Hello loves! It is the beginning of 2020 and I am already planning my next trip. Being the Sagittarius I am, I always have a craving to book a flight and go somewhere. Honestly, I need to find someone who has the same craving and impulsivity as I have when it comes to travel.

I usually finalize all travel plans a week or two ahead before the actual trip. Beforehand, I do like to explore my options so I do have a general idea of what I am planning to do. I tend to see what are some good prices, where to go, where to stay and have several different options. This gives me a greater idea of how much I’ll be spending and how to save some money. Planning a trip is always a bit of a risk because prices tend to fluctuate. Since I am always in charge of planning and booking trips, I’ve learned a few things to ensure that I am booking the best price.

• Flights: Probably one of the riskiest things to buy because you just never know if you are buying it at the right time. I’ve always heard that picking specific travel dates and purchasing the tickets on certain days can be cheaper. The problem is that it doesn’t always work out that way. There are a few things I’ve learned just to ensure your making the right purchase at the right time!

o If you have the time and flexibility for the dates you’re choosing to travel then you have the chance to explore other months and see if there are any patterns. Often you can spot that a specific day tends to be cheaper. Depending on the location buying a flight a specific amount of time ahead time is cheaper. I have booked flights just a few days before traveling at a cheaper price than what I would have booked if I bought it a month earlier. Sometimes different destinations have a pattern of prices because a specific airline flies to that airport on specific days or weeks. These airlines can sometimes be cheaper than others. That’s why it’s helpful to see the differences and similarities on different days and months.

o My GO-TO website for buying flights is Skyscanner. This is the BEST place to find affordable flights or to explore destinations based on price. It’s best if you have time to travel but don’t know where to go. Skyscanner has the explore option where it will show you what is the most affordable destination that month. They also have a great tool to show you if a specific day is cheap, moderate, or expensive to fly on. This is great if you have a more specific timeline but a bit of flexibility. I have compared Skyscanner to many different websites online but they are constantly having the most affordable flights for international travel.

o Google Flights is also great because it will compare different options all at once. This avoids the need for you to search on different websites one by one to find the best flight. It’s also great for giving you an estimation of the possibility of the prices rising or falling. I like to use this website and Skyscanner to have a better idea of what is considered cheap and expensive for the destination I’m planning on going to.

• Hotels: There are a few things you can try out to find a great hotel at a great price. Luckily with hotels, the prices don’t change too much. That means that you don’t need to feel as rushed in the process. Here are a few of the steps I take when booking my stay.

o I like to explore hotel options on Orbitz, Expedia, and Agonda. These three sites generally have great prices but the main reason I look at all three is that they tend to have different options. Sometimes I find that a great option may not be available on all the websites. Using all the websites gives me so many options and I can a solid list of options to compare.

o Google is so great for really finding the best price for the specific hotel of your choice. What I love to do is search the name of the hotel I like and an option will come up showing the different prices of different websites. It’s just like the google flight option and super easy to use. I like using this because sometimes, I will find another website having a random sale on that specific hotel saving you a lot of money. For my birthday trip, the hotel I liked was $50.00 cheaper than all the other websites because this website had a sale going on. It’s so great to look at all your options and in such a simple way.

o Often websites like Orbitz will have coupon codes available to use which can save you a good amount. They are usually 10% off and they send you 15% off for your birthday. The only downside is that not all hotels will accept the coupon. Usually, big chain hotels like Marriott, Hilton, and more don’t accept them. There are still a lot of hotels that do but it’s harder in the US to find a nice hotel that will accept the coupon. When traveling abroad it gets a bit easier. There tends to get a lot more hotel options that are not big brand names but are so luxurious with great room and amenities. These usually do accept the coupon so keep that in mind when booking through Orbitz.

There are the more obvious things like making your food and buying things like sunscreen at home that are also great for saving some money. I love to get a hotel room that has a kitchen or at least a hotel that has breakfast included. That way you avoid going out for a pricy breakfast. I prefer having my kitchen just because sometimes I like to have that healthy option to fall back on. When your traveling you tend to eat out more and if you’re like me you start to miss your healthy homemade food.

Saving some money when it comes to travel is great but don’t stress about it. You deserve some pampering for yourself so, just focus on having fun and enjoying it. You shouldn’t feel guilty for spending money on a vacation because those memories of joy and relaxation are priceless. So go out there, live your life filled with adventure and book that flight you’ve been wanting to buy.

All the love,
Kamila Coellar

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