Search in incognito mode: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N. This ways, cookies are reset and the website doesn’t raise the prices. Repeat this for every search (close all tabs and start over).
Cross-reference the best flight search engines: My preference goes to Skyscanner by far but I also make sure to check the ugly but thorough Matrix Airfare Search that looks into many flight search engines at once.
Be flexible: With your dates but also your itinerary (consider connecting flights, they save a lot of money) and even your destination if you just want to travel, without a specific idea where.
Fly budget airlines: Frontier, Allegiant Air, Spirit Airlines (although Southwest, Jetblue, Porter and Air Transat are usually cheap as well and operate more flights)
Look at smaller airports: They are often cheaper because airlines operating from them pay less taxes. They can therefore offer cheaper tickets.
Susbcribe to frequent flyer programs: For the airline that you most fly with. Otherwise, Delta’s is great.
Claim compensation when your flight has been delayed or cancelled: That works only if you’re flying to the EU with a European Airline, but it’s worth it since you can get up to $680.
To be organised at the airport:
Book a red-eye flight: the airport will be less crowded as people don’t like to fly by night
Check your flight status in real time: Use services like App in the Air to make sure your flight isn’t disturbed.
Pack your own snack: The food at the airport is way too expensive (for me at least!)
Bring an empty bottle: You can pass it like this through security and fill it at teh tap after. Or freeze your liquids.
Get a power bank: You’ll use it during your trip and you won’t have to line up for the few plugs available at the airport.
Check-in online: It saves soooo much time, especially if you travel with a carry-on only. Here are a few tips on How to Pack a Carry-on (Backpack or Suitcase)
Check for free wifi: Use this map for the password of every airport (almost): Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Around The World
Customise your luggage: To spot it easily
Have your electronics ready: To pass through security faster.
For your trip:
Download offline maps before leaving: Either on Google Maps or Maps.Me
Check out Booking, Airbnb and Couch surfing for accommodation: it all depends on what you’re looking for.
Try the local cuisine: Maybe my favourite part ;)
Meet up with the locals: Forget expensive tours, the locals know better, just talk to them.
Pack light, but make sure to bring a smile: It does help, true story!
Pack as light as you can. There’s nothing worse than dragging around a suitcase that weights a ton! If you can, learn to travel with hand luggage only. It will save you a lot of time and make it easier to move around! Remember - only pack what’s essential and what you will surely need during your trip!
Book your flights at the right time - According to Smarter Travel, Monday and Tuesday are the best days to book your airfare. That is the day when airlines release new flight listings. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are considered the cheapest days to travel. By the way, on Saturdays airports are generally less crowded, which is a nice bonus.
Remember - prices can change many times per day, so keep checking!
Stay away from tourist traps
Things like cheap souvenirs, restaurants with waiters inviting you in, all kinds of scammers can be usually found near famous sightseeing places. So be wise and stay away.
Use credible websites to book you accommodation. Websites like Booking and Expedia will back you up in case of any problem. Even if they are slightly more expensive, you will get a great service in case of any problem. Happened to me and people I know - so recommend!
Stay healthy, drink a lot and just be cautious, especially if you are travelling alone. This depends a lot on the country you are going to, but generally common sense behaviour should be used (avoiding too much alcohol, not walking alone late at night, not accepting drinks from strangers etc). If you are traveling to hot climate, be careful with food choices as well!
I’ve travelled for most of my life and there are a few specific things I will do every time I go on a trip. These habits just became part of my life wherever I go.
Bring carry-on only backpack - I always travel with just a carry-on backpack. It saves time from checking in luggage and prevent it from being lost. However, check your airline carry-on baggage allowance. They keep changing it because airlines want to make more money, so they charge passengers for checking in luggage, in which passengers start bringing more things on board. Overhead cabin space is really pack these days. The last I checked for some airline is 7 kg only. And using a backpack frees up your hands for other things.
Pack light - adding to my previous point, I always pack light and only bring a carry-on luggage when I travel. I rather not wait for luggage when I arrive at my destination, which can take a few minutes to an hour. And I can make sure my bag will not get lost this way. Furthermore, I learned to live with very little. You really don’t need a lot of things on the road. Just your basic clothing, essential items and that’s it. It feels great to live minimally.
Always arrive during the day - I definitely prefer to arrive during the day especially to a new place. It is easier to navigate in a new destination when you can actually see where you are going. This is especially important if you are a solo female traveller. If your flight arrives at night, make sure you arrange a pick up from the airport via your hotel.
Digital copy of your passport, credit cards and debit cards - take a photo or scan your documents and email it to yourself. If you ever lose any of these, you have a copy in your inbox so can cancel your credit cards and reapply.
Bring universal adapter - sometimes if you don’t know where else you are going, it is safer to bring a universal adapter so all your electronic equipment can be charged properly.
Get cash locally - I always get cash from ATM at the airport when I arrive at my destination. The rate is usually good.
Bring 2 credit cards and 2 debit cards - I always bring 2 of each just in case something happens to one of the cards. For example, there was one time I used a compromised ATM but luckily I had another debit card to access my other bank account.
Always have travel insurance - you just never know what will happen. Take the option where they will airlift you home.
Bring empty water bottle - you can fill up your empty water bottle after you completed the security check. This will save you a bit of money from buying an expensive one at the airport. And you can use this throughout your trip.
Roll your clothes and/or use packing cubes - easiest way to pack your clothing by being organised.
Use your Google Maps on your smartphone to navigate - this has saved me a million times! Even if you don’t have data, the map still works (but not all things will show up but at least you will know where you are going).
Don’t be afraid to explore a new place - the world is an amazing place! Whether you are travelling solo or with someone else, go out there and explore!!