If there’s one thing that I can’t compromise on in this life, it’s the love for travel, but grownup responsibilities mean grownup expenses. The Budget Travel Tips series from First Choice Power examine how you can travel while finding a way to save money. Whether you’re in school, have a family, or just don’t have the income you wish to support your travel dreams, we share tips on how you can still see the world – without going into debt!
Fly the Friendly Skies for Cheap!
Planes, trains, and automobiles are the best way to get from point A to point B, but traveling on a budget means being savvy with your transportation. While plane rides might seem to be the more lavish way to travel, it’s possible to fly to your next vacation destination while keeping on a nice budget.
Our budget travel tips will help you find the best deals on plane flights, especially if you’re flying with children.
Consider Your Lodging Opportunities
For you campers out there, choosing to sleep under the stars as opposed to a hotel room will definitely save you more money, and leave more wiggle room for your plane fare budget.
If you have friends and family in another state and a vacation to their neck of the woods is a matter of getting there, count the accommodation as free. Now, your only cost will be the plane ticket, food, and spending money, considering that a couple nights in a hotel could add up to a plane ticket altogether.
Sign Up for Airline Emails
If you plan to travel by air, then sign up for the e-mail newsletter offered by your favorite airline email blasts. These will notify you when deals happen, as some sales last only a few hours. Be the first to find out and stay in the know by finding flight deals in your inbox.
But before you click that link in the e-mail to check those deals, be sure you clear your cookies and search history, as this will help ensure you see the best possible rates!
Buy Tickets in Advance
The early bird gets the worm, and the same can be said for airline tickets. Buying tickets far in advance of your travel dates can ensure you find the best deals. We recommend purchasing your tickets at least six weeks prior to your departure to secure the best prices, as ticket prices typically rise after that six-week mark. It’s also best to purchase your tickets Monday – Thursday (and NOT the weekend) to more optimal pricing.
Look For the Best Day to Fly
When entering your travel dates, put in a day before you are looking to head out, or a day after. Give yourself some wiggle room as depending on what day you fly out, you might catch a cheaper ticket. Also keep in mind that red eye flights are often cheaper, or if flying in the middle of the night isn’t for you, you can still fly during when the masses aren’t in transit – which means flying on a weekday.
Fly Before They’re Two Years of Age
Becoming a parent means that income gets tighter in more ways than one. There’s more food to buy, more clothing, health insurance, school fees, and that’s just getting started.
Traveling with children can add up quickly, but if you travel with them before the age of two, then they fly free. But there’s a catch – they have to stay on your lap!
In this scenario, it’s best to have both parents on board, or at least a friend or family member to help you take care of your child. Pack your carry-on with their favorite books and toys, and make sure you have a few tricks up your sleeve if your little one throws a tantrum on board. You don’t want to be that parent!
Cash In Frequent Flyer Miles
People who travel a lot for work usually want to stay home on the weekends and during the holidays. Do you have a friend with an exorbitant amount of frequent flyer miles they never seem to use? Perhaps they would be interested in trading them to you for a small amount of cash. It doesn’t hurt to ask, does it?
Check Budget Flying Sites
We spoke with a friend of ours who’s an experienced flyer, and she recommended these three sites if you’re looking for super-budget flights:
- Secret Flying – Brave and spontaneous travelers can find last-minute deals and error fares to travel on the cheap.
- Skyscanner – Learn where to buy the cheapest possible tickets for the dates you want to travel. This is best used when your destination is flexible.
Get creative with booking your next vacation so you can arrive by air and still save money!
Up next in the Budget Travel Tips series: Travel by Automobile!