Surprise! Getting into Africa is Cheaper Through Portugal.

Finally, the day has arrived. Ticket to Dakar, Senegal has been bought, and now all that’s left is packing and I’m off! Let me explain that Portugal part. I usually fly Delta and gather the points like a squirrel gathers pine cones—but for some reason, Delta flights were astronomically expensive. The cheapest option I found was to fly into Portugal, and I would have done so, had I not called Delta this morning and used my Skymiles points to score myself a $70 ticket. Ah the stresses of a nomad. Countdown!

And for all you travelers, or want to be travelers, here’s a list of sites and tips for getting a cheap flight.
TravelZoo has great deals for international flights, cruises, hotel stays, and vacation packages. Sometimes they might be for specific dates, but if you’re flexible you can travel cheaply, and sometime cheaply to a 5 star hotel.
If you’re a student, I highly recommend this site. I used to use it all the time, if not to purchase from, as a jumping off point to see which airlines are cheapest to travel to where.

Tip#1: Travel more! All airlines have a main hub. Air France’s is Paris, KLM’s is Amsterdam, British Airway’s is London, Korean Air’s is Seoul, Delta’s is Georgia, USA, etc. If you’re flying to Italy, take Air France and do a long layover in Paris with very little (if any) extra cost. A little research ahead of time equals extra places to see. One year on the way to Greece, I flew British Airways and took a 10 hour layover in London, had lunch, and did a bus tour of the city. Embrace long layovers!

Tip#2: Sometimes flying into where you want to go is more expensive. Example: Flying into Amsterdam can be expensive, but flying into Brussels is a lot cheaper, and surprisingly, only an hour away from The Netherlands’ border. Buy a cheaper flight, and take a bus. You’ll get to see more, and save money.

Tip#3: Make good use of your flights! Airlines are usually linked together through alliances to encourage repeat travelers. Delta is part of an alliance with KLM, Air France, Korean Air, and many others. For the past few years, I’ve had a Delta Skymiles account and have only flown Delta. Those accumulated miles have gotten me into lounges, a free flight to South Africa and Mexico, upgraded seats, etc. Not only that, I have an American Express Delta card, which gives me points for every dollar spent. There are plenty of credit card options for points to use for travel, and a little strategic planning with your travel gets you even more perks. Use caution though! I once bought a ticket through Korean Air, and Delta wouldn’t honor the miles because they said it was the wrong class of ticket. Always verify before purchasing by calling the airline!

Tip#4: Timing. Purchasing a ticket during the week, on a Tuesday or Wednesday, is cheaper than purchasing a ticket over the weekend or end of the week. Also, buy early or buy late. Let me elaborate, while tickets can be cheaper the earlier you buy, I usually buy most my flights 1 month out, max. And I don’t pay exorbitant prices, so keep that in mind— buying a ticket months ahead of time isn’t usually significantly cheaper, so no worries if you want to wait. If you’re willing to buy tickets last minute, sometimes the night before or day of, you can get dirt cheap pricing as airlines want to fill the flight.

Any other cheap flight tips or sites? Feel free to comment and I’ll add them to the post.