When I told my family that I got a roundtrip ticket from San Diego to Cincinnati, Ohio and back for $148 total, they swore I was lying. I had to pull out the proof! I’m pretty damn good at saving money and balling on a budget, but I was even shocked by it. I’m here to share all my tips and tricks.
BE OPEN TO YOUR DESTINATION
First things first, figure out where you want to go. If you’re more open it’s even better, because you can get some great deals on places that are in their slow season.
FLY TO/FROM VARIOUS AIRPORTS
Be open to where you fly from. I’m in San Diego, so I fly from here quite often, but I’m also open to Los Angeles and Tijuana. I do the same thing when I go back home to Indiana. My hometown is about 1 1/2 hours from the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis airports, so I check them all and compare prices. Sometimes I’ll fly into one airport and out of another.
BE OPEN TO OTHER AIRLINES
I’m not picky to the airline that I fly on. As long as it’s safe, I’m happy. I normally get on and go to sleep anyways. I’d rather save money and deal with an airline that’s not my favorite for a couple of hours. In flight movies aren’t a big deal to me, when I can watch them on my phone.
THE BEST WEBSITES TO USE TO COMPARE PRICES AND FLIGHTS
I tend to cross compare the following websites to find the best deals.
Skyscanner – I like to put in where I’m starting, then clicking the button for all destinations to see what the cheapest places to go are. Then I’ll check from a nearby airport.
Google Flights – They have a lot of good deals. They not only check the airports directly but also discount websites, such as Orbitz, Expedia, etc.
MSN Flights – I have actually found better deals on here, then on Google flights surprisingly.
Airlines Sales – I’m always seeing the sales on Facebook for airlines that claim to have $20 flights, but I’ve never found any good deals from San Diego. The cheap ones have been $50 – $100, but they are to LA, Denver, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, which are normally cheap anyways. I always find myself checking just in case and I FINALLY found the perfect one for me. They had a flight to Cincinnati, Ohio from San Diego, California for $74 each was. $148 round trip for a flight back home is one hell of a deal. I swooped it up quickly and texting my family to let them know when to come to get me.
When reviewing these sites check the flights from your location and to your location. They might not have discounted flights to your destination, but they might have a good deal from there, so you can at least save a little bit of money.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
Red Eye Flights – Sometimes these can be great because you can catch a flight after work and get to your destination early in the morning. I normally try to sleep on the plane, catch a shower when I get there, and I’m good to go.
What’s Included – Sometimes it’s better to pay a little bit more for a flight, because it has free baggage, then paying for both. I try to fly carry-on only, but sometimes only the personal item is included, which is hard for a long trip.
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Trip Time – Sometimes I will pay a bit more to have a direct or shorter flight. For example, when looking into tickets to Italy, there were some that would have me at a 25 hour travel time, while others were direct and would save me several hours. The difference was only $20 dollars more. It would save me several precious hours of adventure time and the hassle of trying to figure out how to navigate a foreign airport.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON ALL THE ADD-ONS
Seats – Let them assign one to you at the airport instead of choosing one ahead of time.
Baggage – Try to go carry-on only. This has the added benefit of them never losing your luggage! It’s a win-win!
Pre-Boarding – I never buy it, because I don’t mind waiting a bit and always find a way to get my bags on board. I just check in as soon as I’m able to.
Food & Drinks – Take it with you instead of buying it at the airport. YOU CAN TAKE FOOD THROUGH SECURITY! A lot of people don’t know that. It has to be packaged and it can’t be liquid, but you can take some snacks though. I normally take some granola bars and pretzels. You can’t take drinks across the security line, so I take an empty water bottle and fill it up at the water fountain once I make it through.
Go ahead and book those cheap flights to your next adventure! Let us know below in the comments what your best deal has been and where you found it.