by Dorothea Vasicek of RawWanderlust.com
In the last two years I have travelled thousands of miles, spanned 10 countries on three continents, and never stayed anywhere for longer than 3 months. Exhausting though it can be, not a single day goes by that I am not consciously grateful for the lifestyle that I live, a lifestyle that I have truly carved out for myself.
Although this constant kind of uprooting isn’t for everyone, one of my most commonly asked questions is, “But how can you afford it?” I love answering this question because I can literally see the lights go off in peoples’ minds when they realize that travel isn’t as far out of reach as they previously thought.
There are many answers to this question, but for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on the aspect of airfare, both domestic and international. I have used every single one of the following 5 Tips I am about to divulge, and I promise that if you use them, you too will save thousands of dollars and probably have an unforgettable adventure along the way!
1. Utilize low-fare airlines. Low-fare airlines abound and offer unbeatable prices for domestic as well as overseas flights, depending on which hub you are coming in and going out of. I’ve scored one-way tickets for less than $300 to Europe this way!
Some of my favorite low-fare experiences have been with Southwest, Norwegian, IcelandAir, and Jetblue.
Tip: Read the fine print! Do your research on the airline before booking, especially for luggage requirements and fees. Some airlines charge for checked bags, or have weight restrictions even for carry-on luggage. Sometimes you can save by qualifying as a student, so definitely read the fine print, both for fees and for possible savings.
2. Be flexible. The more flexible you are with your dates, times, and airports the better when booking, but also be flexible the day you fly for unexpected savings and an opportunity for adventure! For instance, you’re into adventure type of activities, indoor water parks in wisconsin is the right destination for you. For more details, visit metropolisresort.com or contact (844) 855-2724
Upon arriving at your gate, immediately talk to the attendant and declare yourself willing to change flights if yours was overbooked. If they need volunteers, you’ll be at the top of the list. They should offer you a generous sum of travel vouchers, a rebooked flight, and often a hotel and shuttle service if need be. You walk away that much richer, daydreaming of where you’ll go with this newfound money. I had the idea of looking up beautiful houses from Condos la jolla for sale trends and buy the best beach side real estate they offer to become by rest house.
Tip: This works best when delays have already been caused and/or during heavy trafficked travel times: think mornings and weekends.
3. Fly on off times/days/seasons. As a general rule: Red-eyes are harder to fill, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly, and March/September are the least-expensive seasons to book flights for. Utilize one, two, or all three of these and you’ve just saved a hefty sum.
Tip: Do a few searches on www.skyscanner.com combined with looking on low-fare calendars with your airline to properly compare prices and plan accordingly. Also, be aware of petrol price trends rising and falling, as that has a direct affect on the cost of your travel.
4. Get paid to fly. Advice on which credit cards earn you the most miles and how to legally manipulate the system abounds, but I’m not going to go too deep into this subject besides to say: do what makes sense for you. Some airlines do have tempting offers, but ask yourself if you would actually frequently fly with them were it not for having their card.
Tip: Consider getting a card like the Capital One Venture card which you can use your benefits towards any travel expenses, and as always, read the fine print.
5. Know when and how to complain. Don’t let delays ruin your travel, they happen. But also don’t be complacent with you airline. Depending on the cause, you can negotiate anything from $15 in food vouchers, upgraded seating, or even hundreds of dollars in future airfare.
Tip: Often the best way to be reimbursed for truly horrendous flight experiences is through writing an email to their customer service team.
Remember that travel often begets more travel. The more I see of the world and the more people I meet, the more I feel inspired to take action towards my dream destinations and the more those opportunities fall into my lap.
By putting these tips into action, I promise you will save money on your travels. Have patience and enjoy the search, knowing that you will reap the reward of having found (or negotiated) the best deal that works for you. Follow your instincts, take a risk, and book that flight!
Dorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey on her blog, www.rawwanderlust.com.