I’m currently shopping around for a plane ticket deal for my birthday weekend getaway and thought it would be good idea to share my tips for traveling and booking on a budget. Here’s the list that I basically run through when I go through the process.
Snagging a decent flight deal and saving a couple coins always helps. When searching for flight deals be mindful of the small like the deal may be dirt cheap, but you have to suffer through a 10 hour layover or you can only leave with a certain time frame that probably doesn’t work for you.
Where to find flight deals:
Flight deals can be found on an airline’s site if you book early enough. However, you can find flight deals on twitter through these accounts: airfarewatchdog, theflightdeal, airfarespot. Cheapoair and Google flights are two good options as well. Google flights lets you put in the information then show you what airlines are going to your destination, what time, the duration of the flight, layovers and etc. The best part about using Google flights is that they have a calendar so by utilizing the calendar you are able to see the trend in the prices, which will tell you the best, cheapest or most expensive time of year to travel to whichever city.
Also, if you have the patience, energy and time you can leave from JFK (NY) and your flight will be about $200/$300 cheaper
Always be mindful of what airline you fly with. Within the past year or so many people have dealt with some horrible things while flying with certain airlines. When I went to New Orleans just a couple months ago I flew with Spirit Airlines. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible, but if I would’ve flew with a different airline I would’ve paid about $300 more.
Timing is everything when you’re looking to go on a trip. Don’t get me wrong you can book a last minute trip and things can work out just fine. However, it is in your best interest to book as early as possible. Also, you want to find out what’s the best time of year to visit your destination. What will the weather be like? What events are going on during that time? Have they recently experienced a natural disaster? It’s important to be aware of things for your safety and to ensure that you enjoy your trip.
Airbnb or Hotel
Where you go is dependent upon whether you should stay at a hotel or an Airbnb. In some cities it’s in your best interest to stay at a hotel as far as having a comfortable stay if you’re traveling abroad or to save money because you’re in a pricey city. However, there are times when staying at an Airbnb is the best option. Airbnb gives you an at home feel with prices that range from reasonable to astronomical depending on what you want. Something that’s super helpful for most is the book now, pay later option with Expedia. By doing book now, pay later you’ll be able to book your room and pay when you arrive. Always read the reviews for whichever option you’re leaning towards and make sure you weigh your options.
Social Media is a big help for me. Utilizing the search tool will give the inside scoop on things like reviews, scenery, and etc. For example, to get an idea of what a certain city or place looks like I’ll search it on Instagram where I can view various pictures of it, the kind of people that’s there and what the atmosphere is like. On sites like Yelp and Facebook, you can get detailed reviews on restaraunts, spas and many other places so that you know whether you should go there or not.
Always read reviews they’re your best friend especially when looking for hotels, an Airbnb or somewhere to eat.
Once you have a general idea of where you’re going to be for the duration of your stay scope it on Maps or Google Maps to see what you’ll be near. You’ll want to know how close you’ll be to the activities you’re doing. Also, it would be useful to know where’s the nearest grocery store, food spots or pharmacy. Another thing to do would be get price estimates on your Uber, Lyft trips or public transportation if that’s how you plan on getting around.
Don’t be in a rush to exchange your currency at the first place you see. Hold tight if you can to get the best exchange rate otherwise you’ll lose money trying to get money.
One last thing! Pay attention to cancellation fees and dates!!!
This is pretty much everything that has come to mind for me. I hope this was helpful and useful for anyone looking to travel wisely and budget friendly. Safe travels!