Finding Travel Deals

As frequent travelers, we are often asked how we are able to travel so much. Most people view travel as a luxury, something that only the rich are able to partake in. Well I’m here to tell you, that is not the case!  The key is to finding deals, and there are a ton of them out there! If you notice just by being on social media, there is a huge boom in traveling these days. Everyone and their mother is going on trips and that is because not only is it more accessible, it’s cheaper than ever to go to that destination you have pinned on Pinterest! And with all the different cash back apps out there, it’s easier than ever to save money for travel.


My favorite sites to search for airfare are Google Flights and Skyscanner.  You can download the app by clicking here.  It’s not only for flights, but also hotels, car rentals, making this a great tool for researching your trip.  One of the best features of Skyscanner is the everywhere search.  If you put in your home airport into the from field, you can then select everywhere in the to field. If you are flexible, instead of selecting specific dates, select the whole month. You will get results of the cheapest flights all over the world from your home airport. We rarely have a destination in mind, we book based on what’s cheapest, allowing us to travel more frequently.  To give you an idea, our airfare to Thailand cost under $500 per person  Costa Rica was under $300 and our upcoming trip to London was under $400. Hard to beat that! Try it yourself, just type in your info in the box below and it will search Skyscanner’s website for you.

There are also what are called glitch fares.  These generally don’t last long, but if you are lucky enough to score one, your flight or hotel can cost as little as a penny!  The best way to be notified of current glitch fares and travel deals from your home airport in general is to subscribe to Secret Flying and The Flight Deal emails. They come daily to your inbox, with lots of great deals to places all over the world. Some deals are last minute, but many are not, giving you time to plan.  You can also follow each on Facebook. I highly recommend switching notifications to “see first” that way you are notified first when these deals come up. We have booked quite a few glitch fares using these sites!

Since these are glitch fares, they are often removed rather quickly. The one thing you don’t want to do is call the airline, inquiring about it. This will definitely make the fare disappear and ruin the deal for everyone.  Basically, if you see a fare that’s too good to be true, purchase without thinking too much because chances are it will be gone within the hour!

Going, formerly called Scott’s Cheap Flights is an awesome service and well worth the $39 annual cost. If you live near a hub, you will get 2-3 deals a day to destinations all over the world. Most of these fares are under $400!

Similar to the above is Travel Pirates.  Their emails don’t come as often, but when they do, there are some great deals to be found! Subscribe to their emails and follow them on Facebook for some great travel deals.

Another great app is Hopper.  They will track your desired route and notify you when the airfare drops. Hopper combines millions of daily, real-life prices to find the best airfare.  It also predicts what future airfare might be, and whether you should buy now or wait.  So far, it’s been pretty accurate for us!

If you are traveling with just carry ons, Skiplagged is your best friend! Developed by a 22 year old college student, this website will find the cheapest fare using a trick that’s been around for years. The key is to book one way flights.  Say a flight from from LAX to DAL is $350 but a flight from LAX to AUS is $150 but it includes a stop in Dallas.  You book it, get off in Dallas and don’t continue to Austin. The trick to this is, you can only travel with carry ons, otherwise your luggage will continue to the final destination. And, book one ways because many airlines will cancel your return itinerary if you don’t complete all flight segments.  Like I said before, this works best for people without kids or those who don’t pack much, since many people with children have checked luggage. And of course, there is always a risk when doing this so proceed with caution! Airlines don’t like this and can ban you from flying them in the future.

HOW TO FIND HOTEL DEALS is also great with some amazing rates, all over the world. You can book hotels and vacations rentals here, making it a great place to book all of your lodging needs.


There are so many travel reward credit cards out there! Everyone will have an opinion on the best, but the best card will be the one that earns you points to get you to where you want to go. These are ones our family personally uses.

I personally use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for almost all travel and dining. The perks are the best and we have the Priority Pass that came with it, which gives us lounge access all over the world at airports. Layovers and delays are so much better when you have a comfortable place to hang out in! The downside is the high annual fee, recently changed to $550 but for us it’s worth it and we utilize all the perks.

My most recent is the  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant  card from Amex which earned us 5 free nights at our Marriott in Hong Kong!

I also have the Southwest Chase (both personal and business) and earned the companion pass in February this year.  That means that Milana flies for free as my companion on every flight for the rest of this year and all of next! This is one of the best perks of travel, I highly recommend earning the companion pass if you plan to fly SW at all in the future! We’ve had the companion pass for over 6 years now and have not paid for SW flights in that time!

Other cards I have and utilize points/miles from on a regular basis are the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card .  We stay at Marriotts pretty much every single month for free! Once you reach Titanium, the perks are amazing. We get upgrades to huge suites for free, free breakfast and much more. Marriott is my favorite hotel chain and offers by far the best perks! Our rooms are always ready by 10am and we get late checkouts of 4pm, can’t beat that!

One of the best hotel chains is Hyatt, they truly reward their members and their hotels are top notch. The new World of Hyatt Credit Card can earn you up to 60k points, which is enough for several free nights at some amazing properties worldwide.

Hilton Honors is another great hotel card. We have redeemed points overseas at some really great properties!

Chase Freedom is a must in your wallet! They have 5% bonus categories where you can earn lots of UR points on those specific categories every quarter so you can really rack up the UR points! Sometimes it’s supermarkets, other times it’s gas stations but it’s always easy to rack up the points with this card.

If you want a card that’s not brand specific, I can’t recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve enough! You can transfer these points to other airline and hotel programs or book travel using the Chase portal. We used Chase points for our hotels in the Cook Islands (which are so expensive!) and had free accommodations for our entire stay. Yes, the annual fee ($550) is hefty. But you get $300 of that back every year as a travel credit, $100 towards Global Entry (which you should have if you travel internationally) and so many more perks! PriorityPass comes with your card, and that gives you access to airport lounges all over the world.  Your airport time will be spent in a comfortable lounge, with free food, snacks and drinks instead of at the gate. My daughter loves this perk and is sad if an airport doesn’t have a lounge!

If you have a legitimate business, then the Chase Ink Business Card is for you. It has the best bonus, much better than the CSR! If you get both, you’ll have a ton of UR points to work with.

There are also a ton of airline specific cards and I have them all. Let’s face it, it’s not smart to be loyal to just one with the high bonuses that pop up. We have flown free all over the world using miles from the sign up bonuses.  The Delta SkyMiles Blue Card gives you 10k points as a sign up bonus if you meet the minimum spend.


My favorite cash earning app is Dosh.  This is the best app in my opinion because you simply add your credit cards, and when you shop or dine at participating stores or restaurants, the cash back is added to your account within seconds!  I have gotten so much money back from dining at restaurants while traveling without even knowing they participate until I paid the bill and was instantly rewarded with cash back.

Upside is great to earn cash back quickly on groceries, gas and restaurants. I was surprised how quickly these added up!

I use Rakuten constantly.  I’ve gotten a ton of cash back just for shopping and lots of travel sites (Priceline, Marriott, Hilton, etc.) are on there too! All you need to do is sign up, search for the store you want to shop in and that’s it. Easy way to get even deeper discounts on travel and every day shopping!

Another awesome cash back site is Ibotta.  Once you get the app, you simply take pictures of your receipts from supermarkets, pharmacies, etc. and earn cash back.  You can also shop online through their portal to earn even more.  Everyone grocery shops, this is a super easy way to earn money for something you already do! They recently added a travel section, so not you can get cash back if you book hotels, airfare, car rentals, etc. through the app link.

I started using Fetch Rewards just recently because I was skeptical.  Scan receipts and earn points, which get you thinks like hotel and airline gift cards. Well 2 month later, I had a $50 Southwest gift card that I redeemed for an upcoming flight.  Just from scanning store receipts.  I wish I had signed up sooner! Use code D2DJC when you sign up to get 2k points for just signing up!

As you can see, there are a ton of travel deals out there. You just have to be on the lookout and you too will find them. Happy travels!


  • 2foodtrippers

    This is such great information! I’m definitely going to sign up for some of these emails. Maybe one day I’ll get one of the glitch fares…

  • 100cobbledroads

    So many tips…wow, you remind me of a cousin of mine who calls herself ‘Deal Queen’. 🙂 Should make a note of these and try using some myself. I suppose, you need a lot of dedicated effort and perseverance to take advantage of these options…somehow I’m never trying hard enough..

    • Milana's Travels

      I actually spend very little time finding deals! Subscribing to their emails and Facebook posts is the best way to ensure you see them first. I book what looks good and off we go!

  • Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer

    I had never heard of Skiplagged. I am off to investigate the website right now. Thanks for that awesome tip. I already use skyscanner and love the flexible button 🙂

  • blondemoments

    I love skyscanner! I do all my flight research with the website! But I never have heard of the other ones and I will definitely check them out as well. Thank you for sharing

  • Melissa Smuzynski

    Some of these sites I LOVE, others I haven’t even heard about yet. Thanks for the advice. Definitely going to check out Skiplagged and Where for.

  • A Traveling Bond

    Awesome post! I love finding the best deals. I will definitely be trying some of the sites you have mentioned. I am always trying to travel on a budget with my little girl!

  • Christina from Happy to Wander

    Yessss Secret Flying is the absolute best. I find that liking their Facebook page is the best way to keep track of all the deals, since you can see them as soon as they come up (rather than wait for an email). I just snagged a roundtrip flight to Munich for dirt cheap through them (only $600 Canadian) which means I can spend the holidays with my boyfriend. SO so excited and thankful!! Skyscanner is a great tool too. Great list!

  • Sydney Fashion Hunter

    I have only just started using Skyscanner and I love it! Have never thought to use it for hotels though so I will need to look at that! I just grabbed 2 tix to Vietnam almost a $1000 off yippeee! I thought I knew all the bargain tricks in the book but some of these I haven’t heard of so I will need to check them out.

  • Diana Chen

    I love hopper! I just booked flights for my whole family to St. Thomas on hopper and they had the lowest prices by far. I also like how their platform is so easy to use. I’ve never heard of Skiplagged before but it sounds similar to cleverlayover! Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  • Your Next Big Trip

    Brilliant tips! The key to getting a good deal is to be spontaneous and always ready to book when you see the deal. I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference. Its great to have all these resources in the one place!

  • leslieweighill

    These are fabulous tips! I’m going to tweet and bookmark this article to share it with our upcoming volunteers. Air fares to Uganda can sometimes be ugly!

  • Soraya @ Hello Raya

    These are all fantastic websites – some I have never heard before. I usually have used Skyscanner and another website called I Know the Pilot. If you are flexible with your dates, it is easier to find travel deals.

  • Christina

    A useful list of resources including a few I’ve never heard of. I’ll be checking out Travel Pirates, Hopper and Skip Lagged. The airfare marketplace is so competitive it’s pretty tough finding great deals these days.

  • Rashmi and Chalukya

    Great post! These travel deal tips are just amazing. We especially found Wherefor site superb which suggests us destination depending on our budget. Credit cards are definitely something widely used to grab some of the best deals around.

  • kriswanders

    I’m not really familiar with the loops on how to get a freat deal, and this post is really helpful! Thanks for the tips, I’ll bookmark this for future refere nce. 🙂

  • Smidge

    Argh I’m going have to check these all out to see if they work the UK. We just work with Skyscanner here. Which btw is an Edinburgh company ?

  • Maja

    I use Skyscanner regularly for years and I always track the price for a while. A few months ago we discovered Hopper and I am totally in love with it! But you know, in the end, a combination of few search engines helped us to find cheaper tickets. If there is no special promotion, one is definitely not enough.

  • Vicki Garside

    Great round up! SkyScanner has always been my go-to site, and i’ve used hopper at bit recently too. Skip-lagged seems such a great idea, but I’ve found it doesn’t really work so well outside of the USA – but things are always improving so i’m going to keep trying to get the best deal from it!

  • aceshoppingeye

    Thank you awesome travel tips everyone always try to find the cheapest flights, hotels and rental cars visit their dream destinations Happy Travel to you and everyone else out there…

  • freedominmotionmedia

    Such a helpful blog post! I would add that Scott’s Cheap Flights is probably the best travel service for avid international travels. You pay $39/year and get super cheap flights to your inbox almost daily! The other day, I found a fare for $293 from Denver to Rome! Highly recommend.

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