Never in a million years did I think that I would be thinking about the United States opening back up! Or even shut down, to begin with. I mean, is this real life?!
Well, actually it is. This is very much the world we live in today and some people see this pandemic as a sad and negative thing while others see it differently. Scrolling through social media, I see people starting arguments and debates over people's own perspectives of this new life and just using their words to belittle someone. One example, in particular, comes to my mind.
About 3-4 weeks ago, I posted a meme on my Instagram story stating that this is the time to find new skills and hobbies with all this extra time on our hands which I found to be a good motivating message. (@lizabeths_travel_journey) I thought it could help someone else see the positive in such a negative situation and help them pass time by using their free time to learn something new. Well 3 days later, someone had posted the same exact meme on Facebook but had crossed out the original message saying people shouldn't be pressuring others to find the positive in what is going on. This left me confused for several weeks.
A positive message turned into a negative in a course of days. I was confused and taken back by thinking this is not the time to put someone else down for how they feel or how they are dealing with their own emotions during this pandemic. But no worries, I don't take offense to things like this as I understand they did what they did because of their own perspective. Practice what you preach to people!
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So let's fast-forward to the present day and when scrolling through social media today, I see articles, posts, and blogs about the states reopening up. Some are positive articles while others are negative. One way I am staying positive with my mind, body, and soul is by eliminating all the negativity out of my life and making sure I keep in mind the author's perspective. However, avoiding these articles and posts doesn't mean my mind doesn't wonder about what the future holds. What will traveling look like in 6 months to a year? Will airline companies jack the prices sky-high when travel does pick back up? No matter what the future holds, with talks of the states reopening, my mind seems to be stuck in a world of nothing but travel.
I have been watching airline flights during COV19 days and HOLY COW are there some cheap flights! In the rest of this blog, I want to share what I have been doing to find cheap flights and provide my own thoughts about certain destinations and airports. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be on a tropical beach as I type this, but that's not the reality. Yes, I will be traveling as soon as I can, but have to take safety precautions to make sure I stay safe and don't bring anything back to my family and friends. Safety first people!
If you follow my Instagram then you know I am pretty upset I waited too long to try and purchase tickets from Miami International Airport to the capital of Aruba, Oranjestad flights for only $83. (Also missed out on $150roundtrip tickets from Charlotte, North Carolina to Peru. Super bummed!) They stayed at this price for about 2 weeks and I stalked the flights to see what days I could find for the best price. A best practice of mine is to not be stuck on certain travel dates and change the dates to see if the price will go lower. Flying on certain days can make your airline ticket price skyrocket which isn't worth the money in my opinion. The days I play around with the most are Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Sometimes you will find Thursdays too, but way less common.
The Srub flights I found were through Skyscanner which has turned into my #1 app to use to find cheap flights during this time. Since I am not set on certain dates or months, I like that the app gives me the option of "cheapest month" to find the lowest possible deal. (See picture below) One thing I take caution to is if the app returns flights during April, May, or June. Not all states are opening soon and some have extended there "stay in home" order until June. So if I fly there and nothing is open and I have to stay in my Airbnb the whole time, not much of exploring going on there. Moral of the story, research the places you are wanting to travel to ensure they are open, operating, and SAFE!
Some places I have been researching besides Aruba are Greece, San Juan (yes, again!), Peru, St. Thomas, and a few other one off destinations. I am really trying to go somewhere tropical where I can feel the sand between my toes and the sun on my skin. With Skyscanner, it makes it super easy to enter your "To" of the destination you want to visit. And in the "From" field, type "United States". Click "Search flights" and you will be shown the cheapest flights possible departing from places all across the United States. For me, Miami has been the go-to airport with all the best deals flying to a Caribbean destination. (Remember the $83 roundtrip tickets to Aruba I mentioned, this was the app I found them on.)
I found tickets to Greece for around $350 roundtrip, but the kicker is the departing flight is the New York airport. One of the worst locations right now with the coronavirus in the United States and something you should be mindful of. I love cheap flights, but not at the cost of running towards a killing virus. So before you purchase your tickets, make sure to check the area the departing and arriving flight are in to ensure they are not a hotspot for the coronavirus.
Some other apps I have been using are Skipplagged, Travel Pirates, and Kiwi.com. With Skiplagged, it finds good deals on domestic flights which will come in handy when I am needing to fly from Charlotte to the states my other flight is in for the final travel destination. An example would be if I purchased those Aruba tickets which were departing from Miami, Florida, and need to find the flights from Charlotte to Miami. To find those flights, I would look at Skiplagged to see if they are offering anything around $40 because the tickets are one way. Not paying over $80 to fly from Charlotte to Miami roundtrip.
Travel Pirates is one of my favorite apps to use to find cheap airline flights and one I look at daily. It pulls travel deals together for flights, resorts, hotels, and more and shows which month and departing airport have the best deal going on. This was the app I used to find my Paris roundtrip tickets for only $259!
Still learning Kiwi.com and haven't formed much of an opinion to share yet.
One last thing I want to mention is that some airline companies are offering deals in the early months of 2021. Start looking now at flights for next January through March to find some good deals, but keep in mind what the weather is like near the airport you are departing from AS WELL AS the weather at the airport of your destination. I like there to be low chance weather is going to affect my flight in any way. In Charlotte, it typically snows around the end of January and the beginning of February, so this is something I have to be mindful of. I am more likely to purchase flight insurance just to be safe if I do travel during those months. (I rather spend a little more than lose my flight altogether.)
And there you have it, what I am currently doing to find cheap flights right now! I hope this helps you out with finding your next travel destination and taking advantage of these cheap flights right now.
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