How I flew to Spain for $368 roundtrip
This past September, I took a weeklong jaunt to Spain, a country I love and never turn down an opportunity to visit. The trip wasn't really planned - my husband and I already went to Colombia for our wedding earlier in the year, followed by a two week honeymoon in Europe, and figured that was our big trip for 2016. (If you've read my most popular article, How I Afford Travel, you know I'm not the type of travel blogger who's constantly on the road; I have a full time job in the states and see the world in 2-3 week spurts at a time.)
But that all changed when we realized we could fly there (and back!) for a little more than my monthly car payment. Yeah.
See, while I am a big fan of strategically accruing - and then flying for free with - points and miles, sometimes you just want to take a trip without burning through those, and who doesn't love a dirt cheap deal? Fares like the one I got to Spain are mind boggling - surely, $368 roundtrip from Dallas must barely cover the cost of gas to haul my body over the Atlantic?
How I found this deal has become my favorite travel tip to tell people about lately: a website called The Flight Deal. And no, I am definitely not being paid to write this and I get nothing in return if you use the site. But if I'm telling all my friends about it, I'd be an ass not to tell you, wouldn't I?
The way it works is this: occasionally airlines will offer dirt cheap airfare on select flights, but they're not going to advertise it. It's just sort of there if you happen upon it. But thanks to the travel hacking community and the folks at The Flight Deal, you can learn about these deals easily. My favorite way to keep up with them is by liking their page on Facebook, then selecting "See First." Now, whenever I log in to Facebook, cheap airfare alerts show up at the top of my feed. I never have to think about it - they just come to me in my daily life via my bad Facebook habit. Deals that are also geotargeted to me, I might add - meaning I primarily see flights leaving out of DFW, my home airport.
And it's important that you set some kind of alert so that the deals come to you, because you have to act fast when you see something interesting. Usually these will only last for 1-2 days; if The Flight Deal's post is any older than that, the fare has likely been taken down by the airline already. So, it helps to have some idea of where you'd like to go, so you can keep an eye out - and it also helps if you're able to make a decision (and get approval for time off from work, if need be) quickly. But in my experience, when I've felt like that would be too difficult, I was usually wrong. It's always worth trying (or, asking for forgiveness rather than permission, as I have definitely done before with better than expected results).
So, your next steps here are pretty clear: get that bucket list together, like The Flight Deal on Facebook, hit "See First," and get out there! Happy travels!