Recently I flew to Cancun, Mexico ($27.00), California, Puerto Rico, and Panama City with Southwest Airlines all for $11.20 each ROUNDTRIP! Yes, you read that correctly, I flew roundtrip ($5.60 each way) to each of the places listed above.
There seems to be this false perception that traveling is expensive. Which is probably why my most frequently asked question is “Diam, how do you travel every month?” Well, today I am going to answer that question for you all. After all, this blog is intended to highlight the ease of traveling.
How to get really cheap flights:
Tip Number 1: Buy tickets at airport (in advance, of course)
If you have the luxury of living in the same city as a major airport you’re in luck. Many airlines, Spirit Airlines specifically, allow you to buy tickets at the airport to avoid the “passenger usage fee” which is $17.99 each way or $35.98 roundtrip. For example, I booked a flight from Orlando to Cleveland in august, on the Spirit Airlines website the flight was listed as $58.09.
Now, I know many of you are thinking,“$58 for a flight is cheap already!” It is, but why pay more when you can pay less? If you notice, after choosing your flights online the website breaks down the price total, and theres the $17.99 passenger usage fee I mentioned earlier, which is ONLY charged when you book online. I wanted to test this out, so since I live near the Orlando International Airport I stopped by the Spirit Airlines Customer Service Counter and informed the attendant that I wanted to book a trip to Cleveland. Lo and behold, I walked out of the airport with a flight costing only $40.10 total instead of $58 total. & if you wanna get technical, my flight was only $22.19 before taxes and mandatory fees. What a deal!!!
Almost all airlines offer a month view of their prices which allows you to search lowest fares by month. For example, lets say Sally has a wedding to go to in Texas on January 3. She was planning to fly to Texas January 2nd, but she read my blog and took my advice and decided to check out the months view of prices from her city to Texas. She learned that the flight was a lot cheaper on January 1st, so instead of flying to her destination on January 2nd, she was flexible with her dates and went on the 1st.
As I mentioned earlier, many airlines offer this helpful feature. Southwest Airlines has what they call a Low Fare Calendar, JetBlue calls their monthly view the Best Fare Finder. You can find others by conducting a quick Google Search.
Tip Number 3: Check Nearby Airports
Most cities have other major airports nearby. Before booking a flight from your local airport always check nearby airports to see if they fly to the same destination for a cheaper price. For example, if you live in Sacramento check flights leaving from San Francisco as well. For my Ohio friends, check flights leaving from Cleveland, Akron, and even Pittsburgh.
Tip Number 4: Participate in Airline Loyalty Programs and Credit Card Rewards that Offer Free Flights
Remember earlier when I mentioned that I flew to a different country for $27? Every Airline I can think of (Southwest, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and many more) offers a loyalty program that rewards you for flying with them. They typically give free flights and we just have to pay taxes (the $5.60 I mentioned I paid earlier to Puerto Rico, California and a few other places).
These airlines also offer Credit Cards and for every dollar spent you earn points, which lead to free flights!
Helpful hint: For things you would normally pay for with cash, use your rewards credit card and then pay off the balance right away, therefore earning points and keeping your credit great!
Tip Number 5: Ask for Help!
Want deals but don’t have the time to look? Ask for help! Travel planning is a skill. Contact The Professional Traveler. She specializes in booking the best trips at the best prices and she will create a custom trip that meets all of your travel needs. She is guaranteed to find you the BEST price! Contact her today to book your next vacation!