Pretty Girl Travels: 6 Tips On How To Travel Abroad For Cheap!


In exactly 15 days (depending on when your reading this) ill be thousands of miles in the air on my way to Paris, France for a week long vacation with Bae!!

I have soooooo many emotions about the upcoming trip.

Im nervous about the long flight, wondering if am I crazy for going out of the country with Bae this soon (that will be another blog post) and most of all I'm amazed that I can even afford this trip.


  Like seriously, round trip airfare alone can cost you up to 2 stacks. Especially if your talking about Paris and having that kind of disposable income has never been in the cards for me, so traveling abroad was out of the question...

But thats all in the past for me and hopefully for you too thanks to this post and some good tips that I want to share to help everyone travel the world on almost any budget!



About 6 months ago my friends and I feeling very Black and Abroad (great site, check them out) started a group chat where we would place all of our inspiration for traveling the world and brainstorm for group trips. Ill have to admit, when I got added to the group my automatic thoughts were... 

"shit...im never going to be able to go to any of these places they are trying to travel, don't they realize people have bills?!"

Negative, self defeating, automatic WRONG thoughts to have.

I should have known if this group of friends were talking about making moves, there would be solid plans behind them, I mean they have gone to Aruba, Egypt...the list goes on.

Not to long after the group started one of the members Robyn put everyone on to a few traveling secrets that changed my mind set about the cost of taking trips and got my wheels turning a bit. Next thing you knew I started doing some research and about a month or so later I had booked my travel and accommodations abroad for less than the cost of one round trip ticket!

And I'm going to show you how to do it too.

1) Cheap Airfare Websites 

Nope im not just talking about Expedia, I'm talking about the real deal holyfield hook up!! Sites like Secret Flying and The Flight Deal do all the heavy lifting for you and will have your pockets jumping for joy when you see the cost of an international flight!

I was able to book my round tickets to Paris for....hold on to your hats...$460.00. 

YES GIRL...ICONIC!

A trip that normally cost 2,000+ for only 460! Don't believe me?

Lets compare one of their current deals on their site to what airlines are offering right now.

If you were to head over to Secret Flying right now and you wanted to go to Paris like me, they have a post about roundtrip tickets leaving from DC, NYC or Chicago going to Paris with open travel dates between November 2016 and March 2017.  For even cheaper than what I paid *side eye*.


Same flight details with American Airlines? 


HUGE difference right?

So how does it work you ask? 

The amazing people at Secret Flying work around the clock (literally) to find the best deals to and from locations all over the world. Not every post is from or for the United States and not every post is a round trip deal. However you can narrow your search options or use specific key words to populate post that you want to see.

Each post will give you travel date examples and locations that you can fly from that will provide you with the best deal and at the bottom of each post there will be a link that will either send you directly to the airline website or to a third party site like Momondo pictured above.

From there you are able to play with dates, layover options and price's that can further help you save some coin. Once you see a deal you like with the lowest price you will need to click Go To Site.

THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION


You see where they have "see details" and +9 more. This is letting you know that there are those sites plus 9 more that are offering tickets at the price shown or higher. I ALWAYS click the see details and look at what sites are offering the tickets and click the site that I feel comfortable booking with. The sites that they promote are not always sites that I have personally heard of and I would rater book from Orbitz or Expedia or directly from an airline (which is sometimes an option) then booking through "booboo the fool" website and something go wrong.

So just be mindful of that. 

You will then be directed to the site you choose and are free to book!

Its that simple folks and you've easily saved hundreds if not more!

Photo from huffington post

2) Be Deliberate When Booking Tickets

Aside from using the sites above there are other methods to this flight booking madness. 

Sites like Jet Blue have Flash Fares where they will post one way tickets as low as $39.00 from certain destinations. While I've seen a flash fare happen, the tickets tend to sell out super quick, so make sure you follow them and be on the look out.

Most airlines also do holiday sales, a few days before labor day or memorial day etc if you don't already have plans you may be able to luck up on a good deal to great locations all across the country for a last minuet trip.

Another tip...fly on "cheap days" when playing with travel dates in most airline booking systems (especially the ones that show you the whole month view) you will notice that its cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Of course this is because most people can't or don't want to travel on those days, however if you have a schedule that allows you to travel on "odd days" you're winning.

Last little gem, the best day to buy airline tickets is Tuesday at 3pm to be exact, at the point most airlines have released their sale prices and other airlines have either tried to match or beat their prices. 


3) Avoid Checking Bags

We all know that the more may not really be the merrier when it comes to bag's and traveling and although it can seem like a small cost/inconvenience, baggage fees can really add up. 

 One minute your just throwing a few extra shoes into your bag and the next your seriously making a dent in your vacation spending money all because of over packing. 

A checking bags can cost between $25.00 to $40.00 for the first bag depending on where you traveling and the weight and adding on a second can cost you another $40.00 to $100.00!

 Best solutions?

Only pack what you need, take into account purchases that you may make on your trip and be sure to check your airline's baggage policy and fee's. Because the last thing you need to do is spend upwards of $280.00 round trip just to get your things to and from your destination.


4) "Hidden City Flights"

A website called Skiplagged helps you find cheaper unlisted flight that are not promoted by websites but actually DO EXIST *side eye*.

This website also deals with "hidden city flights" which are flights from one destination to another  with a layover in between the two spots. However the layover spot is actually the destination that YOU want to go to.

Why would you do this you ask?

BECAUSE ITS CHEAPER!

Think of it like this, a flight from Baltimore to New Orleans may be 400.00, however a similar flight from Baltimore to Texas with a layover in New Orleans might be 220.00. If your going to New Orleans Skiplagged will show you both flights, and if you pick the cheaper one, you get off the plane at the layover and go on about your business =)

I do however have to make mention...there are a lot of things to remember about this type of flying. You can't check bags with these flights, you shouldn't associate any tickets you plan to do this with to frequent flyer accounts etc. 

Now I have not personally tried this method but I do have a few friends who have and approve.
Image from forms.com

5) Get Your Couch Surfing On

Well not exactly couch surfing, but skip the fancy hotel and book a stay in a local Airbnb or a HomeAway (which I've never used but have heard good things). 

Y'all know I'm an advocate for going the Airbnb route and no I'm not sponsored by them, but hey Airbnb if your reading this...call me ;)

I've honestly loved every experience I've had staying at one of the Airbnb homes, the host (when I'm just renting a room) are always warm and personable. Also because they are often locals they give the best advice on things to do in the area like where to eat, where to shop and most importantly...shit to avoid. Whenever I stay with a host I always leave feeling like I've made new friends.

When I choose to rent out someones entire home, its even more relaxing because...well, it feels like home. You have no reason to worry about tiny kitchenettes or not having something that you realize you need because ITS AN ACTUAL HOME! They come stocked full of everything and most host let you know your welcome to use anything =)

Whats the best part? Airbnb tends to be half the price of most hotels. I got my AirBnb in pairs for a whole week for only $545.00

Yes Girl!

And if you you want to save some coins on your first Airbnb stay anywhere click HERE and get a $35.00 credit from me =)

Note: When traveling abroad though AirBnb, make sure you give yourself a little extra time for finding a place. There seems to be 10 times the options out of the country and I also ran into a few people who didn't accept my request to stay at their place *side eye* because they were all of a sudden "booked" for my dates. All I'm saying is be aware that not everyone is opened minded about others (race, implied sexuality etc)

6) Plan Ahead 

When all else fails just plan your trip in advance.

Taking a look at your monthly expenses and assessing what you can realistically put aside in savings from every pay check to go towards a dream vacation fund is a great way to work towards a goal for next year. Pick a location and a date and start saving today so you can pay for it maybe a month or two out from your trip. 

There is also nothing wrong with making payments on your vacation. You can check out trips hosted by the site, TravelNoire who host group vacations abroad for people of color and has the whole trip set up on a payment plan. 

There are also plenty of travel agents (though they can lean more on the pricy side) who will set you up with a full vacation and let you pay in installments. Or if your more of a lover of the ocean there are cruise lines that allow you to make monthly payments towards your vacation.

Your options for getting out and seeing the world are endless! No one should feel like they can't travel, learn about new cultures and experience life because of the size of their bank account. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be next week but if I can help it everybody is going to get to see more than whats outside their door...

and we are all gonna do it for the low low LOL!

NOW GO BOOK A TRIP & TAG ME IN YOUR PICTURES!

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna  

2 comments

  1. Hi Deanna,

    Congrats on your trip to Paris! Thanks for this awesome post!!!! I am surfing the web right now to start booking my dream trip. I appreciate all the wonderful advice.

    P.s Love your blog and Instagram page BTW.

    Thanks so much,

    Asia
    @asiamv and @talldrinkofchic on instagram

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was so awesome. I have been trying to find a cheaper way to travel. I loved this blog. Thank you

    ReplyDelete

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