Top 5 Lessons Learned from 2019

As I look back on 2019, I want to share the lessons I learned and what findings helped me when finding that travel deal for myself and my clients. Some of these items below are common questions I got asked when it comes to me finding these deals. I love sharing travel deals with people who have no clue airline tickets can be so low and getting that raw first impression from them. Priceless!

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Now, I am not one to love long introductions into a blog that list items, so lets jump right in!

1. I officially no longer believe the myth that you find the cheapest flights on a Tuesday. Tuesday flights do offer good deals, on airline tickets, don’t get me wrong, BUTTT I have never bought airline tickets on a Tuesday. More than half of my findings and bookings occurred on a Saturday in 2019 and even the year before.

Don’t let this myth be the reason you lose an amazing deal or spend way more than you need too. Finding the best deal requires to monitor flights and understand the baseline price, so when a deal does come up, you know it’s a steal! Look for your deal over a course of 3 weeks and be amazed at what you will see which leads me into my second lesson learned from 2019.

2. When you find THAT travel deal, BUY THE FREAKING TICKETS! I blogged about this last week and stand behind my statements…don't “sit” on the deal. That price will not stay around for 24 hours and more than likely only going to be available for a few hours. I promise you will get that gut-wrenching feeling going back the next day and seeing the price jump up by hundreds more.

I stayed baffled in 2019 on how much money people would spend on airline tickets and going to places like Orlando, Philadelphia, New York, Las Vegas. One of my coworkers purchased tickets from Charlotte to Las Vegas for over $600…insert mouth drop. Do you know how many flights I could book with that kind of money! Seriously!! I found tickets for his trip for under $100. That’s a saving of over $500!

3. 2019 taught me a lot when it comes to travel apps, which ones to use and how they work. Beginning of 2019, I relied on Skyscanner for a lot of my travel finds and still believe this is a good resource to use, however over this year Travel Pirates has taken the #1 spot when it comes to my favorite traveling app. This app has helped me find my first international travel deal from Charlotte to Paris for only $259 which is a round trip! (We leave next week 😊)

A lot of travel experts and bloggers use Skyscanner, but for me, Travel Pirate will remain my first place to look at daily deals. It pulls information from all over the world and shows the best deals and still provides the flexibility of changing dates and departures. And all I have to do after opening the app is just start scrolling down. No entering departure points, dates or destinations and provides a quick overview of all the daily specials going on. Frontier Airlines has been on there quite a few times and if you know me, I absolutely love Frontier Airlines.

4. In 2019, I had more conversations about traveling and travel deals and often got asked if I could “beat” prices provided through a travel agency. (This is now an intriguing answer I give since becoming an independent travel agent who specializes in one of the most expensive travel vacations there is…Disney!) One day I am going to post a full blog on the differences a travel agent can provide vs. That Travel Deal way which both has pros and cons.

But getting back to the question of beating the prices a travel agent provides. My answer is yes and no...

I used to think before becoming an independent travel agent, that I could always beat their deals. There are some travel expenses that could be cheaper if you contact your travel agent vs. going That Travel Deal way. The first item I noticed a big difference in price wise was rental cars. This one shocked me a little because I use to think I could find good deals by just visiting the company directly and applying some coupons I received in email or found online. I can say I am more than likely to book a car rental through the agency than directly from the rental car company.

Another area that a travel agent can help save you some money is by hotel rooms. Now, let me say upfront that I am more of an Airbnb lady because of wanting that home feeling when on vacations, however, I know plenty of people who are hotel people only. (FYI, Airbnb’s typically are cheaper than hotel rooms. Thought I would throw that in.)

Remember, with travel agents you are not paying them directly, and their commission is coming from the vendor, so don’t think these deals on hotel rooms have a hidden fee included. If wanting to stay in a hotel room, I would contact your travel agent to see what prices they can find for you.

With the travel agency, they have partnerships with an array of vendors which I can see come in handy when looking at all-inclusive resorts and even adult-only resorts. I found a travel deal for a client wanting to explore Jamaica and stay at an adult-only, all-inclusive resort for less than $600. Unlimited food, drinks including alcoholic beverages, snacks, activities including snorkeling and so much more included in that price. It even included a BUTLER SERVICE! And some agencies even let you make payment plans which can come in handy when living on a budget. If you can see the world while making payments, DO IT! Seriously, now what do you have to lose?

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5. You don't have to pay baggage costs with airlines and can rock many outfits while on vacation. The key to avoiding baggage expensive is to think smart when it comes to packing and truly utilizing a good book bag. Like doesn't make sense to try and pack thick clothes into a small book bag. Remember, the key to pulling this off is by rolling your clothes to fit inside the book bag. (Most airlines let you have a personal bag for free which can be a book bag including your laptop. This is another topic I mentioned in 2019 blogs and how rolling your clothes eliminate extra space that is needed to pull this off! )

I have packed 6 outfits into one book bag and for that trip, leggings were my best friend. Leggings can be extremely thin and when rolled, don't take up much room. Just have to rethink what you pack and learn how to pack those clothes the right way. These two elements can cut baggage fees resulting in hundreds of dollars saved.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, my top 5 lessons learned during 2019. I truly felt my travel adventure started in 2019 and more than excited and ready for what the future holds. I know 2020 has already kicked off and I have some new techniques in the works and hope they work out. If so, stay tuned on my new findings!

~If needing some help with your travel deal, just contact me on the home page for a free consultation!

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Hello Everyone, my name is Sara Elizabeth and a full-time working mom and a full-time student!

Over the years I have fallen in love with  traveling and exploring the great states of the United States! This passion grew from understanding how to find good deals on airline flights which have been the reason for many of my travel adventures. This journey has led me to find "that travel deal" for domestic and international flights. These are those kinds of deals that have people asking "How did you find them so low?" ...Well, to those asking that question, follow along this adventure of mine to learn my methods for finding that perfect travel deal. 

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