Being an international student, I spend a lot of my time flying between US and Europe. I decided to share a few tips on how to save a few bucks while traveling.
1. The best times to look for airline tickets is on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. eastern time.
2. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
3. Use a carry on instead of checking in your luggage.
Also, carry a backpack as your personal item! Make sure to weigh your luggage before you get to the airport. You can save yourself some unpleasant surprises that way.
4. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at water fountains instead of buying expensive airport drinks.
Also, bring your own snacks!
5. Use Airbnb!
It gives you the “local” experience and helps you save some money!
6. Travel in low season!
For example, kids in Europe don’t get out of school until late June, so try to book your trip in May.
7. Try to buy trips from local agencies (preferably with companies in countries that have a good exchange rate).
For example, I have taken a bunch of my American friends to Europe this summer and we bought our trips to Greece and Italy through a Polish agency (1 U.S. dollar was about 3.8 Polish Zloty at the time). We ended up paying about $500 for an all-inclusive trip that included flight tickets, hotel, food and drinks! (A big plus- you get to travel with people from a different country and make some great memories!)
8. Don’t be scared cheaper flights with long layovers!
This past summer I was traveling back home with a 15h layover in the Moscow airport. The airport had a hotel that you could rent for a certain amount of hours. I ended up spending only about $50 and was refreshed for my flight the next day. All I had to do is wake up 1h early and walk over to my gate. Also, with longer layovers you can use that time to explore the city!
9. Eat like a local!
During my time in Paris I would buy a baguette at a local bakery, head over to the Seine river and people watch while the locals were walking their dogs or rushing over to get to their jobs. So much cheaper, and I made much better memories that way!
10. Keep in mind that “If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad- it’s an experience”.
Try to make the best out of it, even if at the moment it seems like a total disaster. After all, these experiences will turn into great memories and lessons for the future.