I love to travel. Who doesn't really? Many people dream of travelling the world but never end up doing it, simply because of the cost. Cost is the most common reason people tell me they don't travel. "I'd love to but it's just so expensive." You've probably heard
someone say that before, or maybe you've said it yourself. Travel doesn't have to be expensive and it all starts with how you book your flight. For most trips, the flight ends up being the biggest expense in your trip. That makes getting a great deal important. Knowing where to look and when to book your trip can make all the difference.
When I'm looking to travel I always start my flight search on SkyScanner. If you haven't heard of SkyScanner, you'll be glad you have now. Their site has many great features. When you enter in your travel dates they will search through countless websites all over the internet to find you the best price. Once you find the best deal they will even display a list of sites that offer that exact flight, so you can decide through which site you'd like to book your flight. What's always interesting to see is the difference in price for the exact same flight. You could find the same flight offered for up to hundreds of dollars less depending on what website you book through and there's nothing more frustrating than unnecessarily wasting tens or hundreds of dollars.
If your travel dates are flexible then you'll love their cheapest month feature. You can select your destination and instead of entering a specific date you can click cheapest month. You'll then be shown prices for the entire month so you can be sure that you get the best deal. I have yet to come across another travel site with this kind of feature. Most travel sites will allow you search within +/- 3 days of your desired travel date, which means that you could be missing out on a better price if you simply travelled a week or two before or after your specific travel dates.
It's also important to remember that December as well as July and August are the most expensive travel months. If you can avoid it, choose to travel in the other nine months of the year and you could save up to 80% on flight costs. In one of my most recent flight searches I looked for flights to South American destinations such as Quito and La Paz during the winter holidays and every flight I found was $2000 or more. Using the cheapest month search function I found those same flight for around $400 in February. With that kind of savings I could travel to five destinations for cost of one.
Sometimes we don't have a choice in when we have to travel, which makes when you book even more important. Just because you have to travel during the winter holidays or during the summer, doesn't mean you can't still get a great deal. Most people simply wait too late to book their flight and end up paying much more than necessary. If you know you need to travel during then, start looking for flights as soon as possible. Airlines offer better prices for flights if the flight is only 10% booked, compared to when 80% of seats have been sold. It's also important to not book the first deal you see, unless it truly is a fantastic deal. Flight prices for travel on the same dates can change dramatically from one day to the next and you wouldn't want to be disappointed that the flight you booked yesterday is $200 cheaper today. In November, I booked my July-August trip to Greece for under $700 leaving from Toronto with Air France. No doubt there will be people on that same flight who paid two or three times what I did, simply because they booked their flight much closer to the travel date. Saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on your flight means that you can travel for longer.
Be savvy when booking your flights and travel could become a norm for you, no matter what your budget is. Where will you head off to next?
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