how to save $$ when booking travel

I will do whatever it takes to get the best price on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. I don’t mind shopping around and taking my time to buy if it’s not urgent. I am a major bargain hunter on clothes, groceries, home décor – travel is no exception.

Flight tickets and hotel deals are my absolute favorite thing to shop for. People always think travel is so expensive, but you’d be surprised by how many great deals are out there if you just take a deeper look. These are my favorite ways to save money on booking travel!

Compare, compare, compare.
My favorite sites to compare flights are Google Flights and Skyscanner. I find that these ones feature the cheapest flights, and it’s extremely user-friendly. The key to finding a good deal is being flexible on your travel dates – you can see which days and times are cheaper to fly on by looking at it on a month view.

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Subscribe to receive travel deals in your email.
I subscribe to travelzoo.com, which has awesome deals on both local and international getaways. You get a daily email on the top 20 travel deals. They also feature deals from fly.com, which shows the cheapest flights of the day. Last year, I got a round-trip flight for $80 to Arizona from fly.com!

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If a flight is overbooked and they ask for volunteers at the gate, DO IT.
If you can afford to take a later flight, do it. I’ve only done this once from Seattle, but Justin and I each got a free $600 flight credit that time! They gave us a free hotel room and we took the first flight out the next morning. There are always volunteers, so try to make up your mind quickly once they ask on the speakerphone. Justin and I have missed out before because we weren’t quick enough.

Buy tickets mid-week.
I find that typically, flights are more expensive when I’m looking on the weekends. This isn’t always the case – I would watch flights for a week or 2 before I actually buy. If it’s already a good price, JUST BUY IT! It might go up the next day.

Get a credit card that gives travel rewards.
I absolutely LOVE my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. When you sign up and spend $4,000 in 3 months, you automatically get 50,000 points. You get 1 point for every dollar you spend and 2x the points on food & travel (includes grocery stores, cafes, Lyft/Uber – super broad category!) There are also no foreign transaction fees so feel free to use it abroad. Customer service is 24/7, and the longest you’ll wait is like 3 seconds before you’re connected to a person. Can you tell that I love this card? I haven’t used my points yet, but I’m excited to redeem some free international flights. The best way to use your points is to transfer them to another airline’s frequent flier program, like United or Southwest, rather than redeem it through Chase directly. I highly recommend this card!

These are just a few of my tips to save money on travel. They’re nothing groundbreaking, but you’d be surprised by how much money you save by doing some shopping around. Once you book your flight & accommodation, traveling can be pretty cheap if you’re mindful of your spending. Happy traveling!


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