Tips for Selecting Cheap Trips
As a 26-year-old “world traveler” (disclaimer: this nickname is often said in jest by my friends and family) I try to take advantage of the time and freedom that the mid-twenties often bring. However, if you want to travel frequently, then it will behoove you to find savings around any corner along with trimming any and all unnecessary spending. Throughout this post I will advise on some basic tips from the inception of the trip idea all the way to the airport service. As for the trip itself – that is up to you.
One of the biggest issues I have while booking a trip is believe it or not, figuring out where to go. While I’d love to show up to the airport like Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel in Yes Man, life isn’t always that simple.
A great place to start is with Kiwi (App or Website: Kiwi.com) which allows you to draw a circle anywhere in the world and airport destinations will appear. For example, I know I want to go out west, but as for where, I am very open. Using this site, I can simply select my travel dates from a range of days such as depart from the 7th to the 11th and return from the 13th to the 15th, draw a circle from LA to Kansas City, and all flights will magically populate.
You will also find that some spots, no matter the date or time, will be much more expensive than others. However, try to not let this be a deciding factor.
Once I picked my destination, I home in on my range of days to –
- Take the least amount of PTO as possible
- Find the cheapest flights
- Ensure I don’t take any 6AM flights (this might be just me)
I would heavily advise to not discount certain airlines. I’ve found if you are open to budget airlines, then you will save a lot of money along with keeping the door open on certain times/destinations.
I’ve found that it’s important here to set it and forget it. Just pick the dates and let the trip fly (my apologies about the pun).
Please keep in mind that the way budget airlines make their money is through fees & baggage. I STRONGLY advise limiting your packing to just a carry-on. Plus, if you plan on traveling around between cities or even places within a city, it helps to only carry one bag. I once ventured 6 weeks in Europe with only a duffle-bag, and although I had to buy some socks after they all fell off a clothesline in Montenegro, it was a huge help to only lug around that one bag.
The contents I leave up to you but please try and limit yourself to one carry-on! Sometimes the cost to check one piece of luggage will surpass the cost of your entire flight – especially during these times.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve budgeted for an entire trip and left out the key ingredient – the airport service. Depending on where you live, getting to the airport can be a hassle. Unless you’re like one of my friends and live one short subway ride away from JFK, you may need to figure out how you’re getting there ahead of time.
Early on in my travels I often forgot about this leg of the journey. It just isn’t worth the stress trying to find a last-minute ride to the train station or relying on a ride-sharing app. I also once had to drive a friend and I wouldn’t wish this fate upon my worst enemy.
I heard from a friend about LUXY (Luxyride.com) and it’s absolutely worth the investment. To be honest, it isn’t worth much more than any of the other common ridesharing apps and depending on where you live it may be your only option whether it be cost or availability. After all the budgeting and cost saving, it feels nice to have your airport taxi be your own black car limo service.
We vacation for many reasons, but they’re usually a rather universal concept to escape the stress in our everyday lives. Figuring out where you’re going and how you’re getting there can sometimes be a loaded statement (as evidenced by the tips above) but follow these basic rules and you will be well on your way to a stress-free getaway.