People wonder how frequent travelers are able to jet across the world so often. And the key factor that many of them express is having flexibility. When you can be flexible in searching for travel and your travel preferences you can often score the best deals. And sometimes that can be the difference between one trip or seeing seven countries in a year.
Flexibility in Destination
Being flexible in your destination is a fantastic way to see the world, sometimes on a whim. Let’s say you want a beach vacay and have the Caribbean on the brain. If beach is what you want, don’t limit yourself because you are set on Turks & Caicos or Antigua, for example. You may be able to accomplish that relaxing beach vacay in Aruba or Martinique for a fraction of the cost, with the right flight deal.
Skyscanner.com has a handy little tool that provides great flexibility if you haven’t decided on a final destination. Simply type in your departure airport, and leave the destination blank to search ‘Everywhere.’ This will allow you to price out all of the destinations for your particular dates in order of cost. Another option is Google Flights also has an “I’m Feeling Lucky” function in map view that shows you prices to various routes if you are flexible in your destination.
Flexibility in Time
Being flexible with your timing is key for getting amazing glitch airfare and flight deals. Often times, a sale to a destination will pop up and it may be for a 2-3 month window, either a short distance in advance or even next year. If you have a bit of work flexibility (because that’s obviously important; don’t get fired over a flight deal), does it really matter if you are going to your dream destination in April instead of June if you can spend 1/3 of the price, saving thousands of dollars?
If you know you want to hit, say Colombia this year, then perhaps the best option is to be flexible with your dates and see what you come up with. Skyscanner is also great for this function. For date flexibility, you can enter your departure and destination, then click “whole month” to search a particular month or “cheapest month” to search for the least expensive month in the coming year (well, 10 or so months out is as far as you can book in advance). Skyscanner will then pull up a graph showing the cheapest dates for your chosen destination. You can then go from there in both your research and also in determining your vacation schedule. I also really like Google Flights for this as well, because it shows a calendar view, so you can scroll through the calendar to see when the cheapest fares are available.
But what if you can’t be flexible with time? What if you have kids who have a finite spring break or you have to put in for your vacation for the year by a certain date. Well that is where the flexibility in location really comes into play. And to pinch pennies, think about traveling to off-peak destinations during high traffic seasons.
So try to have some flexibility when thinking about your upcoming travel. You may be surprised by the deals you can score.
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I think that’s a great rule even for life… when your more flexible you’ll see and experience more… and when travelling it can save you a packet too….
You know what, I agree Candice! This is great advice in travel and in life.
I agree! Limiting or focusing yourself to one choice may potentially hold off the travel plans due to some factors. Being flexible allows us to explore beyond our “bucket list” and see more of the world. Be spontaneous I must say :).
I totally agree!
Amanda Tempel says
Definitely great tips, for finding the best deal! I read something similar a while back, with tips to save, and it really does help, to just be more flexible.
Flexibility in time is what is always so hard for me! We have to travel around the kids’ school schedules so I have pretty set dates. Once my kids are older, we’ll take more advantage of being flexible!
School does make it a challenge Jeannette. But perhaps being flexible with location can help!
Heather lawrence says
Great tips! I found we saved more when we booked earlier for our upcoming trip to Florida.
Granted we still paid a small mint but it was a heck of lot cheaper to book in September then wait for the 6 weeks out like other websites have suggested. We are also using a family time share so we don’t have to pay for lodging for 6 days which is awesome! I’m going to snag these tips for our next family vacation…we will be planning that when we get home 🙂
Jaime Nicole says
What an amazing tool! I just found a flight to Boston for $75. Both ways – that’s awesome!!! Adding this to my travel tools!
That’s it Jaime! Work those deals!
NYC SingleMom says
conceptually I agree but sadly with kids, you are at the mercy of their school schedule.
School schedules do dictate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. Remember you can be flexible with dates. Certain islands in the Caribbean, for example, are cheaper than others, but it’s still the Caribbean! 🙂
Erica Brooks says
I agree, having a flexible schedule does help in getting good deals. I’ll have to check out Skyscanner.com.
What a neat app. Thanks for the tips. Choosing the chapeau time to travel in the month marks total sense.
Marielle Altenor says
I wish I could travel more and be more flexible when searching for flights and such. But if I’m traveling, I usually have a set date and not much room for flexibility!
Marielle, try being flexible with the location, unless you definitively have to be a certain place at a certain time!
debra p says
Thanks for the helpful tips and information. I’ve found that the more inflexible I am in my travel plans, the more the cost goes up! It’s great to look around and not be tied to any one idea.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
These are great tips about finding great deals on travel tickets. I always try to be flexible on the dates of flying somewhere. I know it’s possible to find huge variations on price by just moving the day forward or backward a bit.
It is amazing for that. That’s why I love Google Flights because it shows you options on a calendar basis and price.
Tonya C says
Great tips to be flexible when looking for travel deals. I’ve found some great deals this way too.
Jessica Simms says
Great article! Thank you for sharing this tip, sometimes I feel like we aren’t flexible enough with these types of things.
Liz Mays says
This is usually a problem for me. I’m always always locked into specific dates and times. I need to keep this in mind though.
Liz, a lot of people are. But try a different destination. Looking for Caribbean? Maybe Curacao is cheaper than Aruba. And watch for those deals as well.
I think being flexible will save you a lot of time and money. Search for things, you will be surprised about how many people don’t search for things
Frugal Flirty N Fab says
Thanks for sharing and Great tips! Being a traveler definitely calls for flexibility!
Chanel | Cultural Xplorer says
I definitely agree with being flexible with travel (to the extent that you can be flexible, as a teacher I am afforded a lot more flexibility in travel time than my non-teaching friends). Generally, I tend to fly on flight deals or with miles, and I choose trips that fit into my budget when I am planning 😀
I agres with flexibility with destination. I was able to get a ticket to Curaco and my friend purchased a flight to Dublin through a flight deal alert. It wasn’t London or Aruba, but we both had a great time.
Exactly, Joanna! And if your friend went to Dublin, the key is to get across the pond…once you get there, it’s easy to get around Europe)!
Good tips. Although sometimes it isn’t as simple for everyone to be flexible. But if they are limited on time those big trips should def have research and have time off around those cheap deals.
Valerie Robinson says
I’ve heard that watching those ideal times were key! Excellent tips as usual!
Thanks Valerie, glad to help!
Thanks for the tips! I’ll definitely be using them for my 2016 travel plans! Great post!
Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green says
Great info, we are totally flexible during summer travel. Its the dag on school year that screws us up every time. We end up traveling when everyone else is.
Yeah, kids make it harder with the school year. But try some off-the-beaten-path destinations and maybe that will help with costs.
Christine @MomsNCharge says
Great tips as usual!!! I definitely learned from my most recent trip the importance of being flexible in order to save on overal expenses. It truly made a big difference.
Those are great tips. I was thinking the same thing – some people may not be able to be as flexible with dates but can certainly be flexible with the location.
Exactly, Jonna! If you want the Caribbean vibe, there may be an island that is not as much on the radar that gives you the same thing.
I love all the tips I get here. Next time I want to travel, I’m looking you up!
Glad to be of service, Stacie! That’s my goal, to help everyone travel, and do it affordably.