We all have our weaknesses. For some of us, it’s going out for spa days, getting nails done and blow outs. And for others, it’s spending weekends at the mall and evenings spent with a glass (or bottle) of wine online shopping. Whatever it is, it brings us joy for one reason or another. And while I love fashion, spa days, and blow outs (I mean, who doesn’t?), my real love and true weakness is traveling. If I could afford to do it every day, I would. Unfortunately, that isn’t my reality. However, the questions that I get more often than not, is how do my husband and I afford to travel so often. Well, I am going to give you my airline booking secrets and how I was able to buy my roundtrip flight to Thailand over peak season for only $600 by using Google Flights. I typically find that when planning for a trip, whether how big or long it may be, that buying the airplane ticket is the trickiest part. The price can usually hold some of us back, thinking we’ll go somewhere local or domestic to save some money. Well, in all honesty, you can afford to do that big trip you have always dreamed about taking without breaking the bank. Sure, you won’t be pulling a Beyonce in first class, but after a sleeping pill and glass of wine, trust me, you won’t know the difference.
Start with these booking sites:
I use only three sites when it comes to looking for good flights deals: Google.com/flights, the Skyscanner app (addicting!) and Travelzoo.com.
Google Flight uses a particular algorithm that finds the best flight price, on the best days, on any travel site out there. It is a travelers dream! You can really plug in your starting point, type in your destination, and try to find the best deal by changing your dates. Pure gold!
My second favorite is using the Skyscanner app. I check it frequently because it’s quick. I type in where I am starting, select the “everywhere” option on a particular date to see what comes up. Sometimes it helps when wanting to take a spontaneous weekend trip here in the US or when looking for my next one-way flight. Always double check though because I have found the prices to contradict themselves when getting to the site to book.
And lastly, I love Travelzoo. I don’t check it every time, but have scored massive deals on their weekly Top 20 deals. Each week, they create a list of the best travel deals, ranging from flights, hotels, vacation packages and cruises. I have done a $900 four star trip to China through them (all inclusive:airfare, hotel, food, tours, etc!) as well as booked under $600 roundtrip flights to Europe from LA. It’s worth it to sign up with them and to check their weekly deals with wanderlust strikes.
Now for the good part!
How to get a flight to Thailand from LAX for $600 *I understand that LAX is a “feeder” airport into Asian travel so this price may not be able to get with starting points from New York or anywhere else. However, I used this site to get flights to Europe in middle of summer from LA for less than $600 as well*
I will give you a step-by-step guide on how to book the flights, including screenshots as I know explaining it without visuals can be tough.
8 Quick Steps to getting the best fares with Google Flights
Add in your starting point and desired destination. If you want to go to Bangkok (or whatever your destination), I highly recommend putting in the country of where your heading instead of the city. It may be cheaper to originate your trip in a different city than you originally intended, which can sometimes save you mucho dinero. Add in the dates you want to start with and go from there.
As you can see, this gives us a visual look to what may be the cheapest options for your trip. If you have flexibility with your dates, great! You can possibly get the flight for cheaper. Next step would be just to play around the with dates to see if you can find something lower. Secondly, from what we can see, flying into Bangkok is the most affordable option at this time. Change the destination to Bangkok so you can see the variety in pricing on a variety of dates (See below. Variety of pricing is listed below the dates of take off and return flights).
What the above is showing us, is if we purchased this ticket for one adult departing from LAX on Monday, December 28 and returning on Tuesday, January 12, that the ticket is $857. Now, this is a good price if you want to hit up Thailand for New Years and the crazy Full Moon Parties. Yet, if that isn’t your prerogative and want something cheaper, I don’t blame you. Play around with the dates until you find something much less, and trust me, you will.
As you can see if, by clicking on the dates, you get multiple selections for cheaper flights. You can take off midweek for low $600’s or over the weekend for low $700’s. For this trip, I am going to select departing out of LA on Tuesday, January 19 and returning on Wednesday, February 3 for $613 round trip.
Click on the desired flight path to purchase your ticket. For me, I’m going to choose the first option due to the shorter flight path, however, click on the certain flight path you desire and complete the steps.
After I clicked my departure flight, the price went up slightly when it came to check my returning flight home. Since $20 isn’t a make or break, I will choose this flight home. However, you can always go back, change your dates to find one that is truly at $613 or less. If you do choose the top $635 flight, here is what the screen will look for you to book and finalize your flight purchase.
Click on whichever website you want to book it with. Obviously, Orbitz.com appears to be the cheapest, but the others may offer promo codes, discounts, or customer points in you book more frequently with them. Always check before you commit. I have found more often than not that, you can find a $20 off promo code for flights. While it’s not a lot, it helps! If you decide to stick with Orbitz, click on the $635 to finalize your purchase.
Yay! You found your cheap round-trip ticket to Thailand! Not only is this a low price for peak season, but you saved roughly half of what going rates are. Also, if you notice right below your total due at booking that you are earning Orbitz Rewards Orbucks to use on your hotel stays, one of the many reasons why I love Orbitz. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving.
I hope that this helps buying flights much easier, painless, and fun to get you excited for your next trip. Here are also some other great tips that I love to share:
Other Useful Tips
Book flights on Tuesdays! Airlines typically release their sales for the week on Monday with sometimes making them less on Tuesdays due to the consumer response. If you wait to book later in the week or weekend, you might find a spike in prices. If this happens, wait until the beginning of the week before booking.
If you have some time, set an email alert. I do it on Google Flights by having alerts sent to my Gmail account. Or you can download the Skyscanner app. It’s very easy to do, set up your desired flight and set up alerts to your email. If I have plenty of time, I set up both just in case Skyscanner’s price beats Google Flights.
Well, I hope this post has helped you save some money on future flights. If you have any questions in regards to the process of Google Flights, I am more than happy to answer them for you and help you along the way. Be sure to email me at Chloe [at] TimeTravelBlonde [dot] com and follow me on Instagram: TimeTravelBlonde.