1. Be flexible on what airport you fly out of. My husband & I almost always fly out of LAX, even though it is a 5 hour drive for us. The flights from there are usually about half the price, so it can save us over a thousand dollars & only costs $50 of gas to get there and back. LAX, JFK, & LAS usually have very good prices. Try searching from several airlines near you to see which has the best deal.
2. Try to fly into 1 location & out of another location so that you can see more areas on your vacation without paying travel costs to get back to your starting point. I almost always do this. For example, I will fly into Paris (it's usually cheap to fly into Paris since it's a major airport) & then fly out of Rome. That way I can travel all around France & Italy but not have to waste time & money traveling from Italy back to Paris.
3. Look at low fare calendars on websites. Norwegian Air always has a page on the site with low fares & they are usually really good prices! You can also usually book for a lower price on Norwegian if you pay in Euros. It will still deduct from your card in whichever currency you normally use. Just make sure to do a currency exchange check to see if the price is lower when converted from euros to the currency you use.
4. Get emails from airlines that usually have great deals (I like Norwegian Air, Spirit Air, & Wow Air). They will email you when there are extra low prices on flights.
5. Look up the flights you are wanting once a day for several weeks. Flights can drop several hundred dollars in one day, then jump up another day. By checking many days in a row, you can get an idea of which days are cheaper & a better deal. I always have an idea of how much I want to pay & what is a really good deal, if the price goes really low, I jump on it & buy right away!
6. Travel during the low season or right before the high season. There are many reasons why I love traveling during the low season. You can get flights for a much lower price, you can usually stay at hotels or airbnb's for a lower price, & it isn't crowded when traveling.
7. Search for a flight on Google Flights. Start with a one-way flight search to find the cheapest day to flight out from your destination. Then switch to a round trip search, with your flight out being on the cheapest day.
8. After finding the cheapest flight on Google Flights, then go to the actual airline website of the cheapest flight. Many times you can get the flight a little cheaper on the actual airline website.
9. Try searching on Momando for a flight starting on the cheapest day (found on Google Flights). Cheapoair is also a good site to look on.
10. Subscribe to our email list on Sunshine & Seafoam. We email when we find amazing flight deals!!!
When I am searching for flights, I am looking on all or many of these sites each day for several weeks. I hope this helps you find the best flights when traveling!!!
Nate & I planned our trip to Bali about 8 months in advance. I had found cheap tickets ($800 roundtrip per person) flying out of LA & we bought them right away & spent many, many months excitedly planning & awaiting our trip. I had wanted to go to Bali for several years & was especially excited. When it finally came time to go on our trip we were more than just excited. Our inlaws drove us from San Diego to LAX & we were got there about 3 hours before our flight.
I remember thinking how cool it would be if they could upgrade us to first class since it was such a long flight. We tried to scan our passports at the do-it-yourself kiosk, but it said to go to the front desk. When we got up there, they took our bags & asked if we would like to sit next to each other. We said yes & they changed our seats. Then the scanned Nate's passport, all good. Then they scanned mine & then scanned it again & again. Then the lady helping us called the manager over. She explained to us that my passport would not let us travel to Indonesia. I looked at her like she was crazy. Of course I had made sure that my passport was not expired, it still had 4 months left until it was expired & we would only be in Bali for 2 1/2 weeks. We were then told that in order to travel to Indonesia, you must have a passport that is valid for 6 months or more. I was very frustrated that none of this was stated on the website when I was buying our tickets & I had put our passport information & expiration dates in when buying our tickets. I think that you should not be able to proceed to payment when your passport will not be valid for a trip! Or at least something should pop up to let you know!
There was nothing we could though. I could not believe it. We walked away in a daze & had no idea what we were going to do. It was evening time on a Friday & it was also a holiday on Monday so no passport offices would be open until Tuesday, 4 days away. We had already paid the places we would be staying at. I just felt sick & like we were in a bad dream.
We had to decide if we would just cancel our whole trip or try to make things work. I was all for making things work. So we called our inlaws & they turned around to pick us up. We stopped at Lemonade in LA & felt a tiny bit better as we ate there. Then we made the drive back to San Diego. It was a very long 4 days & I admit I was not very fun to be around as I was a mix of stressed & grumpy, not knowing if we would still be going on our trip & picturing where we should have been on our trip at that time.
Tuesday morning we were on a mission as Nate dropped me off at the passport office in San Diego an hour before it opened. There were already 2 other people in line & the line kept getting longer & longer so I was so glad I was there early. Then Nate ran down to the marriage license office, a few streets over & was able to get a copy of our marriage license (I needed to show that my last name had changed). When I was finally able to meet with someone at the passport office they were soooo friendly & everything went smoothly. They said that my passport could be ready within a few hours & I was soooo relieved. We did have to pay extra, but it was worth every penny!
Right after we left the office, I called the airline customer service & at first they were very rude & acted like we would need to pay around $2,000 extra. That was more than we could afford & I was almost in tears. Then I asked to be transferred to a manager & I was transferred to a very nice lady who let me change our flights to that night at midnight for $800 extra. It was worth it to us, so we made the change & then rushed to get down to the airport!
It was such a whirlwind, but we made it on the flight & I never felt better to be on a 15 hour flight! We landed in Taipei, Taiwan for a layover. Our flight from Taipei to Bali got delayed because of a storm for about an hour but then we finally made it on our next flight & landed in Bali! I will post more about our trip, but it was completely worth the stress & extra cost & ended up being the most amazing trip!!!!
The silver lining about all of this passport stress was that we were able to stay in Bali 3 weeks instead of 2 1/2 (it was much cheaper to fly back a few days later) & we appreciated every bit of our trip soooo much since it had been such a struggle to get there!
I also decided that I will never let my passport have less than a year left until it expires! If you are reading this, make sure that you look up information on how much time you need to have left on a passport in order to travel to a foreign country. I will post some of the dates below!
Website with countries that require 6 month passport validity:
**Many places require 3 months validity such as : Italy, Spain, Canada, & many other European countries.