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How to Find the Cheapest Flights

How to Find the Cheapest Flights

Have you ever experienced this scenario? You’re talking to a friend or colleague about the flights you’ve just booked to some exotic destination for your next vacation, only for them to turn around and tell you that they’ve booked flights to the same destination for hundreds of dollars less! It can be infuriating; just think of all the things you could spend that money on when you arrive at your destination.

This doesn’t have to happen to you ever again! With the tips below you can ensure that you always get the cheapest flights in any circumstance.

1. The early bird saves money.

It’s not really a secret but, as with most things, the earlier you book, the more you can save. The magic number is 60. Prices rise on average about 60 days before the departure date. But don’t book too early. FareCompare research shows that airlines don’t release their cheap seats until about four months out.

2. Being flexible pays off.

If you’re not picky about the exact date that you fly, you could slash a huge amount off your fare. Mid-week flights are less popular than weekends, and Wednesday is historically the cheapest day to fly. Catching the red-eye will also save you a packet. Consider traveling to destinations in their off-peak seasons; his is will vary by location, but a quick Google search usually reveals the answer. Not only will everything be cheaper, but you will get to experience a different side to your destination that most people never see.

3. Size matters.

The nearest airport to you may not be the best one to fly from if you’re looking to save some extra spending money. Bigger and busier airports often have cheaper flights, as there is more competition between airlines and a higher frequency of flights. Compare the price of taking a cheap domestic flight to a bigger airport versus flying straight from your local airport. In my case I was able to fly to another domestic airport for $59, and the international leg was over $200 cheaper from there!

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Try using a website like Adioso to compare the price of flying into different airports near your destination. As you can see below, it was $400 cheaper for me to fly into LA instead of San Francisco–something that can make a huge difference to your hip pocket (plus maybe you could fly to LA and then take an awesome road trip to San Francisco in a rental car).

adioso

    4. Short trip? Save even more.

    Most of the budget airlines charge a low base rate, and then charge for add-ons like checked luggage. If you don’t need to take much with you, you could save quite a bit by only taking carry-on luggage (this is usually included in the cost of all tickets).

    5. Take advantage of historical price data.

    Using some great historical pricing tools like Kayak’s Price Forecast, you can work out whether the ticket price for your flight is more likely to rise or fall. This tool will show you whether to book immediately or if you’re better off waiting.

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    kayak-price-forecast

      6. Compare the comparisons.

      All comparison websites are not equal. Some have access to airlines and fares that others don’t, and booking fees can vary greatly between them. Just because two sites compare flights from the same airline doesn’t mean that the prices will be the same! From experience, there’s no one site that’s better than any other. The one that has the cheapest flight this time may not be next time, so it pays to compare at least two of them.

      Some comparison sites to consider:

      7. Go direct.

      Just as some comparison sites get access to fares that others don’t, there are many special fares that the airlines save for their own customers. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by booking with the airline direct; signing up to their mailing lists is an easy way to be notified of specials as they come up. Be aware–the really cheap ones are usually limited and go quickly, so be prepared to book as soon as you see them!

      8. Remove pre-selected items.

      Websites often try to make a few extra dollars by pre-selecting certain items and hoping that you don’t notice. Seat selection, various insurances, “green” options are some of the usual culprits and can add $20 or more to your ticket if you don’t un-tick the boxes.

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      finding cheap flights
        photo credit: Doug Waldron

        9. Avoid booking fees.

        Booking fees are fairly standard on most websites (even the ones that say no booking fees will often build them into the price) but you can sometimes avoid paying any booking fees depending on the payment method you use. Payment by direct deposit/bank transfer, PayPal or Poli are often cheaper or free.

        10. Cheap flights can become expensive.

        When looking at budget carriers, make sure you add in all the items you need before comparing the price. Flights that are a little more expensive but include things like baggage or meals may actually end up cheaper by the time you add them on to a budget flight. Also make sure you’re aware of how inflexible some cheap flights can be. If your plans change, or something comes up and you can’t make it, the change fee can often be as expensive as the actual tickets. If you’ve got good travel insurance, this may not be an issue.

        11. Call in an expert.

        FlightFox is a great service that will connect you with travel experts to help find the cheapest flights for your needs. They’ll do the hard work and then tell you how to book the flights, or they can arrange to do it for you. At just $49 it can quickly pay for itself many times over, especially for international or complicated trips (multi-stops, etc).

        12. Use your points.

        Perhaps an obvious one, but if you have frequent flyer points, you can use these towards your flight cost, or to upgrade to a better seat. Many airlines have partnerships with credit card providers where you can earn frequent flyer points for every dollar you spend. It’s a great way to earn points for things you would be buying anyway (groceries, gas, etc.) as long as you pay it off on time.

        13. Get your money back.

        Have you ever been bumped off a flight? Did you know that you may actually be eligible for some compensation from the airline? New website AirHelp can advise you of any potential compensation and help you apply for it. You may even be eligible for a refund if your ticket price drops after you purchase! Another website, Yapta, will track your flight details and let you know if it drops after you purchase.

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        There you have it! Want to save even MORE on your trip? Check out our tips on how to get the best hotel deals, and car rental hacks.

        Do you have any other tips? Share them with our readers in the comments below!

        Featured photo credit: Traffic/Don McCullough via flickr.com

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        1 9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life 2 Top 5 Spending Tracker Apps to Manage Your Budget Smart in 2020 3 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 4 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 5 How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

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        Published on January 15, 2020

        9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

        9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life

        As technology evolves and information becomes more accessible, it has also become more challenging to define success. A lot of people are trapped in the rat race while trying to discover the actual formula for success.

        You could become overwhelmed with what tools, techniques or philosophies to imbibe while trying to get tips over the internet. At every click and turn, there are ‘how-tos and quick-fix’ on how to become successful overnight. You will find several courses, articles, videos and books on how to achieve financial success.

        But what if I tell you it doesn’t have to be complicated as people made it out to be? What if you could achieve success by merely following these 9 millionaire success habits?

        1. Read for Personal Development

        A daily habit I have discovered millionaire share in common is reading. For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, you need to read to become an efficient leader and a productive business owner. Reading helps you to grow and learn without going to a business school.

        A research conducted by Thomas Crowley indicates about 85% of self-made millionaires read at least two or more books each month. [1] Warren Buffett is one of these examples. He spends 80% of his day reading. In the early days of his investment career, he would read 600 to 1000 pages in a single day.

        While millionaires sometimes read for pleasure, they also learn to improve themselves. They read topics on leadership, how-tos, self-help, biographies, lifehacks and also follow current events.

        2. Establish Multiple Sources of Income

        Another success habit I noticed about success is that they don’t depend on a single income source. Every millionaire possesses multiple sources of income. This helps them to manage economic challenges and also make more money.

        They are passive income addicts. They earn interests from loans, rental income from real estate, royalties from intellectual properties, dividends from investments. They also launch a side business or run a website or sell information products.

        How income is made either passively or actively is what separates the successful from the wannabes. They are always learning ways to build multiple streams of income.

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        3. Live on a Stipulated Monthly Budget

        An average millionaire does not believe in luck and jackpot. They take the time to understand cashflow-income and expenses. Based on this, they establish a monthly budget and religiously stick to it.

        The essence of the budget is to minimize unnecessary expenses. This will help you gain complete control of your financial life. Budgeting helps you to avoid overspending to achieve your financial goals. Here’re some tips to help you stuck to your budget: 32 Hacks for Sticking to Your Budget

        4. Manage and Maximize Money

        The most significant education for a millionaire is financial intelligence. Nobody attains financial freedom without gaining financial intelligence. This is the more reason millionaire regardless of their income update their knowledge about tax strategies.

        They always seek to reduce their tax bills. One approach they employ is by living or incorporating their business in states with no income tax.

        Do you know that about 60 companies paid $0 legally in the 2018 tax year? Some of these companies that ‘avoided'(note: not evaded) federal income tax include Chevron, Amazon, Halliburton, General Motors, Delta. The total income. Their total US income was totaled at $79 billion with an effective tax rate of -5%.

        What’s the deal? They got a tax refund. How do they accomplish these?

        An ITEP report indicated that they have the culture of throwing huge sums at tax experts who assist them in discovering creative, as well as convoluted means of paying little tax as much as possible. [2]

        5. Avoid Debt

        Another habit that separates the millionaires from the rest of the world is how they manage debt.

        They don’t live an extravagant lifestyle and only buy what they need and can pay for. They do not book hotels and flights by using their credit cards to pay for them.

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        They are conscious of the interest rates even when they use credits cards or take loans. They use those facilities for their advantage or pay with cash because of its zero percent interest rate.

        6. Set Daily Goals

        It does not matter if they are setting business, career, or financial projections; they have the success habit of setting short term goals. They plan daily and weekly to generate momentum in achieving their long-term goals.

        Ensure you prioritize when setting daily goals. This will help you to achieve the most important to-dos on your list.

        Setting priorities will help you to focus on highly rewarding activities. If you desire financial freedom, it is wise to pursue activities that earn you thousands of dollars than hundreds of dollars.

        7. Don’t Act Rich

        The goal is not to act rich but to be productive. Interestingly, Thomas Stanley buttressed this in his book that the most prestige brands of cars, about 86% percent are toys of the non-millionaires. People with huge fortunes tend to drive exotic cars but in reality, the largest consumers of pricey cars are aspirational. [3]

        According to findings by Experian Automotive Researchers, 61% of individuals who earn $250,000 or more rarely buy luxury brands. Instead, they buy Hondas, Toyotas, and Fords like the rest of the world. The reason is they are not ready to spend money on premium cars that tend to drop in value in a couple of years as it would cost money. Millionaires invest in assets that appreciate. [4]

        8. Own or Buy Businesses

        In Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant, he divided how you earn income into four quadrants. The E and the S quadrants take the left position while the B and the I are on the right side. According to Robert, it is possible to be on all quadrants, but the millionaires are not.[5]

        • E stands for employee – they work for others
        • S stands for self-employed – they work for themselves
        • B stands for a Business owner- employees work for them (500 or more employees)
        • I stand for Investors – Money work for them like Warren Buffet.

        Your goal is to move from the left quadrant to the right quadrants where you own big businesses or make money work for you.

        It is possible to become financially successful by pursuing what you love. For instance, if you love writing, aspire to be the best seller. Wealth and passion work together.

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        9. Avoid Get-Rick-Quick Scheme

        A millionaire holds patience as an essential virtue. It takes patience to become successful, not only in finance but in every aspect of life. While it is possible to become financially successful at an early age, most millionaires hit it at age 50. They live a moderate life, invest in their future and retire rich.

        Bonus: How Can You Develop the Millionaire Success Habits?

        Having learned these habits, the next question is,

        How can I develop the Millionaire Success habits?

        Here are six values you will need to develop:

        Establish Your Life Vision

        You need to be clear about what you want in life to set yourself for a life of success. Your vision has to go beyond becoming a millionaire to understanding why you want to become one. Any great entrepreneur you will ever find has a clear vision and an established mission.

        Understanding why you are doing what you do will drive you to become the kind of successful person you want to be.

        Make Your Passion a Profession

        When your passion becomes your profession, work becomes pleasurable. Loving what you do enables money to flow to you and through you.

        So what’s going to be? Wake up every morning by speaking positive words into your work, love what you do, and focus on the work that brings you joy.

        Take a look at this article and learn how to make it happen: 5 Steps To Turn Your Passion Into A Career

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        Focus on Solution

        Focusing on the solution means establishing the problem that you or your business address. This will help you focus on the solutions when others are faced with challenges.

        A millionaire has a mindset that is fixed on the solution. He or she knows there’s a way out, and that every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

        Improve your problem solving skills with these tips: 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

        Develop Your Leadership Skills

        Leadership skills are an asset that is indispensable if you want to develop a millionaire success habit. The more you hone your leadership skills, the more you will attract leaders who share your values.

        Be Growth-Focused

        Millionaire entrepreneurs prioritize self-improvement. Here’s how to achieve it:

        • Get a coach. Coaching will impact your life, and you will achieve peak performance in life and business when you have a life coach.
        • Be coachable. It is not enough to have a coach; you must be coachable. Sometimes, you need feedback and counsel to reposition your life and business. A coach has the wisdom and experience to counsel you from a higher perspective. The more you receive feedback and work on yourself, the more you become better at what you do and who you are.

        Flip Your Thought Pattern From Acting To Being

        It is not enough to have a millionaire success habit, you must also become a person of positive influence. This is how you can become significant. Bill Gates is not only rich; he is changing lives in Africa and different parts of the world.

        If you want to become successful, you must first be and think like a successful person. This is how resources you need can flow into your life.

        Here’s a final thought from me:

        It is not enough to do something to have something; success is about being someone who possesses what is needed to take positive and inspired actions.

        More Success Habits

        Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

        Reference

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