How to Get the Best Deals on Flights ✈️

Uncategorized

 Hey, guys! ❤️

  I had several people respond positively when I said I might do a post on this subject, so here it is! 

 I am super passionate about traveling and seeing the world and it’s probably safe to say that most of you all would jump at the chance to travel some too, right? 

 But if you’re like most people, me included, money plays a big factor in our traveling plans. 

 I am a bargain hunter. If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know this about me! I wasn’t always this way, but after moving out and getting married, I realized how much things cost…and how I could score amazing deals on things. I usually find my best deals thrifting and clothes shopping, but travel is no exception!

  Two weeks ago, I found an amazing deal on a flight to Italy for not just my husband and I, but my grandfather and parents. Because of this, we are now getting to do something I’ve always dreamed of! 

 So, I’m going to share what worked for me with you guys! I hope these tips will help you to find some great deals on flights! If this post goes over well, I might also post about VRBO or some other ways we have saved booking accommodations and more for this trip in an upcoming post! So, here are my top tips for How To Get the Best Deals on Flights!👇🏻

1. Map It Out.


 Sometimes, you have no destination in mind, you just want to get away, I get it, but I suggest picking a place on the map and going from there. I chose Italy because it has so much to offer! Pretty much any country is older and more established than the United States, but when I got to thinking about it, Italy is full of sights and things to do, from Venice and Florence to Rome and the Amalfi Coast and so much more!

   By picking the place I wanted to go, it motivated me to learn everything I could about traveling to Italy and finding the best deals.

2. Multi City Flights VS Same City Flights

 I think a lot of times when we travel, we think inside the box. We fly out of one city and into our destination city, then we fly back out of that exact same city!

 What I came to learn is that a lot of times, that is not the best or the cheapest option.

 For example, for this 2 week trip I planned, I want to see a lot. Venice, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Rome, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii. In 2 weeks, just a little bit over. Is it crazy? Maybe. Can it be done? Definitely!

 I decided early on that it would probably be in our best interest to do a multi city flight, where we would fly into one city and out of a different one. This is a great plan if you have a lot you want to see, plus it saves you time and major cash trying to double back to your starting point. 💰 

 Here’s an actual screenshot of the flight we booked.

 We booked a flight going into Venice and coming back from Naples, which was much, much cheaper! $769 per person, ROUNDTRIP. 

 That’s freaking incredible!!! Just for perspective, tickets were anywhere from $1,200-$1,700 a piece, which leads me to my next very important tip!!!

3. Use Skyscanner, Viyama & Kayak.

  I had the most luck with Skyscanner. They compare tons of different sites to get you the best deals possible. If you use their app or go on a desktop to their site, they also have a feature that allows you to compare the lowest flight dates for an entire month! Google Flights can also do this.

 I just love Skyscanner for it’s easy navigation. Check them out first when looking for flights, international or within your own country!

4. Search In Private Browser.

 Whatever you do though, always search in private mode on your phone or computer! I tested this out myself and it is crazy! Our devices track cookies on websites and those sneaky airlines jack up the prices when they see that people have interest in specific flights. Not cool. So, keep it under cover. 😉

5. Check Flights on Wednesdays.

 On Wednesdays, we get the best flight deals. 💁🏼

 Seriously, though. I tested this trick out too when looking for flights. Wednesdays are when a lot of airlines post sales. The worst dates to look are on Mondays or Fridays.

 You have to be consistent too. I checked flights every Wednesday for almost the past year until I got the best deal I’d ever seen. I can honestly say this is the lowest price I’d ever seen for Italy.

6. Fly Out In the Middle of the Week

 When it comes to the dates you should fly out, always be flexible. Monday and Friday are some of the worst dates to fly out. 👎🏻

  I booked our trip leaving on a Tuesday. Tuesday and Wednesday seemed to be consitantly cheaper than most other days. 👍🏻

7. Be prepared to BOOK IT. 

 You should always be looking at flights, even when you don’t have the full amount saved up; it gives you an idea of what good and bad prices are, but in the end, when you have your cash saved up, be ready to book at a moment’s notice! When I saw the deal we got, I called everyone together because I had never seen the prices so good!

 After getting my passport, booking those airline tickets was the second most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life in a looooong time.

 So, there you have it! It’s not rocket science, but there’s definitely an art to it! The real trick is being consistent. ✌🏻

Don’t ever stop dreaming, don’t ever stop searching and keep it up until you can get to where you really want to go! 

  

Advertisements

\\ S a v a n n a h, G e o r g i a //

A Musing

 Savannah, Georgia. It’s a beautiful city, full of interesting architecture, hanging Spanish moss that sets a romantic & spooky mood at the same time, great seafood and hundreds of things to do!

  We covered a lot of ground this past week while we were there for the first time, so I’ve tried to highlight some of the coolest things we did! Savannah really has a little bit of something for everyone.

For The Outdoor Lover/Green Spaces Enthusiast


  I’ve heard Savannah compared to Charleston quite a bit, maybe because they both have pretty, pastel colored homes, wrought iron, nice beaches and history, but Savannah has way more parks and squares per mile than Charleston. About every couple of blocks, there is a nicely outlined square that was designed in the 1700’s and then there is Savannah’s biggest park, Forsyth Park, which you have to visit! The fountain at its center resembles the one in Central Park in New York and there are a few Civil War monuments as well.

 I would definitely recommend taking a stroll through one of the many squares or Forsyth, which is so beautiful.

For the Antique Lover/History Buff


  I love exploring antique stores in the new places I go to! A great one is Alex Roskin’s Antiques on Forsyth Park next to The Armstrong House. It’s in a 4 story mansion that definitely gives off some haunted vibes! 😱 I couldn’t afford anything there, including an awesome bust of Mark Twain’s head and several furniture pieces from the 1800’s, but it is so interesting just to go through and look at this old house. Every room is crammed full and there are even some porches you can walk out on to where you are level with the palm trees and you can gaze out at the park below. It was awesome!

  I would also suggest taking in the River Walk. There are several antique stores down there, as well as cobblestone streets, cute eateries and a view of the port, which can accommodate 98% of America’s cargo, where ships bring in and take out things going all over the world.

For The Beach Goer


   A vacation wouldn’t be a full trip without a trip to the beach! Luckily, Savannah is close to Tybee Island and Hilton Head. Hilton Head is a little fancier, but they are about the same parking expenses wise.


  My pick would be Hilton Head if you’re just going for the sun and waves, but Tybee if you would like to take in a lighthouse while you are there too. The admission to Tybee Lighthouse is only $9 and you get to see all the outbuildings, go up the 178 stairs to the lighthouse observatory and check out the museum under the battery.

For The Cemetery/Church Explorer


 Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of Bonaventure Cemetery, but it is a beautiful place full of 100+ year old tombstones and a Grave Lookup Machine, which comes in handy when you are trying to find specific markers.

   For a great church to see, I would visit Old St. John’s Cathedral. It is gorgeous and has free admission, but be respectful since it is still a functioning church with regular services still held.

For The Foodie


 Everyone has to eat, right? There are so many great places to eat in Savannah. I personally liked Fiddler’s Restaurant, which had delicious crab cakes and Leopold’s Ice Cream for its amazing desserts. Pictured here is the peppermint ice cream, which is to die for! 😍 Leopold’s is one of the top 5 ice cream parlors in the world!

  For The Plantion Lover


  Now sadly, we didn’t get to go in Wormsloe Plantation this time around since we had a packed schedule, but I will definitely be going back! I had to snap a picture or two of their tree lined driveway though! It is a $10 admission. Definitely someplace I want to visit when I come back to Savannah!

Have any of my readers been to Savannah? Where are some of your favorite places to go?

Also, P.S. I would highly recommend a trolley tour while you are there. Old Towne Trolley Tours offers a $29 per person deal which I found to be worth every penny! They have 15 stops and an all day on-and-off feature so you can go back to stops you missed and disembark and get on as many times as you want! 

Chattanooga Adventures 🚃

A Musing

  This weekend, we went to Chattanooga for my mom’s birthday. 🎉 Chattanooga or Chatt Town is one of those places that is so close, you forget about it if you’re a Knoxvillian like me. I’ve been there on field trips, passed through there on the way to other places, or stopped there just for a pit stop on the way home sometimes.


  I had a lot of fun going there yesterday though, mostly because I got to go with my family. 

   We ate at Urban Stack, known for their burgers 🍔, at lunch.


  We also did The Big Tour—and I’m calling it that because you need the whole day to do it and it is worth it! We saw Rock City, Ruby Falls and rode The Incline Railroad.

 

  Ruby Falls was something I have never seen in person, just on magnets or lisence plates that other people have bought over the years. It’s 145 feet tall and they still have no idea where it is coming from. You see, it’s under and inside Lookout Mountain, which is a huge mountain overlooking Chattanooga. In fact, you can see 7 states from the top of Lookout: Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.


  They say the man that found Ruby Falls in the 1920’s heard the waterfall before he could see it—he was traipsing around in the cave with only a lantern! 😱 It is one of the largest underground commercial waterfalls in the world, so it’s definitely worth a visit!

  

  We also walked all around Rock City, where they have cool rock formations, including Fatman Squeeze, which really has to be experienced to be believed! 😂


 The Incline Railroad at Lookout Mountain is another thing you have to do! It is the steepest inclined railroad in the world.

   I rode it for the first time ever yesterday and it made me nervous! It has a 72.7% grade at the top. When you climb in, you are going into a rail car at an angle, so instead of a flat floor, you have steps going down to the seats.


  You slide down past people’s homes, under a bridge and down to the bottom. This was looking back up when it was almost starting to level out, but we were still halfway to the bottom! 

  The Incline was started in 1895, but the cars were last updated in the 1980’s. I can see why they probably started it—there were mostly dirt roads back then and I don’t picture horses making the trek to the top of Lookout easily. Back then, The Incline was all about necessity, but now it is all about fun! 

 If you’re looking for a fun day trip to Tennessee, definitely check out Chattanooga! There are a lot of other attractions, including the famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel, worth checking out! 

\ \ H e l e n, G e o r g i a / /

A Musing

  Seeing is believing. Some places are just so weird and unbelievable that you have to see them in person. Helen, Georgia is one of those places. I decided that it needed an entry all of its own! 🇧🇪🍻🌲

  

  If you were looking at these pictures and didn’t know any better, you would think you were looking at the perfect, quintessential German town, but this village with Bavarian charm is right in the middle of the mountains in Northern Georgia. I think, personally, it’s a lot like Gatlinburg, a mountain town in Sevierville and in my own backyard, just if it had German influences. 

  

  This town is close to a lot of hiking trails, rivers where you can go tubing and plenty of other activities. Downtown itself, a tiny little Main Street, is full of hotels, B&B’s, German restaurants and some tourist trap souvenir shops. There are a few more authentic shops close to the beer garden near the main square, fortunately, that sell some German snacks and little kitschy souvenirs and pottery, which are a little better than your standard airbrushed tees and marijuana bottle openers you find in the usual tourist crap stores. 🙄

 

  You will also be surprised to know that there are quite a few German people who own shops in this town and even live near by. I guess it surprised me because it’s a knock off of Germany and if I had to choose between Real Germany and Fake Germany, Real Germany would win every time. 👍🏻

  Seeing little mock European towns like this makes me appreciate the people who loved a place like Germany so much that they brought it to them, and at the same time, it makes me want to visit the real, authentic thing. 

  So, if you find yourself in Northern Georgia, definitely stop by Helen! It is everything I like in a road trip pit stop: Bizarre, unique and interesting! 

\ \ A t l a n t a, G e o r g i a / /

A Musing

 Atlanta, Georgia. The ATL. 💯 It is full of things to do.

 Atlanta is somewhere that is so close by, I forget about it sometimes. Usually, it has been a destination we cruise through(or sit at a standstill in depending on if it’s rush hour traffic or not) on our way to Florida when we go to the beach. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Knoxville, so it makes a great day trip or weekend getaway.

  My husband and I stayed in Atlanta this past week for a convention, but also got to run around. Here are some things I recommend anyone should do, followed by a list of things we like to do because we like to do more weird/obscure stuff sometimes that may not be everyone’s cup of tea:

Traditional Atlanta Itenerary:

1. World of Coca-Cola Museum


  I remember going as a kid to The Coca Cola Museum, which is worth a trip even if you’re not a huge Coke fan. We stood out in the sweltering, August heat in a mile long line to get in, and once in, we got to learn about the bottling process, the history of Coca Cola (Cocaine was an ingredient, in some form or another, in the original formula. 😱) and test sodas from around the world in a testing room with sticky, checkered floors. Coca-Cola is a part of Atlanta’s history, so you should definitely check this out!

2. The Dwarf House/Original Chicfila 


461 N Central Avenue, Hapeville, Georgia 30354

 The original Chicfila, though I’ve heard that disputed by some locals. In any case, this weird restaurant is worth a visit! Chicfila was founded in Georgia, so make the pilgrimage and do not pass go. Whatever you get, get some Chicfila sauce to go with it because that stuff is the bomb. ✌🏻

3. Piedmont Park or Olympic Centennial Park


 Get your park fix by going to one of these parks! Also, nearby to Piedmont Park is The Atlanta Botannical Gardens, which are beautiful. If you go to Olympic Centennial Park, you can catch a carriage ride through downtown or check out Skyview, a ferris wheel that gives you a beautiful view of the skyline, especially at night. (For romantic points, Groupon Skyview and get the VIP experience, which includes a private car + chocolates. ❤️) 

4. Jackson Street Bridge


  Jackson Street Bridge is one of the best places to get a view of the Atlanta skyline. It is actually where they took promotional pictures that are depicted on the first seasons of The Walking Dead. 💀 Go at sunrise or sunset for the prettiest views.

Untraditional Atlanta/Surrounding Areas Itenerary:

1. See Alexandria and Woodbury from AMC’s The Walking Dead


 Senoia, Georgia, a hidden little gem of a town, is also the set of The Walking Dead! Since we live so close, I thought, why not?! We have to go and see this! Senoia itself was used as the fictional town of Woodbury, where The Governor reigned supreme in Seasons 3-4. You can actually see Alexandria from Woodbury a/k/a Senoia. Senoia is about a 2 hour drive from most parts of Atlanta, but worth the trip if you’re a fan of the show.

  Unfortunately, you can’t get as close to the walls of Alexandria since they are still filming, but just looking at them makes the series come even more alive and you keep expecting Negan to show up and ask for a tribute from the community or see walkers roaming around! 

2. Thrifting (You knew this was coming, right?)


  My husband and I love us some Goodwill. ✌🏻 And lucky for us, Atlanta has like 30+ stores. I have found designer brand clothing and some really cool stuff, so if you like to thrift like us, here are some of my favorite locations to thrift:

1460 Northside Drive NW Atlanta, Georgia 30318

3906 Roswell Road, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30342

2585 Chantilly Drive, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30324

 The first two are Goodwills and the last one is an LGBT thrift store which has some of the coolest stuff!

3. IKEA


IKEA, because IKEA. I love looking here because we don’t have an IKEA, which is such a bummer, because their lighting department and room setups are a-m-a-z-I-n-g.

So, if you find yourself in Georgia, do some of this stuff that’s touristy or off the beaten path! 

Portland, Maine

A Musing

PORTLAND. Such a beautiful, interesting place.

We flew into Portland International Airport at the beginning of this week on Sunday, November 13th. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at the terminal on the 19th, sad that I have to leave and go home.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss our family, house and our pets, Houdini the hamster and Twix the rabbit. (The latter is a newly acquired pet that I rescued from the wilds. She is so tame and so sweet—I still can’t believe someone just let her go! 😥) I am ready to go home, but hate to leave at the same time. Travel is one of those things that leaves the shimmery dust of magic on you, for at least 72 hours after you get home. Or until you have to go back into work. 🙄 Lucky for me, I am a full time pet sitter and love what I do! I’m actually happy about the Thanksgiving rush and all the puppies I get to see when I come back!

Travel is one of those things that people say truly makes you richer because of the experiences you have, not because it’s something you can physically hold or place on a shelf. Now, pictures you can keep—and I took so many! 📸


These are some pictures from the VRBO Artist Apartment we rented out on the West Side of Portland. At around $99 a night, it was a steal! The hosts are so amazing too and gave us a map and some inside intel on places we HAD to check out while we were there, especially restaurants. It was a 1 bedroom apartment with a bathroom, kitchen, dining and living room. All the amenities, but no tv. Which we actually loved! It made it easier to focus on writing, reading and spending time together instead. ❤️

I have to say, Portland, Maine is a great location. You can explore the city and if you tire of doing that, you can venture out to the Kennebunks, which are only 30 minutes away, Freeport and home of L.L Bean, which is only 20-30 minutes away, and other places like Brunswick, Bath and more! For the first two day leg of our trip, we stayed in Rockport, Massachusetts, which was only a 2 hour drive from Portland. It made it very convenient getting from destination to destination and the contrast couldn’t have been better!

When I planned mine and Tim’s trip, I picked Rockport and Portland because they are so different. Rockport has a definite small, Cape Cod vibe, whereas Portland is very spread out and bigger city. Tim also pointed out that our rentals, both through VRBO, couldn’t have been more different! The first was a cozy attic apartment over an ice cream parlor and the second was an apartment walkup in the West End of Portland, which had 10 foot ceilings! Tim would notice this, being taller than I am! 😂 Anything I call “cozy” gives him a concussion!

Both VRBO owners were PERFECT to work with. If you haven’t tried the service out, DO. It gives you a more unique experience and can be a lot more affordable than a hotel.


Tim and I have both said that one of our favorite things we did on this trip was visit Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, only about a 12 minute drive from Portland. The actual lighthouse observatory was closed since November and much of this time of year is their off season, but the views were breathtaking along the cliffs and recreation area and there were less people around, so less people to avoid getting in your perfect shot! 👍🏻 If you happen to go in the summer, their rates are super affordable! Only $2 admission into the lighthouse! 😱 That’s crazy! And it is the most photographed lighthouse, the first one in our country commissioned by George Washington himself, so if you go to see ANY lighthouses, make it this one! 


For coffee, our patrons recommended Omi’s Coffee, just down the street from where we stayed. It was pretty good. There are also quite a few Coffee by Design chains in town as well as Dunkin Doughnuts, which got their start up this way in Massachusetts. They are literally on EVERY corner. For doughnuts to go with your coffee, you have to make a stop at The Holy Doughnut on Exchange Street. They are POTATO DOUGHUTS.  I know, sounds strange, but it’s the type of flour they use, so the consistency is a lot like a cake doughnut, which I’m a fan of. (Sorry, Krispy Kreme. 🍩) I had a fantastic lemon doughnut and Tim really liked the maple or maple bacon.

When we took a day trip to The Kennebunks, we stopped at a place called Jake’s Seafood. 


DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. Just get yourself a lobster roll and thank me later. They’re about $17.50 with a side, but so worth it. It’s the food of Maine! If you come up here and don’t like seafood, I’m sorry, this trip is wasted on you. You can get your lobster roll traditional style in mayonnaise and cold like I did, or warmed and with butter like Tim did. DELICIOUS.

If you go into Freeport, a trip to L.L Bean is necessary. Take pictures with the boot. Explore all the stores, including home, ski and snow and hunting and fishing. 

Also, if you plan on driving a lot, I would say budget between $30-$50 for tolls, that being on the higher end. If you have an itenerary and sort of plan where you want to go, you can save by not doubling back or just knowing where you want to go.



Another great thing we did just before coming to the airport was checking out The Waterfront Fresh and Flea Market in Brunswick, Maine. It’s a little past Freeport. They do this Flea/Fresh Market most Saturday’s from 9-2. There were so many cool antiques that I sadly couldn’t fit in my suitcase to take home and so much delicious looking fresh vegetables, cheeses, and pastries and candies! It is definitely worth a stop and you can sample and buy some authentic Maine made products!

I am sad to leave Portland, but excited to go on our next adventure! Here are some other noteworthy mentionables:

1. Silly’s Restaurant

40 Washington Avenue

(Brunch on Saturdays, burgers and so many organic vegetarian options!)

2. Otto Pizza

Pretty much anywhere in Portland

(It’s a Portland chain, but so good! We had the Chicken and Basil Pie.)

3. Portland Art Museum

(Most hours are 11-8 and Fridays were free from 4-8!)

4. The Flea For All

585 Congress Street

(This place had some awesome vintage selections and everything was in great shape! Furniture, clothes, knick knacks and more!)

Goodbye, Portland! We’re going to miss you! 💋 

Have you been to the New England area? What are some recommendations you have? And better question, where should Tim and I go on our next trip?! 

New England Trip 2016

A Musing

Okay, so…I didn’t do too well with the hints and the suspense and build up, so—surprise! 🎉 We’re in New England! We decided to take a trip up this way to explore beautiful Maine and Massachusetts this year. We being my husband and I. 

This guy. Right here. This is Tim pretending to be a statue at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts! More on that in a minute.


So, my husband just lets me plan trips. It’s pretty awesome. He’s like, “Let’s go somewhere!” and I ask him where and he says, “I don’t know, let’s just get out of here!”

So, I did a TON of research on Google, VRBO, you name it. And I decided, “You know what? I’ve never been up to the way, way, really Northern states in this country. I like seafood. Where can I go that is really far up North and has seafood?”

And thus New England trip was born! 👶🏻


The first place we stayed was in Rockport, Massachusetts. It’s a few hours from Boston, a few hours from Gloucester (where aforementioned weird castle is), a few hours from Salem—it’s basically a few hours from everything. It being in November, we were traveling in their off season. What is off season, my friends? WELL. It may mean, as my husband pointed out, several things are closed, but it ALSO means—the world is your oyster. No fighting people through tourist traps, no people looking at you weird when you Instagram your food (Guilty, your honor.) or crowds of any kind.

We stayed on Bear Skin Neck, a small spit of land in Rockport. It is BEAUTIFUL. Imagine that Charleston and Gatlinburg (It’s a small mountain chalet town near where I live, look it up.) had a baby, and you have Rockport. It’s very Cape Cod. In fact, it is so Cape Cod and it was so deserted while we were there, it felt like we were on a movie set, possibly like the town where they filmed Jaws. Sorry, that’s the only movie I could think of set near water..except Titanic, but…not feeling it.

It’s got houses in every pastel color of the rainbow, but it’s beautiful. Cape Cod shingles, ropes and anchors everywhere, and the BUOYS. Don’t even get me started on the buoys.


I LOVE THEM. ❤️🦀 If you want an authentic Cape Cod feel, look no further than this place. The VRBO we rented was over an ice cream shop and charming. It was a cozy little attic apartment with all the amenities. People were also starting to decorate for Christmas, so there was even more boatloads of charm. 🎄 

More specifically, stay on Bear Skin Neck if you can. Everything is within walking distance! It was awesome. 


I definitely want to come back already! 😫

We initially flew into Portland, Maine for this trip. The seafood we ate on the way to Rockport, Massachusetts was phenomenal. A place in Saco, Maine called Skipper’s Seafood. 


It looked like a Captain D’s, but it tasted like H-E-A-V-E-N. Tim got a crab melt sandwich and I got a shrimp roll. Both were amazing. I don’t think I ever really had real seafood until this trip! My grandfather, Poppy, says cold water fish just tastes better to him. I have to agree! 


When we weren’t eating seafood, taking pictures of buoys and enjoying Rockport all to ourselves, we drove to Gloucester, which is only about 12 minutes from where we stayed. It’s the home of the Gorton’s Fisherman. 😱 And we visited Hammond Castle, the home of an eccentric inventor in the 1920’s. You have to call for tours inside, but the grounds are open and worth a look! We may have reinacted various Monty Python scenes there…🤗


As for Salem, it is just a 30 minute drive from Rockport and worth a visit, just for the history and because it’s SALEM. We went and saw The Witch House because, it’s what you do. Being from Tennessee, we usually tear down things that are 50+ years old, so the fact that this house is still standing and was built in the 1620s is a MAJOR accomplishment.


I have loved every minute of being here. ❤️ Travel invigorates me! This was a longish entry, so I will do a PART 2 addition that includes some more information on the last half of our trip in Portland, Maine! It ain’t over yet! 👍🏻