Welcome to the world of cheap travel.
Our mission here at Thrifty Traveler is to help you see the world on the cheap and to make the world a smaller place. From great flight deals to becoming an expert with credit card points and frequent flyer miles to money-saving travel tips, we've got you covered.
Here's how you can use Thrifty Traveler to become a savvier traveler:
1. Sign up for the Daily Beat, our free newsletter. We share the latest travel news, guides, and thrifty tips we find each day.
2. Want cheap flights sent straight to you? Sign up for alerts for cheap flights and you'll get deals on international flights in your inbox, with $250 or more off normal prices!
3. Ready to take things to the next level? Want 10x more domestic and international flight deals tailored to your home airport, business class deals, mistake fares, and more? We send our top Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members all our cheap fares as well as award alerts to use points and miles – including deals flying lie-flat first and business class seats!
4. Only want to get alerts for cheap domestic and international tickets in economy? Thrifty Traveler Premium members still get those!
5. Not sure where to start with points and miles? We'll show you the basics of how travel rewards work, how you can earn more points, and the best ways to put them to use.
Once you're set with the Thrifty Traveler tools for cheap travel success, you're off to a great start! Read on for the thrifty travel tips you can find here on our website.
How to Book the Cheapest Flight Every Time
Sorry, but there's no magic time or way to book the cheapest fare possible. What you've heard about clearing your cookies or Tuesdays being the best day to book flights is flat-out wrong.
Instead, follow our advice on how to find cheap flights:
- Quit using Expedia or Kayak to search for flights; use Google Flights instead
- Get a better deal by traveling at the right time
- Set a price alert on Google Flights to track price changes for your travel plans
- Jump on insanely cheap mistake fares immediately – book first, ask questions later
- Remember that almost all flights that touch U.S. soil can be canceled and refunded within 24 hours
- Learn all about how positioning flights can help you score the best international flight deals
Get Cheap Flight Alerts in Your Inbox
Trust us, we know: Even once you've mastered the tips and tricks of finding cheap flights, keeping an eye out for the best deal possible can feel like a full-time job. How do you know what's a good price and what's not?
That's why we've got a team of flight deal analysts looking for the cheapest flights flights. You can get them sent straight to you by signing up for cheap flight alerts … for free! We search for great international fares from more than 200 U.S. and Canadian airports and send 1-2 deals a week to subscribers.
Every deal we send saves $250 to $500 or more off normal prices – all you have to do is book and start planning your trip! And yes, you can really get the heads up on unbelievable deals like flights all over Europe for $361 roundtrip!
Want to take your travel to the next level with 10x more alerts for cheap international AND domestic flights from your home airport? Get award alerts when you can use your points and miles to save even more? Cheap business and first class fares? Get ultra-rare mistake fares with 90% off prices? Upgrade to Thrifty Traveler Premium+.
For just $129.99 a year, you'll get instant alerts for all the best deals we find from your airport – including all the best ones. Here's a look at what you get with a Thrifty Traveler Premium+ membership:
- Immediate flight deal email alerts for 15x as many cheap flights
- Only get deals from your preferred airport(s)
- Award alerts to use your points and miles
- Deeply discounted business and first class fares
- Mistake fare notifications
- Direct links to book with the airline
- Free consulting with our pros
- Access to members-only Facebook group
- 100-Day Money Back Guarantee!
Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members get everything from incredibly cheap domestic and international fares…
… to award space alerts when they can use points and miles, whether it's a chance to book cheap Delta flights using SkyMiles or rare business and first class availability!
Don't want business class seats or points and miles deals? You can get cheap international and domestic fare alerts flying economy with a standard Thrifty Traveler Premium membership.
Points and Miles 101
What's better than cheap flights? Free flights – or nearly free, anyway. And using credit card points and frequent flyer miles are how you can make it happen.
The key to earning points and miles is opening travel rewards credit cards. Here at Thrifty Traveler, we've collectively earned tens of millions of points and miles that way. And we've used it to see the world – often in business or first class – for next to nothing, all without hurting our credit scores.
But first things first: Understand what you're getting into. Opening a credit card is serious business: If you already have some debt, or you can't pay off a balance in full every single month, credit cards are not for you. Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Think hard about your finances and ask yourself some key questions before applying for any credit card
- Beware of the myths surrounding credit cards and your credit score. The assumption that your credit score will automatically tank if you open more credit cards is wrong
We cover all the news about the latest and greatest credit cards that you can use to travel, so be sure you're signed up for the Daily Beat. And we've always got a monthly breakdown of the best offers out there.
Read our guide to getting started with credit cards, points, and miles. At its core, it works like this:
- Figure out your travel goal, and what points or miles you need to get there
- Open the right credit card, hit the minimum spend required, earn a big points bonus
- Book your flight using points or miles
- Set your next travel goal, and start diversifying the points and miles you're earning
We'll help you get up to speed on some of the basics of this crazy world of travel rewards:
- Understand the difference between credit card points and airline miles
- Get some pointers on when to use your hard-earned miles versus paying cash
- Learn how you can use credit card points to book flights directly
As you build that base of knowledge, start to dig deeper:
- Discover sweet spots that allow you to fly to Hawaii for 26,000 miles roundtrip … or go even deeper and book those flights for just 15,000 miles!
- Learn how to transfer credit card points like Chase, Capital One, or American Express to airline or hotel partners – the key to maximizing your points
- Learn the basics of booking first & business class with miles
- Get inspired by some of the best ways to use American Airlines miles or use your Delta SkyMiles for max value
- See how you can book a roundtrip to Japan in business class for the price of economy
Money-Saving Travel Tips
The savings don't need to stop on your flights.
From your accommodations to a set of wheels to your spending money on the ground, these costs can add up fast. We've got you covered there, too. These are a few of the thrifty tips you can use to save more on your trips:
- Check out all of our destination guides to start your travel planning
- Pick the best Airbnb no matter where you're heading to cut down on lodging costs
- Make sure you get the cheapest rental car possible with our tips
- Learn how you can get a free checked bag on almost every flight
- Or better yet … pack in a carry-on bag every time for free
- Stop paying ATM fees worldwide with this free debit card
Once you take these practices and put them to use, you'll be shocked by how much less you spend on your adventures.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of cheap travel, but it's a start. Learn the building blocks of cheap travel, sign up for The Daily Beat, and start getting cheap flights sent straight to your inbox so you can start traveling more for less.