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4 Steps To Find Really Cheap Flights To Europe

4 Steps To Find Really Cheap Flights To Europe

Do you often hear of various ‘travel hacks’? Or friends claiming they know ‘when to buy’ and ‘when to fly’ helping them get the best flight deals? Well, the rumors are true. There are definitely better days to purchase your airfare, times to fly, and ways of booking to save you money. After all, the ‘getting there’ is usually the most anxiety-ridden part of your trip, so why pay more than the person next to you? Save that money! And bring home something nice for your mom instead.

While there are many places to find flight deals, one of the most searched terms in the U.S. is “cheap flights to Europe.” It seems that many living on this side of the pond just want to get away. Well, good for you, because not only is traveling good for the soul, but it can also be easy on the pocketbook, if you follow these four simple rules:

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1. Set a fare alert

What is this you ask? It’s as simple as heading to an airfare comparison search site and inputting your desired itinerary and email address. Then let the magic of data crunching happen. The result is an alert sent directly to your inbox the moment the fare you want drops. It is imperative you jump on purchasing the deal though, as other travelers are probably doing the same. Sale seats are always limited. Supply meet demand.

Note: This step is of utmost importance for international travelers as rates can fluctuate at non-regular times as opposed to domestic fares, which usually hit the interwebs each week on Tuesdays.

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2. Don’t delay shopping

Start shopping no sooner than five months ahead of time. Plan to purchase your international destination airfare right around 90 days out from your desired departure.

Bonus: For domestic flights, start shopping no earlier than three and a half months before departure and purchase around 30 days before, unless you happen upon an airfare sale. However, airfare sales usually require a 21-day advance purchase for travel.

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3. Do connecting flights

Okay, so you are lucky enough to live near a big hub with non-stops to Europe. Great! However, if you don’t mind a few extra hours, you may find a much better deal if you purchase a flight with one or more connections. Just don’t be hesitant to compare the non-stops to connections–a few hours could save you upwards of 50% off. Also, if you do not live near a hub, and take a flight from a small airport to a larger one, it might be worth to make the longer drive instead of paying for a short flight.

Example: Say you live in Twin Falls, Idaho. While there is a small airport with connections only to Salt Lake City, it might be cheaper to spend the money on gas to Boise or Salt Lake to get a great deal from the larger SLC hub.

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4. Don’t fly on expensive days

Midweek days are the cheapest to fly for international destinations, as opposed to the weekends.

Bonus: For domestic flights, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly!

Here’s an analogy to wrap it all up: I have a bus with 10 seats. My competitor has a bus with 10 seats. I start selling my seats for the highest price and so does my competitor. I sell two, but my deadline is getting closer. Therefore, about 90 days before my deadline, I have a sale to amp up the competition and sell more seats. Unbeknownst to the consumer, I only have five seats set at this price. I sell five with my sale price, and this leaves me with three seats. My competitor sells all of theirs, but now we’ve created demand for my seats. I have my three seats that are really close to the deadline to sell and, because of the demand generated, I am now able to sell them for the highest price!

You don’t need to crack some code on getting cheap flights, you just need a little insight (and maybe an analogy) to guide you. Check out this article with more travel tips for the ultimate guide on smaller travel hacks you may not know about. Enjoy your travels!

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Last Updated on June 26, 2020

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

“How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

  • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
    • food
    • rent/mortgage
    • cell phone
    • insurance
    • socializing/entertainment
    • transportation
    • hygiene products
    • household bills
  • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
    • travel
    • clothing
    • medication (*depends)
    • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
    • gifts

Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

Save Money on Food

1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

2. Buy the store-brand version

Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

4. Have group dinners

If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

Save Money in Transport

5. Get a bicycle

Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

7. Find the cheapest gas

Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

Save Money in General Shopping

8. Shop online

Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

9. Sell your old stuff

Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

10. Bulk buying stores

For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

12. Generic brand medication

More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

Cut Down on Household Expenses

14. Printing

Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

16. Shop around for insurance

Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

18. Don’t get a TV

Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

20. Have house parties

Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

21. Open festivals, meetups and events

It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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22. Volunteer

If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

23. Housesit

There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

24. DIY beauty

French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

  • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
  • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
  • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
  • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
  • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
  • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
  • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

More Tips for Personal Finance Management

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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