Updated: Dec 25, 2019
Travel isn't cheap. What steers most people away from traveling...
$350+ round trip domestic and $1,000+ round trip international.
Paris, France is a top destination for most, but $1,300 airfare isn't in everyone's budget. Then factor in accommodations and spending money, WOW!
When I see $1,300, the first thing comes to mind...Abort Mission!!!
However, don't let the price deter you from thinking it's impossible to travel to your dream destination.
Finding a great airfare deal requires research, patience, and flexibility.
Travel Deal Sites:
There are sites such as Secret Flying, The Flight Deal, Fly4Free, Airfare Spot, Travel Pirates and, Thrifty Traveler that post daily travel deals to destinations around the world. Majority of the deals are from major airport hubs such as Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles etc... However, there is nothing a bus, flight, train, or car ride couldn't cure. Yeah, its's an extra cost, but stay with me for a minute, you will get the just of it.
I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I’m left with high price airfare flying out of General Mitchell International Airport (MKE). Instead, I take the Coach Bus from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL which takes about 1-1/2 hours one-way, costing me $55 round trip. The Coach Bus drops me off at my terminal and picks me back up at the designated shuttle area. What's awesome about catching the bus.The bus runs 15 times a day back and forth between Milwaukee and Chicago. Also, say my flight was supposed to return at 3pm and the bus leaves at 4pm. However, due to a delay, my flight arrived at 4pm. No sweat, I can catch the next bus. Then one of the greatest perks. I’m able to leave my car in their parking lot up to 2 weeks at no extra charge.
I booked a flight to Bangkok, Thailand last year through a deal. The flight deal was from Chicago (ORD) to Bangkok (BKK) $620 round trip. If I would have booked the flight from Milwaukee (MKE) to Bangkok (BKK) it would have cost me $1,300 round trip.
Savings of $1,300 - $675=$625
Keep in mind, if a flight, bus, train, or a car ride w/parking costs is cost effective, go with it. If I booked a deal to Paris, France from New York for $400 round trip. I rather pay an extra $200 for a non-stop round trip flight from Milwaukee (MKE) to New York (JFK) to catch my flight out to Paris, France, instead of $1,900 round trip. Yes, there is gamble doing it this way, because the flight to New York could be delayed or canceled, but for the most, plan. Plan to either go a day early or book the earliest non-stop flight of the day, and of course purchase travel insurance. Try to avoid connecting flights.
Below are a few past deals from Secret Flying
When To Buy and When To Fly:
Most research suggests the best day to purchase airfare is on Tuesdays starting at 3pm EST. However, it isn't always necessarily true; other days include Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes you can catch lower prices in the wee hours of the morning. One thing you can surely bank on, flying to and from your destination during non-peak days and hours yield the most savings.
Google Flights, Momondo, and Skyscanner, are the Holy Grail for all my travels. If you don’t have the flexibility you would like, you still have the opportunity to find a great fare. Google Flights will show you the lowest airfare price for any given day, to and from you destination by dates. I used Momondo to compare prices against Google Flights. Momondo will sometimes find the same flight cheaper than Google Flights. Reason, it scours the internet for other carriers which may not appear in a basic search. However, Google Flights usually will be the lowest. Skyscanner I used from time to time. I used Skyscanner to compare prices against Google Flights as I do with Momondo.
Below I searched a flight from Chicago (ORD) to London, England (LGW). I found a round trip flight for $470 from WOW airlines. Now, don't dismiss the airliner because it's not a familiar name such as United, American, Delta, etc... There are a lot of international carriers that are top grade, offering a better bang for your buck. With anything, do your research.
Depart September 11th
Return September 18th
Round trip price options
Value WOW $470 round trip
You have the opportunity to book directly with WOW airlines or through Expedia, a third-party vendor.
I compared the fare price above with Momondo using the same dates September 11th thru September 18th. Yes, eDreams is $3 cheaper, but I prefer to book directly with the airline for a peace of mind. I'm not saying eDreams isn't a reputable company, but you have to be careful booking with certain third-party vendors. A few to names I do trust are, Expedia, Kayak, Priceline, Travelocity, Cheapoair, Cheaptickets, and Orbitz. I will save third-party booking for another blog post. With anything, do your research.
No difference comparing the fare with Skyscanner
Other Saving Tips....
When searching for airfare for a particular destination, the first thing you to need to know, what is the average price. This way you will know if you're getting a steal of a deal when searching for airfare.
Sometimes booking two one-ways instead of a round at trip fare with different airlines can be cheaper.
Saving on airfare is a major traveling plus. When you save, you have more money to put towards your accommodations and money back into your pockets for spending.