I treat the process like a giant puzzle, taking each piece, one step at a time, until a clear image emerges.
We all know how expensive flights and hotels can be, so how do you minimize costs and keep a sane schedule, without sacrificing comfort?
Here’s how I booked my flights to Europe and kept my costs way down.
- I use Google flights and save money.
- I book each segment separately, rather than try to book the entire trip in one go.
- I open several Google flights on my browser at the same time, and play around with the segments and airlines so I can compare costs.
- I managed to book my entire trip to Europe for a TOTAL PRICE of $1, 596. (see all the segments below,)
When I tried to book the entire trip in ONE SEGMENT, with multi-stops, the price was substantially higher.
The cheapest route on Travelocity was $2,392, but the times were inconvenient. Prices went up to $7,300, in coach.
Orbitz couldn’t quote me a fare with the exact same dates and countries I listed above.
Google flights shows more expensive flights when I punch in all the dates and countries as a multi-flight trip. As I said, I managed to get my entire
- US-Europe-US For only $1,596, compared to the prices above.
Seth Kugel, the Frugal Traveler, wrote about Google Flights in his article in the New York Times, “How to Choose and Air Travel Search Site,”
“If you’re focused just on flights, there are other considerations. Most straightforward is the amount of time it takes each site to process your searches. The clear winner there is Google Flights (a different offering from Google Flight Explorer), with shockingly instantaneous results — you’d almost think they’d invented the modern search engine.”
- Credit Cards offering 50,000 travel miles.
It wasn’t until my recent divorce, and my new-found independence, that I plucked up the courage to go for credit cards that offer bonus travel miles. I figured that I should give it a try.
One of my favorite bloggers/authors/travel hackers, Chris Gullebeau, has a list of his preferred travel credit cards, and I know he’s been able to fly for free around the world, using his acquired miles. So I signed up for two of the credit cards he recommends, and found that I could indeed get a free trip with my miles. I’ve already received one free trip, and am now a believer, that if you use your card wisely, it can benefit you in many ways.
The Chase Ink, also allows me to use the Club Lounges at a discount rate, something I never allowed myself to think about using in the past.
Next Friday, I shall write about how I saved a tremendous amount of money by booking accommodations with Airb&b. Come back and see how.
Do you have tips to share about your travel plans and ways to cut costs?