How I flew to Europe for $300 dollars
Some people ask how I can afford to travel and most importantly, how can they afford to travel too. Honestly, traveling isn't cheap. It's also not expensive. I'm not rich and in fact, I'm a broke college student who works retail at the local mall, woo. Traveling affordably requires timing and flexibility.
1. Be flexible
If you're not willing to be flexible with your travel dates, flights and time, then traveling will be much more expensive. Whenever I search for flights, I am looking for the month that I'd like to go and finding the cheapest dates within that month. I almost always use the 'flexible dates' feature when booking flights.
Being flexible also means being willing to catch those 8 AM flights that are usually significantly less cheaper. It's hard to get up in the morning, but so what if it means you'll get to your destination both quicker and cheaper.
Knowing the best times to buy a flight is crucial. I typically start planning a trip 3-6 months ahead of time. If you plan too far in advance flights could be normally priced and will probably drop somewhere between 6 months and your departure date. You can use Skyscanner alerts to track of flights going to your desired destination. The best time to buy a flight is on weeknights, especially between Tuesday and Wednesday, when flights are typically cheapest.
So how am I traveling to Europe this month for $331 dollars? Timing, flexibility and travel rewards points.
My best friend and I booked cheap one way flights into Dublin, Ireland for our Eurotrip adventures. We weren't too picky with which country we'd fly into and decided on Dublin because it was cheaper than a lot of other cities and also one of our favorite places in the world.
YML&T Tip: Experiment with arrival cities and airports and go for the cheapest that will get you closest to your destination. For example, you're dying to go to London? It's expensive to fly into capital, touristy cities. Fly into Dublin instead and catch a Ryanair flight to London for dirt cheap.
Our flight from Baltimore, MD (BWI) to Dublin, Ireland: $331 via STA Travel.
If you want to travel cheaply, fly with budget airlines. That's a major travel key.
You may be wondering about our flight back and why we only bought a one-way? We don't have a crazy plan to stay forever and change our identities or anything. Although, that wouldn't be a bad idea. Travel rewards points is the answer. Every month my friend uses her travel rewards credit card with American Airlines to buy daily purchases (gas, groceries etc). She earns points on every single purchase, which can be redeemed for flights. These flights are basically FREE because you're earning flights from money already spent.
If you're a twenty-something who wants to travel more, don't bother getting department store credit cards. Get a credit card that'll reward your daily purchases with travel! We have enough rewards points with American Airlines to fly back from London to the U.S. for FREE!
It's amazing the ways that you can cheat the travel system!
What are your cheap travel tips?
Share your experiences with us: #YouMeTravel
You. Me. Lunch. started as a saying between my best friend, Khaila, and I. It's been our way of saying 'see ya later' since we were seven years old. I guess you can say I'm an actual food baby.