can find a cheap flight from LAX to Hong Kong. From there, it’s pretty simple to find a cheap regional flight to Bali. As another example, if you want to go to Ireland but can’t find a good flight you can book a cheap flight to London, Paris, or Amsterdam (which are very common) and then take a short trip on Ryanair or easyJet to Ireland.
This approach may take more time but can mean saving hundreds of dollars. If you’re willing to exchange a few hours of your time for big savings, make sure to incorporate this strategy when planning your next trip.
2. Another tactic is to look out for flights with stopovers.
If you’re into travel like me, you’ve probably noticed how Icelandair and WOW air recently revolutionized travel to Iceland. In efforts to drive more traffic to the island nation dense with tourist infrastructure and opportunity, airlines are offering cheap flights between the US and Europe with a stopover in Iceland.
Travelers have been winning big by booking direct with one of these airlines for their travel to Europe. Say you want to go to Paris. Check out Icelandair and Wow Air and consider spending a few hours (or a few days) in Iceland. Which can be an added bonus if you want to add a new country to your list!
You can do this within the United States too. If you stopover in Denver en route to Las Vegas, you will significantly cut your costs to Vegas. This is especially true for busy holiday weekends (which are more likely to be the times you want to travel). You might be on the plane a little bit longer but you’ll get to where you want to go, at a price point that you’re comfortable with.
For the budget traveler, spending the extra time in advance to flight hack by looking for stopover flights or coupling flight tickets to reach your final destination can mean huge savings. When you do this you’ll significantly cut your trip costs and end up with more to spend on unforgettable activities