Top 5 Tips For Booking Travel | Nik Snacks ~ Nik Snacks

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On 11:58 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , , ,    10 comments
This is the FIFTH of FIVE posts featuring travel tips from me, Nik Snacks. Each post will have tips to help you live your best travel life with 0% hassle and 100% fun.
IF you missed the first post, click HERE for 5 travel tips, from me, Nik Snacks.



Looks like you made it! 25+ tips and tricks to living your best travel life. I've shown you
All that's left is how to book your travel. I have spent countless hours searching online, asking friends, subscribing to newsletters and I have a small grasp on what it is to book travel for yourself and others. By no means do I fashion myself to be an amateur travel agent, but I know how to use these skills to my advantage and now you will too!

Let's book some travel


1. Go incognito

Sunglasses make me look incognito 

ALWAYS search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
Your cookies are reset each time you re-open an incognito window and based on your cookies, prices do increase when you search the same flight path repeatedly.
Start with a clean slate for EACH search. Close all of your incognito windows, open a new one, and then search away.


2. Get yourself a high-powered search engine

No single search engine is consistently perfect (though I find Skyscanner to be the best). You're going to need to try multiple search engines to cover all if your bases.
My favorites include: Skyscanner, Skiplagged, AirfareWatchdog, Priceline, Kiwi
Google Flights isn't a bad place to start when you're beginning your search. Just know that there is not ONE search engine that covers all airlines. You have to mix, match and find a combo to cover the most area.

Kiwi.com is a great tool to get the international wanderlust going and save money. Enter your departure city, then select a date range to fly. Approximate costs appear over hundreds of countries around the globe from your departure point and the list of destinations is sorted by price, so you to see the most cost-effective place you can fly.

Skyscanner is my absolute favorite as they have map views so you can see where the airport is, track when and where is cheapest to fly, and set up alerts when your flight price meets your requirements. There's also an app, so go download that immediately!


3. Point yourself in the right direction


Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. Every time you fly a new-to-you airline, sign up. Every SINGLE one. Delta is my airline of choice, but you better believe I'm signed up with United and American, too. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account. If I fly Air Canada, it's credited to my United account.


4. Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

No one likes to clutter up their inbox, but by signing up for mailing lists from airlines and search engines, you’ll be able to get updates about all the last-minute or special deals. This is one of the best ways to ensure you find a cheap flight. 

C'mon, let's go!

My favorite newsletters:
Cruises.com
Cruises Only
The Points Guy
Fly Almost Free
Scott's Cheap Flights

And you can't beat emails direct from your preferred airlines.
Unfortunately, if you're interested in Amtrak travel, you're just going to have to go to the website. You can sign up for email alerts and newsletters, but there is no third-party source for discounts (although AAA, AARP and college student discounts do exist)


5. Use a travel planner. Save you time and money. Take care of EVERY SINGLE DETAIL from transportation, tickets, lodging, reservations and everything you didn't think of including.

I use A Way To Go Travel or my travel consultant friend & agent, Amy Schwartz.

Grand Tetons in Victor, Idaho


BONUS TIPS:
The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for domestic travel.

For international travel, weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends. Friday and Sunday are the most expensive days for domestic travel.

Airline fares will keep rising the closer you get to departure, but there is a sweet spot when the airlines begin to either lower or increase fares based on demand. Don’t wait until the last second but don’t book too far in advance either. The best time to book your flight is around 6–8 weeks before your departure, or around three months before if you are going to your destination during their peak season. 21-days seems to be the last sweet spot of good prices for travel.

Some low-cost airlines don't allow their tickets to be quoted on comparison websites, so be sure to check them separately. DO YOUR HOMEWORK to understand what extra charges, such as carry-on or checked baggage fees, might increase the cost of your ticket.

See y'all in the friendly skies!

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  6. When it comes to road trips, I am not one those excessive planners who squeezes the life out of a trip by writing down everything before it actually happens! Sometimes you just have to follow your nose, or turn right down a dirt road because it feels like the right thing to do. Priceline doesn’t care that I don’t know where I will be at end the day. My agenda and my map are often, “someplace 100’s of miles west of here”, or “North, across the border.” The Priceline app is a must have to be semper Gumby for any US/Canadian city you’re in. I often save 50-60% off published hotel rates in big cities (SFO SEA DFW) and in smaller cities (Billings Rapid City Laramie).

    The app itself has become a dream to use. The UX prevents me from making mistakes, and it has a lean UI that does not waste clicks or swipes. I can book a room in under a 60 seconds >>> and that includes me wasting 30 seconds on room choice. I have had the Priceline app (and all its versions) on my phone for many years. It is on my home screen because it is an essential tool. The app has literally saved me $1000’s, added fun and freedom back into travel, and removed unneeded stress, and tasks, and deadlines from my vacations. The app allows me to imagine travel locations ...and then see if such a trip is feasible. Using the Priceline app in a trip allows me to be present, not thinking ahead, or looking at the clock. The Priceline App is part of my Flow.

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