In today’s internet age, cheap flights are readily found using any number of search engines online. Travelocity, Hotwire, Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz- just to name a few (Among the hundreds). If you’ve got an exact departure date in mind, get to cracking, and keep your eyes open for the best deals. If you’ve got a bit of flexibility, try plugging in various days to see what that does to the pricing. Nowadays, most of these search engine sites are equipped to alert you when the price you are tracking goes up or down. Set these alerts up on each individual site, monitoring them over the course of a few weeks to see how the price is trending. Also, make sure to have a ‘Purchase Now’ price in mind- you can’t wait forever, hoping the price continues to drop- you’ll end up waiting too long, missing out on a cheaper ticket, forced to spend tens, maybe hundreds of more dollars on a flight you could’ve gotten cheaper. When the price hits your ‘Purchase Now’ threshold, BUY IT. Waiting for a better deal is often more costly in the long run.
If you are looking for flights while traveling, you may be surprised to find better deals by going into a local travel agent’s office as opposed to looking online. Local agents have the inside track with the smaller, domestic airlines that you may or may not be familiar with in the countries through which you are traveling. Some of these airlines may not even post their pricing online, making it impossible to find them on the internet to begin with. As mentioned in the ‘Money Saving Tips’ section, taking a bus or a train is often cheaper than traveling by air, but sometimes flying is the only realistic option. Do the research, ask around a bit, and you’ll be sure to save a few bucks in the long haul.
Discount ‘clubs’ are an idea to look into, but be aware that most have an annual ‘Membership Fee’, which inherently off-sets any savings you might get through your membership. There are some good deals to be had- just make sure that it is worth the price of the membership, and be sure to cancel your membership at the conclusion of your trip. Otherwise, you’re bound to see an automatic annual charge show up on your credit card months after your trip has ended, which is virtually impossible to recoup.
‘Round-the-World’ tickets are also an option, though many times can be very limiting as far as your itinerary and direction go. Most require that you nail down specific dates when you purchase the ticket, assessing large ‘Change Ticket’ fees if you decide to alter your trip along the way. Also, many require that you always travel in the same direction- East-to-West or vice-versa. Again, this can be a bit challenging when planning out a precise route for your trip. Honestly, it depends a lot on your travel style- if you like knowing exact dates and when/where you will be going, a RTW ticket might be a good option. If you like a bit of flexibility along the way, a RTW may be a bit too restrictive. Its up to you to make the call.