Over the past 2 years, I have circled the globe twice, lived in Europe and Asia. I travel between the US and Europe at least twice a year (to make the parental units happy) and i have never paid more than 1000 for a round trip flight taxes included. With the right combination of timing and technique, you too can be a frugal traveller. Here are a few examples of what I have done to keep my journey under 1000.
1. Sometime if you are trying to book a flight with a necessary layover, all in one price, the cost can be higher. So, here is what I did. For example, I wanted to book a flight from San Antonio, TX to Amsterdam, The Netherlands but I have to stop over in Houston, TX before the direct flight to Amsterdam. When booking it all together the cost was somewhere around $1180. So I decided to book a flight to Houston from San Antonio, as they were having discounted flights within Texas on the same airline. THEN, I booked a flight a few hours later directly to Amsterdam. The grand total for my ticket then? ....$720! Be careful to book the first flight into the SAME airport you plan on flying out of and give yourself a few hours to make the next leg of your journey. Trust me, it will pay off in the end and besides a few hours in the airport these days is barely enough time to go through security so the wait time will fly by and you have a bit extra money to play with.
2. Another option is to look into nearby airports for better travel deals, I have even gone so far as to calculate the cost of gas getting to the nearby airport into my overall cost. For example, when I took my first trip to Bangkok in 2009 I decided to fly out of Austin, TX on southwest airlines on my first leg to Los Angeles (about an hour and a half away from where I live). If you plan the timing right you can get that first leg of your journey over quicker and so much cheaper then booking multiple legs with a single carrier. I flew to asia on Thai Airways and the all inclusive flight would have cost me somewhere around $1800...one way! BUT, by driving to Austin and having lunch with a friend before my first leg and spending about 4 hours in LAX, my ticket came out to be $1000 AND I flew premium economy (think unlimited booze and shrimp for your in-flight meal)
3. Also, Chase and Continental airlines have teamed up to offer 30,000 miles if you sign up for a credit card OR a checking account with $25 in it. A few weeks later you should get 30,000 onepass miles in your miles account. its about 50,000 miles for a international roundtrip, 25,000 miles for roundtrip domestic flight….so you do the math. I once used my miles to fly roundtrip from Europe back to Texas and with the 50.00 booking fee and taxes it cost me a 60 bucks AND they overbooked and I got ungraded to Business class. Talk about an amazing deal!
I have created a blog detailing some other money saving tips along with links to companies I have booked through in the past.