Finding Inexpensive Flights Home (or Anywhere)

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By: Gabby D’Angelo – 2nd Year – Global Environmental Health

While Atlanta is a great place to live with an abundance of new things to discover, it’s inevitable that at one point over the two years that we spend at Rollins those of us who are not Atlanta natives will need to travel to visit loved ones. With most of my friends and family living outside of Atlanta I have found myself traveling quite a bit and living on a grad school budget has required that I become a bit creative. Here are some of my most useful tips for you all to try. 

Helpful Websites/Apps

Hopper

Hopper is a smartphone app that scours the internet for the best deals. All you have to do is put in the dates that you are looking to travel and they do the comparing for you. They even offer roundtrip options with different airlines. For example, it may be cheaper to fly with Spirit on the way there, but Frontier is cheapest on the way back. The best part about this app is that they will tell you if you should book your flight now or if they anticipate that prices will drop in the future. If they suggest that you wait to purchase the ticket, then you can set up an alert for a certain itinerary and Hopper will notify you when prices drop. They will also offer suggestions on ways to further reduce the cost of your flight, such as nearby airports or other dates.

SkyScanner

SkyScanner is available as both an app and a website and is very similar to Hopper. It also scours the internet for great deals and can look at nearby airports. While they can provide price alerts if the deals change they do not tell you whether a price change is predicted in the future. However, it gives prices for some airlines that Hopper does not have partnerships with.

Student Universe

This website provides reduced cost international and domestic flights for students. All you need to register is a valid .edu email address to prove that you’re currently a student. I’ve booked a few international flights through the site. 

Travel with the Bare Minimum

The latest trend in inexpensive travel is the concept of a “bare fare” that more and more airlines are starting to offer. This means that you pay a base fare that covers the cost to get you from point A to point B and then anything else you want will be extra. For example, you’d have to pay extra for a carry-on or checked bag, in-flight drinks or snacks, to pick your seat, to check in at the airport with an employee instead of online, or anything else you may want. When I travel it’s mostly just for a weekend and I can easily fit everything I need into a backpack that will fit under the seat in front of me, so I always decline any extra amenities. I’ve also resigned myself to the fact that by excluding any luxuries I get to see my family twice as much so for me it’s worth it to cut costs as much as I can. This isn’t necessarily a good option for everyone as these seats are often cramped, but if you’re just looking to get to your destination for as little as possible then this can be a great option.

Hope this helps you get started on planning your next trip home. Happy Travels!