Travel Tuesday: Our Top 5 Travel Tips!
Guys.... if there's anything we love more than traveling, it's finding incredible travel deals! We're passionate about travel, but we're also passionate about inspiring other people to see the world as well. It's actually part of the reason we started this blog! People would ask us how we travel all the time, or how we could afford the go abroad so often. While we both have flexible jobs that allow us the ability to get time off, we manage the financial side of it by scouring the internet for sales, and jumping on them when we find them!
We wanted to take this Travel Tuesday to share 5 of our best travel tips with you! Our list could go on and on, and we'll continue to share the way we travel- but here's 5 ways to start booking those adventures you've been dreaming about!
1. Check prices often!
I'm slightly obsessed, but I check my favorite booking and sale sites daily. In fact, I usually spend a few minutes browsing sales in the morning and before I go to bed. Stuff changes so quickly, and often the best deals can sell out in a matter of hours. I remember last year that I got an alert from a site that United had posted a RT flight from NYC to Sydney, Australia for less than $400. Four. Hundred. Dollars!! I was walking home when I saw it, and by the time I got on my computer less than 15 minutes later the flights were completely sold out. Checking a few times a day can help you find the best (and quickest-selling) deals.
Ok, I know that for the average human, checking for travel deals twice a day is a little absurd. That's ok! We use an incredible app called Hopper. There's a few sites/apps like this, but Hopper is our favorite. You search for the dates and destinations you're wanting to book, and Hopper alerts you when the price is right to book. They use historical data archives to predict flight pricing trends (at an amazing 95% accuracy rate), and you can even book straight through the app. It's kind of like a "set it and forget it" for booking flights, and it's amazing.
2. Stay Flexible!
We find that our greatest success for booking cheap travel is to be flexible. We have any number of trips we're looking to plan at any given moment, so when a sale hits we can book the most cost-effective option on our list! This may not work for everyone, but for us it saves a boat-load of money and keeps our travel schedule fun and somewhat spontaneous. We love Google Flights. You can put in your dates and origin airport, and then in map view you can search all the possible destinations around the world to see what is the cheapest destination at any given time. Check your list of trip options on the reg to see where you can score a great deal.
3. Do your research!
When you're looking to book a trip, especially overseas, research your destination. The high seasons for tourism will be the most expensive because of the demand. The low seasons, though cheaper, may have bad weather. We love to book trips in the transition months. Thailand's rainy season starts in mid-late May and lasts through the summer, so we like to go at the beginning of may. We might get a few rainy days, but chances are we'll book cheap flights and a killer deal on a hotel, and the majority of our time will be sunny and wonderful. We visited Positano last fall in October, the last month before many of the hotels close for the season on November 1. The weather was great other than a cool windy day before we left, and we didn't have to fight the crowds or compete for a room.
4. Consider all the options!
When we book international flights, it can pay off to do a little extra work. Most of the big flight booking sites like Priceline and Expedia only search the major carriers. That's good for the long haul flights, but often the local budget carriers are much cheaper for shorter connections. For instance, if you're flying to Southeast Asia, check the cheapest city to fly into on a major carrier, and then book the completion of your flight to your final destination on a local carrier. Last May we flew Emirates to Thailand, but we saved over $300 per person by flying into Bangkok instead of Koh Samui. Then we booked the short flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui on Bangkok airways, a local boutique airline, for $100 per person. Airlines like Jetstar, AirAsia and Tigerair in Asia, Ryanair, Norwegian and Wowair in Europe, and Southwest in the US all have great budget flights that you may not find on a mainstream travel search engine.
5. Subscribe to your favorite travel websites for exclusive deals and sale alerts!
We have a long list of sites we love for booking travel, but here are some of our favorites:
- Google.com/flights - amazing resource for finding the best destinations to fit your budget
- Jetsetter.com - great site for finding deals on beautiful hotels around the world
- Kiwi.com - another flight search engine similar to google flights, perfect for finding the cheapest destinations to book
- Travelzoo.com - a great resource for super cheap deals on vacations and hotels
- Cheapcaribbean.com - Some of the cheapest deals on Caribbean vacations you'll find on the web!
- Hopper App - get flight alerts for all the destinations you're watching!
- Groupon Getaways - great if you want to book a hotel or a fully-planned vacation!
More tips soon. Let us know if you have any specific questions or tips of your own in the comments below!
Zach + Tara Brose