I've been bitten by the wanderlust bug time and time again. Nothing makes you feel richer in experience than seeing the world and immersing yourself in new situations and environments. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to have the opportunity to travel as much as I do. Travel is generally extremely expensive, and most often you'll find that to book a flight, it may be your biggest expense.
Over the years, my mom and I have built an extremely valuable set of rules to use every time we book a flight. I'm sharing my biggest secrets as I show you how to book a flight with these money saving hacks!
KNOW WHERE YOU WANT TO GO:
I know this sounds like the stupidest tip ever, but really look into where you actually want to go. Check exchange rates, visa restrictions and for any political unrest if it's abroad. Check for hurricane or other crazy weather seasons.
You don't want to rock that cute new bikini you just bought if you happen to go during hurricane season or any other craziness (don't expect it to be nice just because it's summer)!
GO OFF SEASON:
Like I pointed out in my last tip, watch when you're going. But if you can: try to avoid peak travel seasons for where you're going! All you need to do is Google "best time to visit" or "peak times to visit" where you're going.
This is a life saver--it will save you tons of money and you'll deal with way less people! I went to Mexico on a cruise in Febuary. I missed peak season, and just missed hurricane season. Things were much cheaper when booking and when I got there.
TRY DIFFERENT WEBSITES:
When you're looking to book your flight, comparison is everything. Booking comparison sites are everywhere, but a lot of them miss some deals. Some of my favorites are Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak and my new current favorite is Google Flights.
Also, you should always see what the prices are when you book directly from the airline--sometimes they'll offer specials or deals that third party sellers can't!
WAIT IT OUT:
Kayak and a few other sites give you the option to track prices on flights of your choice. This helps you monitor when prices drop and when the best time to buy is! They'll send you an email when the price changes, and help you predict the rise and drops.
BECOME A MEMBER:
A lot of airlines have rewards programs and memberships you can sign up for. This way you can accumulate miles, earn upgrades and have priority for being bumped up. I was a frequent flight member of United when I got stranded in Chicago and was the only person that got bumped up into business class for my flight the next day.
Book that flight! If you want extra opportunities for earning miles, most banks offer credit cards that reward you with flight miles for specific airlines.
Just ask Kathryn, I'm always telling people to build their credit! My credit card doesn't offer miles, but since I travel so much, it lets me purchase without fees when I'm abroad.
A lot of flights get overbooked. When this happens, they'll usually announce it at the gate and ask for volunteers to take later flights in return for upgrades or miles.
If you have a more flexible schedule, approach the desk when you arrive and tell them you're willing to switch if needed. This will put you in the front of the line for this opportunity!
Where do you want to go for your next getaway? Leave your dream vacation destination in the comments!