There’s no denying it – I have a knack for finding killer deals… especially when it comes to travel. In fact, I often have not only family & friends message, call, text, and email me asking me to help them save on flights and accommodations, but I’ve had friends of friends reach out for help too.

Who knows, maybe in my past life I was a travel agent. Or maybe I’ve combined my savviness with my love of adventure. Either way – I’m really freaking good at it. I’ve flown 1400 miles round trip for $34 (using no frequent flyer points or reward programs), I’ve stayed in beautiful homes for less than $50/night, and I’ve even stayed in hotels for FREE.

Since I’m always asked, “How do you find these deals all the time?” I thought I’d share some of my best travel booking tips that’ll save you some serious cash:

1) Be Flexible with Dates: If you’re traveling Friday to Sunday, consider going a day early and/or leaving a day late. Often times if you allow flexibility in your departure or arrival dates, you’ll find your airline tickets can decrease OVER $100. Not to mention, it’s typically more expensive to travel on weekend days.

2) Sign Up for Alerts: Email alerts from companies you frequently travel with, are the best way to stay abreast on weekly/daily deals.

3) Check Google Flights: One of my favorite way to check out numerous airlines at one time, is by using Google Flights. Simply enter your dates and destination to see which airline is offering the best deals!

4) Join a Rewards Program: Often times these are free. For hotels, I primarily book from When you book 10 nights through, you earn 1 night free. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t cross reference the pricing of the same hotel from the website AND the hotel’s actual main website, but if there’s no price difference I choose There are also unique hotel rewards!

5) Check Airbnb: If you’re traveling abroad, it may be worth it to check out Airbnb. There are TONS of pros and cons to using this service, if your privy to the hotel or resort life while on vacation this may not be the best bet- but if you’re traveling with a group that needs more space, or to a place where hotel pricing is outrageous, or even just want to live like a local – Airbnb is a great tool! (PS. You can use my Airbnb referral code for your first booking to save $35 – I’ll get $35 too: LSMITh1405 )

6) Know the Cheap Airlines: I’m a fan of Southwest and have a Southwest credit card because their rewards program is awesome (click here to use my code, and you can get an additional 10k flier miles). But if a rewards program isn’t your jam, has TONS of low prices on the regular. I’ve also flown Spirit Air which has similar pricing and offers different destinations than Frontier. Both airlines have small seats, no wifi, and offer food/beverage for a fee. It’s not glamorous, but I know what to expect. They also do not have free luggage, which leads me to #7…

7) Travel Light: When you book with Frontier or Spirit, you’re only allowed to bring 1 backpack (or purse, or similar) unless you want to pay $35 for 1 carry on or $25 for a checked bag EACH WAY. Skip the unnecessary additional costs and pack light. If you’re traveling somewhere with laundry service, take advantage of it. If not, think of different ways you can wear the same article of clothing (like jeans) with 2 different shirts, creating 2 outfits. Also remember to roll your clothes to help save space in your bad and take it easy when it comes to packing shoes, they tend to be heavy.

8) Book on a Tuesday: Studies have shown that if you book on a Tuesday, you can expect o pay 6% less on your flight vs. booking on a Friday when prices increase 3%. Now, it may depend on the route and airline (and also your travel dates), but for most part I can say that this tried/tested method is true!

9) Travel in the Off Season: If you’re hoping to score cheap tickets to Florida during the peak of Spring Break, think again. Save your money and sanity by flying in the late Summer or even Fall. This goes for all destinations – find out when the off season is and go then! BE ADVISED that you may want to purchase travelers insurance. For example: If you *are* traveling to Florida in September, remember there could be a hurricane or tropical storm that ruins your plans. Travelers Insurance is inexpensive and can really pay off!

10) Skip the Seat Selection: Roll your dice, save the extra $12-$34 fee, and just hope the travel gods are on your side when you check in! While the window seat and aisle are everyone’s favorite, sometimes you have to suck it up and sit in the middle. If you do happen to get a middle seat and you just “can’t deal”, ask the agent if the flight is full. If not, see if you can get a seat change. If it happens to be full, you can ask the flight attendant once on the flight to let you know if someone is a no show with an aisle/window seat.

So there ya have it. My not-so-secret budget friendly travel tips that I use to book destination trips both nationally and internationally! What are some of your favorite money saving travel tips?

To infinity and beyond!