Planning and Booking Your Flight:
- Find the going rate and misery index on Hipmunk.
- Search other flight sites. After you find your best fare, set up a flexible airfare calendar on the ITA Matrix. (search on different search engines: google flights, google, bing, firefox, safari, etc.)
- Apply for fare alerts on these sites that will tell you when and if the fare goes down.
- Choose 2 to 3 airports to fly from and to if possible.
- Breaking up your flight with different airlines will sometimes save you money. Regional aircraft on short flights are usually cheaper (especially Internationally).
- Use one credit card for all miles. Claunch uses Capital One.
- Apply for a few different frequent flyer miles accounts. i.e. Capital One, Delta, Alaska Airlines, etc. Combine miles from partner airlines if possible.
- Claunch calls 3 airlines that he has miles with and asks the booking agent for help.
- Once you book, you have 22 hours to change your flight, so continue to watch your Fare Alerts.
- Sign up for TSA Pre-Check to make going through security easier.
- Sign up for Global Entry to forego immigration on International trips.
- Book your car rental and hotels at the same time to save money when you add them.
- GET TRIP INSURANCE
At the Airport:
- At check-in, choose to purchase extra miles. Basically this is a sale on frequent flier miles.
- At the counter, be ultra pleasant and ask for the “Congeniality Upgrade.”
- Flying with a bow is easy. Just check it with TSA. Your case needs TSA approved locks.
- If you are flying with a firearm, go to TSA, and check it in. They will have a form for you to fill out and your case has to have TSA approved locks on it.
- Pack light and efficiently. Ask your outfitter for a gear list. Don’t add to that list and try to keep everything under 50 lbs. Try to avoid checking luggage if possible.
- If your outfitter has gear that they can provide on your trip, take advantage of that so you don’t have to pack it.
- Dress fairly nicely. Helps with upgrades. However, where your boots so they don’t weigh so much in your luggage.
- At the counter apologetically ask to gate check your carry-on.
- Always check the “change your seats” and other options.
- First Class Lounges are often worth the money when you do the math on a day pass. Install the Lounge Buddy App on your phone.
- Sign up for things at the Airport Shopping Portals if you are planning on signing up for them anyway (for free miles).
- Drink lots of water and avoid sugar or carbs. Try to eat high fat.
- Wear compression socks on long flights.
- Listen to Ben Greenfield’s podcast on the best time to travel based on your Chronotype.
- If you didn’t book your rental car at the same time as your flight, learn how to use Priceline.com.
- Use Priceline or Hotel Tonight to book a last minute hotel.
Common Travel Myths:
- Booking your flights on Tuesday DOES NOT save you money.
- Booking your flight during “busy season” doesn’t always mean that it is going to cost more.
- Booking early doesn’t always get you the best fair. (As long as you at least two weeks prior to your trip.)
- Where you search for fares from doesn’t matter. Neither does the device you use.
Links from this Episode:
- www.hipmunk.com – Hipmunk will give you a good baseline to start your research and determine basic prices, dates and determine your “misery index”.
- www.airfarewatchdog.com – Set up Fare Alerts to find deals as they become available based on different flight dates and/or airports.
- TSA pre-check
- Global Entry
- Lounge Buddy App
- Sky Scanner
- Google Flights