Have you ever been driving down the highway and have your heart skip a beat when you see a police car on the side of the road with a radar gun pointing at you? Fortunately, I just got a new car that has a pretty cool sign recognition technology that keeps track of that for me at all times.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m a safe driver, but it sure is nice to know my car is “watching” for the speed limit, even when I’m not. Now, whenever I see a cop with a radar gun pointing right at me, I’m a lot more relaxed because I know the exact speed limit (regardless of the last time I paid attention to the speed limit in the area.)
What does this have to do with travel? Even if you’re good at finding OK deals whenever you want to take a trip – If you don’t have a system in place to watch fares FOR YOU – you’re going to miss a lot of amazing deals that will have come-and-gone by the time you get around to looking for them.
Here are three suggestions:
- Stick with “Aggregator Sites.” Whether you’re preferential to Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz, don’t use them to set up your searches because they all receive large commissions for the trips you book on their site. The fares you’re looking for are so low – they don’t pay commissions. Although the big travel sites are required to display those commission-free trips on their site, they don’t make it easy for visitors to find them. Below are suggestions for aggregator sites that are paid to send traffic to the above sites and are NOT on commission. Your odds of finding those unbelievably good deals will be a lot higher by sticking with the aggregator sites.
- Flexible on when you want to go? Airfare watchdog is a great aggregator site, and you’ll get alerts for the best prices possible for as many destinations as you want to watch. (Don’t forget to watch domestic flights where you have friends & family too. $29 and $49 round-trip flights across the country happen all the time. Besides – it’s pretty cool when you get to call a long-lost friend or family member and say “Hey – I just found $39 round-trip flights from your city to mine. Want to come out & go to the big game?”)
- Have specific times you need to go? You’ll end up paying slightly more when you don’t have flexibility on departure and return dates, but mistake fares still happen during peak travel times, so watching every day (as early as feasibly possible) will still pay off. Either Google flights or Kayak.com are GREAT for setting up fare watches for specific dates. The more destinations you watch – the more likely you’ll find not just a good deal – but an unbelievably good deal.
Just be sure to watch every single day!
No matter what method you choose – be patient and remember that finding these kinds of deals is a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t care how good you are at finding good deals, it’s not physically possible to find a good deal that doesn’t exist at the tiny moment in time you get around to looking for it. Look every day, and I assure you-you’ll be traveling sooner than you thought, spending less than you thought, and going to cooler places than you ever imagined.
PS – Speaking of police cars, if you drive one for a living – don’t forget that you (along with other community first responders, teachers, and non-profit employees) are eligible for a FREE premium subscription valued at $100 per year. Click here for more info.