Aren’t we all looking for a few good deals on travel, especially air travel? Well, this is what I personally do and within the past year and a half of living in the Netherlands. I have never spent more than $100 to fly to different countries in Europe. I will say this: I have yet to fly to the United States on my own dime, so I can not speak in reference to that (yet)–I am planning one in the future though so stay tuned!
Personally, I find air travel and train travel, so much easier and cheaper than driving. There are three main sights to see what the deals are, but I will for warn you that ‘flexibility’ is key. Just by adjusting days or weeks, there will be different kinds of deals that will pop up. Also, adjusting which airport to fly into or out of could potential make a difference.
Whenever I search for a trip, I try different airports that can get me to the same destination. For example, there are four different airports within an hours drive of my house–so, many options! I find the best deal and go for it.
The reason you are all here:
My Big Thee; The Starting Place
–I will say that, in no way, are these websites associated directly with my website and these are just my personal opinions and preferences.–
All three of these websites offer a centralized search engine for flights all over the world on different airlines. Each website has there own pros and cons. But, overall they are great to get an average of what your trip will cost. They also, all offer simple apps for your phone that will send you notifications of your potential trip every time the price drops.
Personally, I enjoy how Skyscanner and Kiwi, both have an option for “everywhere” or “anywhere” if the destination part of the trip is flexible. This is perfect if the trip you are planning has multiple cities or destinations you would like to see. Find the cheapest one to fly into and start your trip there or even make it your ‘home-base’.
Also, something to consider, is that there are A LOT of airports in Europe. For example, there are 6 airports (3 international) within a hour and a half drive. –The international ones that are that close to where I live in the Netherlands are not even within this country! (Germany and Belgium)–So, research the area you are flying into and try out different airports.
One perk of Kiwi is that you can actually put multiple airports in the search bar or just put the country you want to go to and it will give you those results.
Notice, that I put Washington D.C area and Charlotte, NC as the “From” block. You can put multiple places in both the “From” and “To” boxes. Or, you can just put a country like I did for “United Kingdom”. With the “Departure” and “Return” blocks, you can either put specific dates, a time frame, or “anytime”. Same with “Return” except there is the addition of ‘time of stay’. Play with it and explore the options!
The Next Step
Now, after I look up a destination and find the best price, I go to the airlines page itself and check out their deals or sales. For example, a flight from Washington D.C Dulles Airport (IAD) to Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) on Kiwi for the 15th of August to the 29th of August is $457.23 on KLM Airlines (which is partnered with Delta Airlines). Now that I have found a price and time frame I like, I use that as the basis for searching on Delta Airlines’ website. But, I choose ‘flexible days’ just to see if there are any better prices.
As you can see, the prices are about the same (within $5). When this happens, I think of which reservation will benefit me more- weigh the pros and cons. For example, I am signed up with the Delta Airlines Skymiles and I know that I would get a good amount of miles if I booked through Delta for this trip. Personally, I would pay the extra $5 just to have the miles added to my account. But at the end of the day, either choice would be perfect and stay under a $500 round trip ticket.
But this is just one example, play around with the different websites and take time to find the best deal!
There are a few more things to watch for as you are getting ready to buy your ticket. Be cautious of certain cheap tickets because, some airlines will charge you extra for anything. From baggage to a soda on the flight. These charges can hike up your ticket pretty quickly. So, do your research into the airline you are flying to be sure that you will not be surprised the day of travel with any extra expenses.
These are just some simple things that I do to save money on flights. If you have any suggestions on how you save, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
**The pictures in this post a direct screenshots from the websites I reference.**
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