Welcome to day 1 of my week of travel tips! I got lots of questions from you all in comments and story replies on Instagram yesterday, so I am here to answer your questions and share everything I’ve learned from years of traveling. I’ll also add that nothing I recommend this week is sponsored – it’s all things that I genuinely use and love! (Which I guess is the same as my sponsored content, but still.)
Today we are talking about flight deals. Flights are often the most expensive part of any trip. In fact, that’s usually the only thing standing in the way of us being able to travel at all! I’ve broken everything down into 5 simple tips and tricks to get a killer deal on your next flight.
1. Subscribe to flight deal notifications.
When we are looking for our next trip, I am watching my email and Instagram like a hawk. Some great email subscriptions are Pomelo Travel and Cheap Flight Alerts. Some Instagram accounts that post deals are Flights From Home (I personally follow the SLC and Vegas accounts) and Flight Fares SLC. If I’m actively looking for a flight deal, I’ll also turn my notifications on for these accounts so I know right when they post a deal.
2. Pay attention to your timeline.
After years of checking flight deals, I’ve noticed that many deals tend to appear about 4 months before the trip. That’s not necessarily always the case, but planning in advance pays off! It also helps the budgeting factor to get that cost out of the way months before you’re traveling.
With that being said, I’ll also say that the best trips [and flight deals] are spontaneous! Put some money aside and jump at an amazing flight deal. It is an amazing and empowering feeling to make an exciting decision right on the spot!
3. Choose your search engine wisely.
The thing I love most about Google Flights is that it lets you see months for the entire month — flying out on a Monday instead of a Tuesday could make a huge difference in price. It has been very rare that I find a cheaper price on any other website than Google Flights, plus you can view prices for every day. However, there have been a few times that I found the cheapest dates from Google Flights and plugged those into Momondo to get a slightly better deal.
4. Why do flight prices raise every time I search? Here’s how you can avoid that.
You do need to be aware that prices will go up the more you search for flights to a particular city. Airlines bump up their prices according to your browser search history so they can make a bigger profit. If you are searching pretty regularly for a deal to Paris, they know that you are getting desperate and will pay a higher rate to make it happen. I have had experiences where I see an $800 flight on my computer and a $400 flight on my friends computer with a clean browsing history. I’ve made it a ritual to clear my cache and cookies, use a private window in my browser, switch computers, use someone else’s phone to search, and/or use various apps like Hopper, Momondo or Google Flights. However if you are checking email subscriptions and steal a deal from there, you won’t see the raised prices because you have little to no search history for that trip!
5. Get creative with airports and travel dates.
We talked about how awesome Google Flights is — changing your departure or arrival date could save you hundreds! I also love to experiment with airports. I live in Salt Lake City, but sometimes I find amazing deals that are way cheaper our of Las Vegas. We’ll occasionally bribe friends or family to make the drive out to pick us up in Las Vegas.
I’ve also tried buying round trips out of a different city and then buying a separate flight to that city, but it’s risky and stressful. If your first flight is delayed, you won’t make it to your round trip flight and the airline won’t be inclined to re-book your flight without a hefty fee. You could get there a day or two early though, to give yourself some cushion and make a fun mini trip out of it!
I hope these tips were helpful to you! If you ever need travel advice or recommendations, you know where to go. I LOVE helping people find opportunities to travel because it is something that has completely shaped my life. And I want you guys to have the same life-changing experiences that I’ve had! You’re the best. Love you guys.