The cost of travel can often dissuade a person from traveling internationally and domestically. The process of booking travel can be cumbersome and daunting to many. Fret no more, I am providing you with pro tips that I use to book travel.
Determine location. (Believe it or not, sometimes international travel can be cheaper than domestic. I once compared travel expenses for both Miami and Colombia and Colombia was cheaper.) So don’t limit yourself to only domestic travel.
If you are flexible about the location and time of year to travel, use airfare deal finder websites such as The Flight Deal. This site gives daily flight deals both internationally and domestically from major US cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
Please note that if you travel during Monday-Thursday, more than likely, you will find a cheaper flight compared to weekend travel. Also, opting for a connecting flight and being open to traveling to/from nearby airports can cut-down on airfare costs.
Once you determine your location, use flight search engines such as Skyscanner , Google Flights, and/or ITA Matrix to search for the cheapest flight. There is functionality to enter multiple city locations as well as a calendar to view fares, and to determine the best date to travel.
Once you have found the best airfare, book directly with the identified airline. There is more flexibility and you’re guaranteed the lowest fare for the flight when you book directly with an airline.
Also, please note British Airways, American Airlines, and United Airlines allows a user to reserve their airfare. For instance, American Airlines will let you hold your reservation for free up to 24 hours. Please click on the airlines noted above for specific information.
Be Open-Sometimes no-frills airlines aren’t bad. People talk about Spirit airlines being low grade but I beg to differ. I once flew from EWR Newark Liberty airport to Myrtle Beach SC for less than $100 roundtrip including fees for bags. There was absolutely no hiccups with my flight.
Join Airline loyalty programs to build points. This earns you free or reduced fare for flights by using your accrued points. Also, loyalty with an airline can get you upgrades in flights such as comfort seats, first class, as well as access to airport lounges at major airports.
Open a credit card to accumulate miles with your everyday purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 1-2 points for everyday purchases. This includes travel and dining at restaurants worldwide. You can then redeem for airfare and hotel stays; all no foreign transaction fees.
Capital One Ventures offer 2 points for everyday purchases that you can redeem for airfare and hotel stays; as well as bonus miles and $100 towards Global Entry or TSA pre-check.