It happened again. Innocently scrolling through Instagram, you come across that jet-setter friend of yours who is off gallivanting around the world and you’re suddenly questioning the need for your savings account.
Well yes, you do need that money. But what if we said you could have a budget and galivant?
Here are 10 travel deal tips, military and non-military related, that can score you some mega deals, courtesy of various world travelers who would also pass a Dave Ramsey course any day.
1Armed Forces Vacation Club
Feel like an A-lister and join this club that offers access to $349 weeklong resort vacations in destinations around the world. Membership is free to all eligible U.S. military, including active duty, reserve, guard, and retired. Check out this amazing article for more tried-and-true information about the club and its perks.
2Online Booking Sites
Scott’s Cheap Flights sends you emails daily (spam alert: sometimes more than once) with extremely low flight deals all over the world and can be specific to the airport area of your choice. Not on board yet? Deals have been as low as $465 for a round trip flight from Dallas to Scotland. So pick up your jaw and check it out.
Another site called Skyscanner lets you pick a specific month and lists out flights to countries all over the world and how much it would cost, from cheapest to most expensive. This is helpful if you have a certain city you want to visit and it will let you know when flights are most affordable for that destination.
Consider this opportunity given only for military families, which offers flights around the world at little to no cost. This option is not for everyone, but the advantages are worth looking into before you book your next flight. Advertised as “military flights with a mission” these flights are non-commercial and take off at various Air Mobility Command Passenger Terminals around the world. Participants must be flexible because you are put on a priority list after signing up for a Space-A journey. Visit the AMC website to see a map of each terminal location.
Flaunt what you got and get some deals with that ID. Installation lodging is usually cheaper than economy hotels, and just as clean and well maintained. Rental car companies often have military discounts, and if the renter is under 25 or 26, the fee can be waived with a military ID. Many airlines also offer discounts and benefits to military members, but in different ways, such as free checked bags or special rates. The best way to find out if a specific airline offers military discounts on flights is to call the reservations department directly.
Always search for flights in incognito or private on your web browser. If you don’t, when you go back to check the same location three or four times, the prices usually increase. By using incognito you can keep this from happening. You’re welcome!
6Plan and Save
Channel your inner Monica Geller, grab a binder and get serious about planning. Be willing to research, check multiple sites, and even search for one-way tickets instead of
Be open with your schedule and stay flexible with your dates as you plan. The most expensive time to travel is over the summer when everyone is out of school, and on holidays. Other travel amenities such as lodging and car rentals are often more expensive at this time because you will be competing with the hoards of tourists. If you are willing to travel in off season times you can score better flight deals.
Take advantage of credit card sign up offers! (Yes, we know Dave Ramsey wouldn’t approve – but bear with us.) The sign-up bonuses can score you lots of travel points, and in some cases, reward you with round trip flights to Europe for free.
9Low Standards, World Class Living
If you are looking for a deal, be open to some of the low-cost carriers. They may not have as amenities on board but they are seriously cheap. For example, WOW Air flies from a number of cities across the United States to Europe. One perk is that they are based out of Iceland, and all flights have a stop there. You can even elect to have a one-day stopover if you want to add it onto your trip either way, and experience the northern lights or blue lagoons that Reykjavik has to offer.
10Keep Luggage Light
Packing light can save you money! Budget airlines charge for baggage even when flying out of country. Learn to pack in a carry on or even a backpack and you can save almost $100 each way.
Ultimately, the best deal is for you and your family to make a trip of a lifetime, and money shouldn’t be an obstacle to that. Use one or all of these tips, and share your trip photos with us on social media!
Photo credits: Renee Dolan Photography