Traveling can always cause people to stress about money.  In fact, that is a primary reason why people choose not to travel at all.  Some destinations and travel experiences can be pricey, and there is no way around it.  But before your adventure begins, there are steps you can take to ensure you don’t totally break the bank.

1. Book your flight 6 months in advance

In order to get the best deal on flights, specifically international flights, book your tickets up to 6 months in advance of your trip. From my experiences, the more I drag my feet on booking my tickets, the more I end up kicking myself for not pulling the trigger sooner.  A recent trip I took to Thailand cost me $830 round trip, and I booked 4 months in advance.  At the 6-month point, tickets were only $700.  Each week after the 6-month point, is like a ticking time bomb.  The prices could shoot up at any moment.  And if you let a month go by, then you are almost guaranteed to pay more.  These are hundreds of dollars you can easily save by just pulling the trigger early and buying that plane ticket 6 months in advance.

2. Buy a Round-Trip Ticket

And when you buy that plane ticket 6 months in advance, make sure you do some flight research on round trip vs. one way tickets.  If you are traveling to one destination, meaning you are flying in and out of the same location, then you will always get a better deal purchasing the full round-trip ticket.  One-way tickets on the front and back end of your trip can end up costing you hundreds more.  There are many reasons for this, and they all revolve around making it more cost effective and efficient for the airline.  I know it can be difficult to spend one lump sum of money on a round trip ticket, instead of two smaller one-way payments.  But the numbers don’t lie, and one way tickets will end up costing you.

3. Bring less stuff with you to avoid bag fees

So you have your tickets booked and you are pumped that you got such a great deal.  Now it’s time to decide what you need to pack.  But before you pack, make sure to read all of the fine print for your upcoming flights.  Bag fees, especially for international travel, can really add up.  And if you are continuing on your journey after your big flight, intra-region travel on smaller airlines will always knock you on bag fees.  Bring less stuff and consolidate your belongings into less pieces of luggage.  By doing this, you can save an easy $50 or $60.  Every cost adds up on a trip, so don’t overlook bag fees.

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