#TravelHack: Save a TON on Flights with These Two Secret Weapons

Preface: Reading this article will not result in me having to kill you. It will only result in cheap flights and good times. Also I wasn’t paid to say any of this.

I will happily admit that I am a.) a poor recent college grad who will pinch any penny she has to live out her bucket list and b.) the biggest travel nerd around. Literally nothing gets my adrenaline flowing more than spending hours looking for cheap flights and saving loads of ca$h money when I finally make the commitment. I understand that this isn’t normal and that most of you would rather eat your own face off than spend an entire evening searching for the perfect flight. So let me take one for the team. I’ve got two secret weapons when it comes to my never-ending cheap flight quest: Scott’s Cheap Flights and Google Flights.

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First, let’s talk about my best buddy Scott. I randomly found out about Scott’s Cheap Flights from a sketchy Facebook ad, but decided to follow the link anyway (KEEP YOUR JUDGMENT TO YOURSELF). What he and his team do is search all day, every day for the cheapest flights on the planet. Then once they find them, they shoot you an email detailing what they found (including how long the deal might stick around) and how to go about making the big purchase. You can subscribe to these emails for free and set which departure locations you want to hear about (basically, if flying out of, say, San Francisco isn’t ideal for you, then you can set your preferred airports to whichever ones are closest to you). I’m a proud Midwesterner, so my preferred airports are usually Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and sometimes even as far as Detroit. I do suggest adding in larger airports such as New York, just in case finding a connection would save you an extra buck.

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Step #1: Subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights. They sent me an email, alerting me of half-price flights to South Africa.

BUT, let me do you one better. For $39.99/year, you can pay to receive even better deals from Scott. It might sound like a steep price tag for a budget traveler, but think about the money you could save in the long run (Again, I’m not even getting paid to say this…although, Scott, maybe I should). I recently booked a flight from Chicago-Johannesburg, South Africa for HALF of what these tickets normally run. It’s a Delta Flight for just $600. Seriously? Are you kidding me? That’s unheard of. S/O to Scott’s Cheap Flights for alerting me on that one. So $40 vs. $600 in savings? Take the deal, friends.

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Scott is so nice that he even lets you know how you can go about booking your flight to receive the best deal.

Anyway, once Scott and his pals send you the perfect flight, the next step is to find what the heck they’re talking about. They don’t actually sell plane tickets. They just alert you to which dates and locations are hot, hot, hot. What you do next is visit my other BFFL Google Flights. With this little tool, you can enter your departure and return locations and then a map appears and shows you a year’s worth of dates and their prices on a nifty little calendar. This way you can see exactly which dates are most cost-effective. (If you’re ever wondering what I’m doing for hours on my phone, I’m most definitely searching flights on Google Flights for funsies. Also I might be watching dog videos, IDK). So when booking my South Africa flights, I noticed that flying on Thursday was much cheaper than flying on Friday. I went with the obvious.

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Step #2: Figure out which dates are the cheapest to fly for your specific destination. Google Flights provides a calendar full of the cheapest flights on every day of the year from your sought after location.

Now, Google Flights isn’t where you purchase the tickets either. Stick with me on this one. The next step is to go to a travel site like Priceline, Kayak or Orbitz and type in the exact dates and locations that you found in Google Flights. These places may give you even further discounts. Like back to my South Africa trip. Google Flights only told me which dates were cheapest (at $800). So once I went on Priceline, the promised $600 flights to Johannesburg appeared and all was well again. As you can see below, time is of the essence when it comes to buying flights as prices rise extremely quickly (I just bought my tickets a couple of days ago). So yeah, a huge thank you to Scott’s Cheap Flights for catching the deal and sharing it with me. You da real MVP, Scott.

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Step #3: Search for your specific dates on travel sites like Priceline for even further discounts.

Anyway, to wrap this all up, you purchase your tickets via whatever travel site you used (in my case, it was Priceline) and then you just go. It’s not rocket science. It’s also not easy peasy lemon squeezy, but if you like deals put in the work, son.

As always, comment with questions.

Bye, Bye, Bye,

Erica

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