One of the biggest worries for people who want to travel is, “how can I afford the airfare?”. Airlines can be intimidating when it comes to not only paying for the ticket but also the luggage.
If you’re traveling for a short vacation you’re more then likely to check a big suitcase, which is fine! Definitely check the bag in online before you go to the airport.
However, to all my lightweight travelers, do NOT “buy” your baggage for the flight until you get to the airport. This may sound odd or against the norm but trust me, sometimes, you can get free baggage.
Now, this does mean you will have to budget your time for the airport accordingly and get their an additional 45 minutes before the time you originally set on.
So for example, your flight is at 14:00 PM (2:00 PM). You haven’t bought any luggage or checked in. I would get there around 12:30 PM (depending on domestic or international flight) to make sure you catch your flight.
Every airline has different carry on dimensions. Check out this chart created by, “Travel Made Simple”, which shows you every airline carry on dimensions. Depending on the airline representative and the weight of your bags, you may be able to get a free carry on on board.
Negotiating with the airline representatives will allow you to not only practice your bartering skills but also see how much hardball you are capable of playing. Little bit of advice, be as polite and charming as possible but throw in some, “I’m running low on money, this is towards the end of my trip” or “I understand my bag may be over the dimensions but it’s really light”.
My trip to Europe this summer, I had 5 flights and I didn’t pay for any baggage for 4 of them. That saved me at least $150 to put towards my journey.
If all else fails and you end up having to pay for your baggage, put a smile on your face and say, “thank you, have a good day”.
You don’t want to have any bad karma or negative energy surrounding your journey. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have to pay for your bags.
I would definitely include paying for your bags in the budget but don’t pay for them ahead of time.
Now lets get to the juicy stuff, how to save as much money as possible on your airfare.
There are a whole bunch of different travel apps you can use like Orbitz, Expedia (which I don’t recommend), or Kayak.
But the one travel app that I use constantly (like everyday) is called, Skyscanner. It is one of the best airfare flight trackers out there and I have never had a problem with it once.
I first heard about this app from a friend of mine while I was in Australia and it has saved me HUNDREDS of dollars. It’s allowed me to travel the world at a fast pace and save money.
I check flights around the world everyday just to see how much it would cost for me to go. Skyscanner can tell you about flights from today until the next year. So, not only can you save money but you can really plan out your trip (at least the dates) very far in advance.
There are a lot of cool features on this app, like having different "windows" aka tabs of the flights you have been looking at. Also, the notification alert that you can set on flights you are interested in about prices dropping or rising.
One of my favorite parts of the app is you can type in departure, everywhere to arrival, everywhere. For me, this feature just sparks the wanderlust ever so more.
When I was planning my trip to Europe, I immediately went to Skyscanner. Outside of this app, flights were going for $1400 round trip from New York (JFK) to Rome Fiumicino (FCO).
I put in the exact information and details of my trip into Skyscanner and I bought my ticket on the spot for, $700. I cut the cost of my trip in half and I also deposited more memories into my memory bank with the money I saved.
PERSPECTIVE ALERT!! I went to Europe for a month for $700 round trip. People pay for flights to Las Vegas or even California for 10 days at $500-$600 a pop.
Okay back to ruling the skies.
I have never encountered a problem while using Skyscanner. Of course, everyone is going to have a different experience with Skyscanner.
But for example, one time and one time only, I used Expedia.
A well known commercialized travel app. While in Australia, I booked a flight through Expedia from Perth to Alice Springs. Before I could even begin the negotiating process of my baggage, the airline representative told me, “Sir, you don't seem to have a seat”.
I paid $330 for the flight and somehow didn’t have a seat? Well long story short, I ended up getting a seat on the plane, made it to Alice Springs and never used Expedia again.
One last piece of advice to you about ruling the skies on your travels. If your time allows you (and of course budget), try to avoid “round trips”.
Booking single way tickets will always cut the price in half and allow you to take that money you saved towards a one way flight on the rebound to the completion of your journey.
Enjoy your travels, we hope this post will allow you to get out there, save money and experience the unknown.
Thanks for taking the time and don’t forget,
BEEN THERE DONE THAT .
For questions, comments or sarcastic remarks you can contact us at BTDT2016@gmail.com