One of our family’s goals is to teach our children the value of creating experiences instead of materialistic things. In that spirit, we decided that this year instead of focusing on purchasing clothes and toys for Christmas, we would gift our family with a trip to Paris, France.
We started our affordable travel journey bout 2-3 years ago, but we have only traveled domestically. I figured I would apply the same principles that I had used in the past to find affordable domestic deals, and it worked!
I was able to book our roundtrip airfare on Airfrance and Hotel/Airbnb accommodations for seven nights for under $1800.00!
If you want to take your first international trip, but you don’t know where to start, I have your back! Check out 3 things that allowed me to save money on booking our vacation.
1. Start Early
The early bird gets the worm or in this case, the cheapest flight deal!
I started looking for flights back in June of this year. I checked several different sights and apps for pricing. One of my favorite apps is Hopper because it predicts the months that will be the cheapest to travel.
Then once I had the months that were the most affordable, I plugged those dates into google flights and set an alert to track the deals for me.
2. Flexible with Dates
I learned early on if I wanted to save big on travel that I could not be married to one travel date.
Now don’t get me wrong when I book a trip, I still have a few dates in mind. But sometimes starting a trip on a Tuesday instead of a Thursday can save you $100.00 + on a flight!
The cool thing about using Hopper and Google Flights is that you will be alerted of sales prices as well as glitch prices. I have seen people get tickets for as low as $80.00 round trip to specific locations because of an airline glitch, so don’t forget to set up those alerts!
3. Package Deals
After I received my Google alert showing me a great deal, I could have booked my flight and kept it moving. However, when you bundle your flights and lodging, you can sometimes get a better deal.
I knew that if the flights were on sale through the airlines that booking websites would likely have similar pricing. So, I took the dates from my google alert and plugged them into Priceline and Expedia.com.
I found our package deal on Expedia.com for about $1500.00, but I also added on travel insurance and transportation to and from the airport to our hotel, bringing our total to just under $1800.00!
On Christmas Day, we slipped a clue into each of our kid’s passport covers to help them guess what the surprise was. They are super excited and can’t wait for Spring Break to go.
My daughter wants to see the Eiffel tower. My oldest son wants to take the train over to Belgium and get a real Belgium waffle. My youngest son doesn’t care where we go as long as it’s on a plane!
Have you traveled internationally? If so, let us know about it in the comments below.