5 Ways to Book a Cheap Trip

Let’s face it, we would all be wandering around the Swiss Alps or the markets of Thailand if money wasn’t an issue, but that always seems to be the one thing that gets in the way. Annoying, right?!

Well, I do have a few tricks that help me save money when planning a trip that I SWEAR by.

1. Hopper

If you don’t have this app, you need to download it now. Like seriously stop reading this, go to the app store, download it and then come back here. This app is best if you know you want to go to - say, Las Vegas, and you have a few dates in mind. You can check the flight prices for multiple times and tell the app to “watch your trip”. It will then notify you when you should buy the flight, and whether it predicts that prices will drop or how much time you have before prices will rise. THIS REALLY WORKS.

I had it watching my trip last summer when I was flying from Florida to California, and I received a message one Tuesday morning saying that I should book it now because the price had dropped $50. I was also perusing the app last week and found tickets to Paris in February for $300 roundtrip that now rose to $900.

2. Google flights

Okay this is where I spend 98% of my free time. If you have specific dates that you can travel and are open to destinations, this is PERFECT. Just type in your dates and hit “explore destinations”. It will tell you the flight prices of all the places in the world. It is SO helpful for planning a quick weekend away or for when comparing destinations. This is also great if you don’t care about which airline you take. I will say that some airlines aren’t included in this search so keep that in mind.

3. TripMasters

At first glance this website might seem not legit, but I am here to say it’s good! Peter and I had been planning our post-graduation trip for nearly a year because we kept changing our destination. I mean China, Spain, Croatia, Greece… you name it, we considered it. What we did know was that we wanted to do a combination of cities, which was something we were able to plan with this site. It bundled hotels, flights, and trains all together for one lump sum. It was so simple for us to book our travel this way! It also allowed us to add excursions if we wanted.

Also, we had awesome customer service!! Our original flights were connecting through Paris, which just so happened to be shut down the night before our flight due to an air-strike by the pilots. I had never been so scared that I would miss a trip in my life, I mean c’mon we planned it for a year and suddenly our flight was cancelled!? That’s one word you never want to see on your Delta app. So we called the airline who was unable to help us at all. Entirely hopeless we called TripMasters and got connected with the sweetest man who was on the phone with us for hours rearranging our travels. I am so thankful for his patience that saved our trip!

4. Student Universe

I swore by this when traveling to Europe. It offers students a discount on flights, particularly flights across the pond. I think it saved me roughly $300 on a flight to Italy which means more gelato for me!

5. Groupon

Weird right? The site that gets you discounted yoga classes or cheap gifts also has travel deals. Groupon is a great resource if you are looking to book an all-inclusive stay somewhere or a weeklong trip because your flights, accommodations and food are all included. The only downside is that dates are often limited and flights typically leave from large airports (not MSP). So, you will have to pencil in an additional cost for getting to that airport. Also, do note a lot of these all-inclusive packages are meant to be booked in groups of 2 or more, so they will sometimes charge you more for being a single traveler.

Personally, we used this for our weekend stay in Chicago for New Year’s. I looked for cheap hotels & came across the Inn of Chicago which was in a great location and only cost $90/night. Not to mention, we got upgraded to a top-floor room with an awesome view of the city skyline.

I hope that you found this to be useful. I know that there are plenty of other resources out there, but I wanted to only include the ones that I stand by & have used before. Please comment below any of your go-to booking hacks! I would love to learn more!

Cheers! Xoxo – Katie