Off the beaten path: cheap flights
When it comes to seeing the world, there are two ways to do it. You can either A) be a tourist, or B) be a traveler. The major difference is that money is not an object for tourists. They stay in four star hotels and buy the most expensive travel packages. This would be someone like grandma and grandpa on their quest to see the world after the kids have all moved out.
This I’ll save for later in my life when I can afford it. For now I’ll be a traveler. This is someone who seeks cheap accommodations, is thrifty in expenditures and lives out of a backpack.
Finding cheap flights to where you want to go can sometimes be difficult, but it is possible. If you want to go somewhere tropical but can’t afford an $800 ticket to Hawaii, perhaps try somewhere else. Other tropical locations are much cheaper than you might think. Flights to The Bahamas or Aruba are relatively inexpensive. Bermuda, for example, is as cheap as flights go.
Last spring break my ticket to Bermuda was a little under $400, but be advised, food there is quite expensive, so pack loads of granola bars and pop tarts. I did it for 10 days and was able to survive eating out only once a day.
You can also check out sites like www.ksl.com or www.craigslist.com. Many times people are looking to get rid of their skymiles that are about to expire. You can pick them up for fairly cheap or even for doing some yard work for them. Many times they are willing to negotiate with you.
Try buying buddy passes from a friend or relative that works in the airline industry. I went to Peru over this past Thanksgiving flying with a friend on a buddy pass and a ticket that normally would have cost me about $1500 instead cost me $400. Plus, I was able to fly business class to and from Peru.
Be aware that if you have a strict schedule this might not be the best route. You as a “non-revenue” passenger don’t always have priority. You might get to say a couple extra days in your location until a seat opens up.
Whenever you have a ticket and the airline asks if anyone is willing to stay an extra night for a free flight, by all means do it. A free flight can mean another cheap vacation and most of the time they will also pay for your hotel until the next flight goes out.
My wisdom on finding cheap food and shelter will have to wait till next week. Until then, keep an eye out for deals because travel can come cheap.