Updated: Mar 8
More often than not, I hear people talk about all of the destinations they are on their dream list and if I am being honest, that was me too, until I realized it didn’t have to be. Travel is something I have always enjoyed and wanted to become a regular part of my life, I just didn’t always know how to make it so. Now, with a whole family, I have to be super intentional about travel if it’s going to be a part of our regular life and with a bit of savings and the right resources, I realize that traveling the world is something that anyone can enjoy.
Over the last two years I have been writing down all of the ways we make travel happen as a family in an effort to help others make travel more than just a hope for their future, especially international travel a regular part of their day to day lives. I hope to do a travel series in the coming months “Tash’s Travel Tips,” but to start, here are a few websites and apps (I come from an iPhone perspective) that I have used or use to dream about and imagine the places I want to go.
Websites For Cheap Flights
It’s important to note that my three top bucket list destinations from the last 20 years of my life were Marrakesh, Phuket and Santorini. In 2017, I got serious about my life goals and I have been to two of the three of them in the last two years (and brought my family with me) along with many other countries and destinations, so this is a thing and totally achievable.
My absolute favorite websites for airfare travel that I have personally used and grabbed deals from are:
Kayak Explore with the Kayak Explore site, you put in your budget and where you hope to go (beach, mountain, city or country) and it tells you where you can go based on your budget and the available dates that will allow your budget to do it.
Google Flights you can find cheap flights almost instantly across all airlines. The site will also show you across the calendar months when they anticipate the flights will go on sale or where you might be getting the best flight deal indicated by a “green” price tag. You also have the power to be notified of fare alerts which makes watching your destination of choice a lot easier. I currently have my alerts set up for ports in Haiti.
Secret Flying Although I wouldn’t recommend this for a large family, if you are traveling solo there are lots of opportunities on this site to catch an amazing deal. Secret Flying provides not only deals, but mistake deals or errors. Sometimes airlines will drop a price or make a mistake on a flight price (for example, my $525 RT ticket to Athens). As a consumer, if you are aware of it, you can capitalize off of it. Secret Flying keeps their ears to the street so that you can capture that deal.
Scott’s Cheap Flights I absolutely LOVE Scott’s Cheap Flights. What this site does is scans airlines and airline deals and then sends daily emails about the cheapest options, deals and they are usually 24-36 hour deals. The site tells you all of the deals for the day from whatever airport you specify and where those flights are headed. If you have some flexibility in which airport you can fly from (sometimes I check deals from Vancouver and Victoria BC, Portland, The Bay Area and Sacramento and even Los Angeles - because flying from a different airport can open up a world of options and the cost of getting to that airport can be cheaper than a RT from yours to your destination - I’ll explain this in a later post) there are deals that go out daily.
I watched this travel site for a year before I jumped in and signed up for a subscription. I paid about $40 dollars and the deals come DAILY. Some discounts have been up to 90% off on dream destinations. The only problem I have now is finding the time to travel. I highly recommend signing up for a subscription, especially if you want to make international travel a priority.
A few other sites that I have visited but haven’t booked from but I have heard amazing reviews of our below:
Apps For Cheap Flights
My favorite (iPhone) apps for travel are the following:
Hopper analyzes all of the flight deals and then tells you whether you should buy the fare or wait. It also tells you when the best time to purchase the flight might be and the last time it was on sale. You can not only book flights on Hopper, but you can also find great deals on some lodging accommodations.
TripIt is not only a flight tracker, but it also stores all of your confirmations in one place so you can easily find them. It doesn’t matter what sites you book from, you just shoot your confirmations over and the app stores it all for you.
Hitlist the goal of this site is to help you travel more for less - they find the lowest flight to destinations in your budget and tell you the best time to travel.
Google Trips With this app you can instantly plan, organize and discover new ideas for places to visit, maps, food in the destination you are journeying to. I have used this app so much to check against other websites and word of mouth recommendations to plan out my trips. It was an app, but Google recently removed it from its line up and now it can be found in the search feature of Google and Google Maps. You can access Google Trips by putting the following into your browser: google.com/travel
Skyscanner and last but not least, Skyscanner, much like its name, scans the airlines, trains, hotels, everything related to travel to find the cheapest deals worth booking.
It isn’t always easy for families to travel, but it isn’t impossible. For some, it may be easy to go to an airline website and book a flight with very little effort, but for others, it may require a little more of a finesse to the situation to make it a reality.
I hope that these websites will be the kick you needed to get started thinking about all of the places you can go and the budget that you need to get there. Stay tuned because I will be back with ideas on how I use these travel sites to my benefit and how I decide where to travel to and in which seasons.
with strength, courage and wisdom to live a life you love,