All the travelers out there know the struggle when it comes to maximizing the opportunities without getting broke, especially when you don’t get paid for doing it. Since my income has nothing to do with blogging or traveling I created a list of modalities to find the greatest deals that will take you to see the world.
Probably the most expensive part is the plane ticket, at least for me it is since I am not picky about the hotel and meals. Especially for the intercontinental tickets, the prices are really high most of the time, but even so, there are moments when you can find some good deals, so:
1. Investigate what are the airlines that fly to your dream destination
It is extremely important to know your options, once you do you can compare the prices and see what was a good price and what is a high price. In this list of documentation make sure you know what is a good time to visit that place. I will use Thailand as an example, the best time to visit Krabi is from November to March since you want decent temperatures and you want to avoid the rainy season. The best company to fly with is Qatar, yet their prices are $$$$, but if you do your research you can see that tickets start from 360 euro and go up until 1000 euro for the same flight in economy class. This takes us to the next tip.
2. Find out when the company has promotions
Most of them have specific periods when they are offering discounts, like the beginning of the year or Valentine’s day, but sometimes the best deal you will get out of nowhere, so make sure you subscribe to their newsletter and have them on social media. It is important to be fast when the promotions start so that it doesn’t sell out before you open the site. If we are in this area, let’s get to the third tip.
3. Have the alerts and notifications on
I know it’s annoying to always have spam in your inbox or your phone’s battery killed by the notifications, but this can save you a lot of money, so you need to put up with it. Also, make sure you are following their pages especially on Facebook since this is where some of them inform their customers about future discounts.
4. Membership cards
This might be something that you want to consider if you are planning a series of flights with the same company. I am not sure how it’s on other companies, but I use my membership at WizzAir a lot. They are a low-cost company that flies through Europe and has amazing deals for their members, I managed to buy tickets for 40 euro for round trip and 2 persons to London and Barcelona, for 100 euro for Malta, Vienna or Venice and so on. The membership for this company is really cheap at 29.99 euro for standard (you and a travel companion) and 49.99 euro group (you and up to 5 travel companions), but if your favorite company is offering this type of deals make sure you do your math, you can save a lot by purchasing their membership.
5. Subscription to websites that aggregate flights
This might be a tricky one, so be extra careful when purchasing tickets from third parties since you might not have the transfer guaranteed, you might need to change the airport, have long stops or to spend the night in the airport. These can all increase your expenses with hotels or even to eat and stay in the airport so I strongly advise against them, go for the fastest route, you don’t want to waste your time and money on other things.
But if you read carefully and investigate, you can seal some great deals. The websites that I like to check are Momondo, Aventurescu, and Travelator, these are only for Romania but I am pretty sure there are many international ones. From these websites, I found about the flights to London, Malta, and Cyprus, even if I didn’t end up buying the tickets from the websites they suggested but from the airline itself.
6. Be open to leaving on a short notice
If you don’t have a problem with leaving in a few days or even hours you are among the lucky ones that can use the last minute offers. A lot of company’s offer really good deals for tickets for the last minutes’ flights, you will not have the best seat, most likely the worst but you can really save some money like this.
7. Fly in weekdays instead of weekends
I know this is common knowledge by now, but I will add it to the list as well. The prices are always higher on Saturday and Sundays, so if you want to save some extra money go for the mid-week flights. I know this is something hard to follow, especially if you, like me have a limited amount of PTO (personal time off) days.
8. Be open to changing your destination or place for the return trip
After getting the membership from Wizz Air I went to places that weren’t the first on my list but definitely on it. London was not a planned visit, but for 50 euros, who says no to a city break in this amazing city at Christmas time. Same for Malta, it was on the list but not for this year, but then the offer was that good I thought I can push Croatia to next year. Last year I really wanted to go to Zanzibar, yet the good price for the tickets to Thailand made me change the destination, I am 100% sure I will travel to Africa as well, but it wasn’t meant to be this year.
Taking the return flight from a different location is not something that I did yet, but I almost had to for Barcelona, since the return flight was more expensive and I could buy it for a different company that would leave me in a city nearby Cluj-Napoca. It’s not ideal but sometimes it’s a lot cheaper and staying at home is not an option for me.
9. Buying expensive tickets in advance
There are many statistics that can tell you when’s the best time to buy the plane tickets, some say it’s 70 days prior to departure other say 180 days, I don’t know for sure what is the correct number, but what I can tell you is that you should buy them in advance, especially for the more expensive destinations. In my case, it’s a lot easier to afford a trip if I don’t have to buy them all at once, so I start with the plane tickets, then I pay the hotel and lastly the entries at the main attractions or additional trips, internal flights. If you don’t have this issue then you can also wait for the last minute tickets, but if you do I recommend you purchase them with at least 3 months in advance, this way you have 3 extra months for the rest of them.
10. Buying combined deals from travel agencies
Do-it-yourself is a nice option to have, but sometimes you can get a great deal from the ones that do this for a living, so make sure you add the number and compare them to what they have to offer. Sometimes you can get pretty decent prices and most of them give you the option to pay for the trip in installments. Once you have a destination in mind, look-up the best plane ticket deals, then the price of a hotel there and only after look up what the agencies can give you. It might not be the “traveler’s way” but doing this can also bring you relaxation knowing someone else is in charge, also it is safer to travel in groups and having a guide there can save you a lot of trouble. I did this in Zakynthos, Greece and I had a great trip, the hotel was good and the guide there was amazing, she organized a lot of activities and the prices for the trips were far better than what we could negotiate, so in the end, we got the best deal.
If you were not borne rich and love traveling you know by now that this is an expensive hobby, yet there are ways you can save a lot of money that you can use on other experiences just by paying attention when and how you buy the plane tickets. The list above is how I manage to go on new adventures without having to spend all of my money on this, hope this will help you as well. Let me know if you have other tips for this. 😉