Traveling the world is an expensive hobby, or at least it used to be. Whenever I tell people all the countries I have visited, their jaws drop. And the same comment always escapes their pursed lips, “Well, you must be rich. I couldn’t afford traveling that far, that often.”
WRONG! Majority of travelers pay way too much on a ticket alone, so here are a few tips to get you away from the thousand-dollar ticket price:
Ditch the 3rd Party Bookers
It may be tempting to start your search at Priceline.com or Orbitz, but unless you are looking for a luxury package deal with flight and hotel, those sites won’t save you very much money.
More often than not, the cheap flights on third-party bookers are the ones that send you from California to Mexico, just to get to Canada. Starting a vacation with an overly stressful and long flight is not worth saving a few bucks.
Google Is Your Friend
I always start with Google, and I have yet to be disappointed. Google includes the newer and privately owned airlines, allowing you to bypass the middleman and know which sites to book directly from. A number of these flights are direct flights, too!
It’s NOT the Same Price Everywhere
In some instances, the price of a flight from the United States to Europe is vastly different from one country to the next. Factoring in the currency exchange, it may work in your favor to book in euros or lira, rather than dollars, so make sure to check out different country site options.
Be Flexible, Really Flexible
Once you search your destination details, Google has this great option to view price fluctuations over the month. It will even recommend the lowest price on each airline. The best international travel months are February and October, but all months are capable of producing some great deals.
There Is More Than One Way to Get There
Let’s say you want to go from Miami to Amsterdam, but ticket prices are off the charts. Expand your search to the cities and countries around your main destination. If you can fly to Brussels for $500 less, and it’s only a 40-minute train ride and a $17 ticket, then it is worth the extra leg. Europe is known for its stellar public transport system, so any time a cheaper option is available in exchange for a quick train ride, it is definitely something to consider.
— Christina Hunting
Photo: Ingram Image