how to find cheap flights for long distance relationships: my mom's techniques
Tuesday – 10.14 p.m. I’m looking for cheap flights for long distance relationships
I hear the clock ticking
I’ve been racking my brain for four hours.
But I don’t understand.
I put my heart into it.
I’ve been through all the Google sites.
So, what’s going on?
Once again, I grab my mouse, feeling sick to my stomach.
My eyes scan the screen, looking for double digit prices, but nothing.
It doesn’t look complicated though. There are plenty of people who can do it.
So what the hell…
Why do I always pay such a high price for my airplane tickets…
What’s the problem with my research…
I go to several sites. My searches are long, I choose a lot of different options, I check low-coast airlines…
So why doesn’t it work ?
I will have to delay my trip again to save enough money…
Several more months to go before I see him again…
We already spent so many months apart, I’m sure he can wait a little longer…
That’s what I told myself before I called my mother for help.
I make it a point to be independent in life. It’s very important to me. I’m used to solving my own problems.
But I know that my mother has booked hundreds of airline tickets since she was born. And consulted thousands of them.
Traveling has been a part of her life for… well, her whole life really.
When she has free time, she spends hours looking at the destinations offered by airlines around the world, the types of planes they use, the flights that are in the sky at the moment…
When I travel, if I forget to send her a picture of my plane, I know I’ll get yelled at!
It allows her to get away at times of the year when she can’t physically do that.
And for me, it’s a godsend! A gold mine of information
I’m going to introduce you to the different techniques she uses.
Don’t worry, it’s incredibly simple. If even my mother can do it, you’ll be able to do it without any problem.
For an ever more fulfilling long distance relationship, you can read these articles:
Here are 10 tips for finding Cheap flights for long distance relationships
1. Don't blindly believe in flight comparison sites
To find cheap flights for your long-distance relationship, everyone recommends you to use these different comparators.
Yes, you should do it.
No, you should not rely only on them.
Let me explain why:
- It is possible that some flights are cheaper if you buy them directly on the company’s website.
- Not all flights are listed
- According to the comparators, not all companies (especially low-cost ones) will be listed
Few people know this, but this information is true.
The comparators are like a good friend. You have to consult it, but keep a distance on your opinion.
So which flight comparison service should you choose? Which one is the best?
That’s a question you’ve probably already asked yourself. Overall, they are all pretty much the same…
- Skyscanner stands out from the others because it takes into account low-cost airlines and allows you to find out which day a ticket is the cheapest over a whole month.
- Kayak allows you to search a destination from several airports
- Google Flights has a fluid interface and is very easy to use.
Personally, I do my research on these three sites and on all the airlines that operate the flight I am interested in. At least I don’t miss anything.
As a matter of good practice, here’s what you should do:
- Search for your flight on all the comparators you know
- Search directly on the websites of the airlines that serve your flight
- Ask your partner which flight comparison sites are available in his country, less known internationally. In France for example, there are Ulysse, Liligo, Momondo…
- Search on Google Maps « your country of departure » + « your country of destination » + « airline » to avoid missing an offer that could be interesting.
Flight comparison websites are in my opinion essential, but you should not rely on them only.
The next two tips are concrete to have cheap flights for your long distance relationships. By applying them, you are sure to save money without any headaches.
2. Optional services are... optional
We tend to forget it, but options can quickly add up to a lot of money.
Here are the most common options that you should avoid at all costs to have cheaper flights for your long distance relationship.
Especially if you’re flying with a low-cost airline!
1. The checked baggage
The first time I traveled to Peru to join Kyomi, I only had a (large) backpack.
No checked luggage.
I saved 100€ and it allowed me not to miss my emergency flight home because of Covid-19.
If you can, just take a backpack with you on the plane.
My personal tip:
Every time you travel, leave some things with your partner. The most important thing is to leave the things you can’t take with you on the plane!
This way, you won’t have to take a checked bag every time.
Taking an insurance on your flight has always divided the travelers. I won’t get into that debate today!
I just want to remind you that insurance remains an option, and that not taking it can save you unnecessary expenses (provided that your flight does not have any problems!).
Personally, I never take any. Firstly because since Covid, airlines have adapted and are more flexible about last minute changes and cancellations.
Secondly, because I am a gambler. I love double or nothing. That’s why I stay away from casinos and love to make bets on absolutely anything and everything.
3. Do everything yourself. EVERYTHING!
The more things you do on your own, the cheaper it will be. This goes for countless things in life!
Fixing your car yourself saves you from paying a mechanic.
Baking a cake is cheaper than buying it.
You get the idea.
Do your research by yourself! Don’t go through an agency that will charge you for the service.
This is obvious, but I find it crucial to remember to get cheaper flights for your long distance relationship.
3. Purchase before, during and after the airport, have you thought about it?
Too often neglected, the mandatory purchases to be made during our trip can quickly make the bill explode.
Do you know what I mean?
- The parking space at the airport for your car
- Or the bus or train ticket to get to the airport
- Last minute gifts in the « Duty Free » area (my pet peeve)
- The little hunger or the little coffee to wait before boarding
- If no one comes to pick you up, you will have to pay for a cab when you arrive
What’s the point of looking for a cheaper plane ticket for your long-distance relationship if you pay full price for these secondary trips?
- If possible, ask someone close to you to take you to the airport, and upon arrival have someone pick you up!
- Some airlines have partnerships with cab agencies (and therefore offers)
- Pack a small snack to avoid buying food. Drink tap water in the toilet. (yes, it goes through there!)
- Ask for information on forums, guides, with your partner to avoid being ripped off in your destination country. It is well known: tourists have money.
- Negotiate prices for cabs.
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4. Airlines are watching you... stay anonymous!
1. The « Private Browsing » + « Clear Your Cookies » combo
Sites that offer to buy airline tickets online are often designed to detect the searches you make and see which flights interest you in order to increase the price.
In order to avoid this and to see your prices soar, I advise you to clear the cookies of your browser and to do your searches in private browsing.
This way, the prices will remain the same during your search.
For those who want to go further, this site explains very well what a cookie is.
How to do ?
If you don’t know how to proceed, I advise you to search on Google « How to delete my cookies » + the name of your browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox…).
In my case, that would be « How to delete cookies on Google Chrome ».
For private browsing, just right click on your browser icon and choose « New private browsing window ».
2. To go even further: use a VPN
A VPN, or « Virtual Private Network », is one of the best tools to protect your privacy on the internet.
It encrypts your connection and allows you to remain anonymous when you search the Internet.
This software will « hide » your IP address (the address of your computer) and create another one.
This way, you are smarter than the airlines.
You make them believe that you are connecting from any country. And this is an incredible opportunity for two reasons:
- The airlines won’t know you’re connecting for the first or hundredth time. So they won’t raise their prices.
- The same ticket can cost you less depending on the country you buy it from. Simply because the purchasing power between two people from two different countries can vary greatly.
Personally, I use a free VPN called TunnelBear. You will have a limited time per month and you won’t be able to connect to every country in the world, but it does the job very well.
If you’re willing to spend a few dollars a month, you can choose its paid option.
By applying the first 4 tips, you will have already saved a significant percentage on your ticket.
5. Cheaps flights for Long distance relationships: think about promotional tickets, second hand tickets and credit notes
I was a little skeptical when my mom told me about this. She personally has never tried it, but she knows that my buying power is different than hers. Let me explain!
We can talk about a used ticket when you buy it from a private person. It is not a ticket where you travel in the hold or you do not have a seat.
Why are there used airline tickets?
In general, it is people like you and me who bought a ticket, but do not want to travel anymore. The airline can’t refund them or reschedule their ticket.
So rather than lose that money, they prefer to sell it to someone who needs it at a very low price!
Where to find used tickets and assets?
1. Specialized sites
There are sites that specialize in this area. A bit like concert or train tickets! If you google « used airline tickets », you should quickly find them.
Ebay also offers this kind of ads.
2. Facebook groups for travelers
You can imagine that among all the people who bought a plane ticket, many of them go back on their decision for whatever reason and end up with an extra ticket.
It could also be a voucher that is about to expire.
Either way, join travelers’ Facebook groups. The more specific the group, the more likely you’ll find what you need.
If you want to travel from the US to England, you’re more likely to find a ticket on a group called « US Travel Community » than « European Backpackers ».
No need for knowledge, it is an easy and formidable technique.
It requires constant monitoring and surveillance of each publication. This can quickly become time-consuming, with no results! To avoid this, go to the following tip.
Where to find discounted or used airline tickets?
- Buying second-hand can be a scam. Be sure to ask before you buy!
- Some airlines charge for a name change on a ticket.
- Check all the information on the ticket: flight number, with or without luggage…
All the techniques seen so far require you to make some effort. Now let’s see how to make the good deals come to you.
Say goodbye to headaches!
6. Be informed of good deals automatically for cheaper flights for your long distance relationship
All of the above tips require quite a bit of time, and especially to regularly keep up with new offers.
It’s a big job every day, repetitive and, let’s not lie, a bit boring to do.
Fortunately, there are several solutions to automatically find cheap flights for your long distance relationship:
1.Subscribe to airline newsletters
If you know which airline you’re going to take for your next trip, you can sign up for their newsletter.
There is usually a link directly on their website, at the bottom of the homepage.
This way, you will be among the first to receive and know about future promotions and good deals that this company offers.
Practical, isn’t it?
This kind of mails usually arrive in the spam. Don’t hesitate to check them from time to time or to put a notification on your phone. It will make your life easier!
2. Opt for email alerts
One of my favorite tips for finding cheap tickets for your long distance relationship!
If you don’t know how this works, let me explain:
When you go to an airline or flight comparison website, it offers you (after you do an initial search) to create an email alert.
Email alerts have become widespread in recent years on the Internet. They can be found for services such as train tickets, concert tickets or job offers.
To put it simply, as soon as the website in question receives a new offer that matches your criteria, it will automatically send you an email to alert you.
You want to travel from Mexico to Madrid in 3 weeks but all flights are full?
Create an email alert to instantly know when a seat becomes available.
Or you’ve found an interesting flight but it’s a little too expensive?
An email alert will let you know if there is a price drop.
Simple and efficient to find cheap flights for long distance relationships.
Isn’t it better this way?
7. My mother has flown more than 200 times in her life. Here's what she learned
- There is no specific date to take your ticket. 1 month before is a minimum for international flights.
- Weekday flights are cheaper than weekend flights.
- Off-season tickets are always cheaper. Therefore, avoid vacation periods, holiday periods, public holidays…
- Taking a round trip ticket is cheaper than taking two tickets, one outbound and one return.
- Flights earlier in the day are cheaper.
- Dates like Friday the 13th, September 11th are cheaper because of the superstition of people. Find out about each country!
- If you travel often with the same company, create an account to benefit from long-term advantages.
8. Carrying stuff for someone else
This tip might interest you! There are now sites that connect people who are traveling a certain way (by car, train, plane…) and others who need to send a package from point A to point B.
Kakoexpress is one of them!
Let’s take an example:
John is flying from Miami to Toronto in 3 weeks. He registers on Kakoexpress and puts an ad saying that he can carry a 5 kg package with him. He sets the price of his offer. Simple and fast.
Lana has found a great gift for one of her parents, but sending it by a traditional postal service is too expensive for her. John’s ad is perfect because it’s exactly what she needs, and at a great price!
Lana contacts John. It’s a win-win situation.
I’ve never used this type of service, but it’s a way to make part of your commute worthwhile. Be careful on several points:
- What the package contains
- How will you deliver it to the recipient
It will take you some time, but you will save money!
And if you still want to please your partner without sending a package, I have listed here a lot of ideas for dematerialized gifts.
We’re coming to the end.
I give you my best technique.
In the long run, you can manage to save incredible amounts of money.
9. Cash Back sites: get some of your money back!
The latest ultra modern trick!
Because I’m really nice, I’ll give you one last tip, which can also be applied to other areas than travel.
Did you know that it is possible to get back some of the money you spend on the Internet? And I promise, it’s not a scam!
Indeed, thanks to cashback sites, you can be reimbursed a small percentage of your purchases. For example on Booking, you can get back 4% of the amount you spend.
And of course, it works on some airlines (and get 2 or 5% of a plane ticket, it can be very interesting!)
It is easily done:
- Sign up for free on cashback sites.
- Install the extension of each site on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (very simple manipulation, explained on the cashback sites)
- Each time you are on a site, a small bar will tell you if cashback is possible and you can then activate it.
- A few days after your purchase, your cashback amount will be added to your kitty.
- When your kitty reaches a certain amount (it depends on the site), you will be able to make a transfer directly to your bank account or your Paypal account, and without any fees!
|Benefits of TopCashBack|
By going through this link, you allow me to earn $10 if you reach $10 cashback yourself. This helps me to partially cover the expenses of the blog and supports my work
This is an amazing technique. Without doing anything, you earn money. Imagine if you did this for all your posts: the return on investment would be insane.
10. My personal tip to get cheaper flights for long distance relationships
The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to find a cheap ticket for your long distance relationship. This includes:
- Your departure and return date
- Your departure and return time
- Your departure and return airport
- The time you want to travel. Direct flights are generally more expensive.
Take some time to explore all the options. You’d be surprised at how different the prices can be from one criterion to another.
How to find cheap flights for long distance relationsthips : conclusion
I hope this will help you to find cheap flights for long distance relationships!
By applying one of the above techniques, you can reduce the price of your ticket by several dozen or even a hundred euros.
If you combine several of them, you will save several hundred euros!
It will just take time and patience.
2 things you are supposed to have if you are in a long distance relationship.
If you know other long distance couples who don’t know these tips, share this article with them!
And if you feel like thanking my dearest mom, you can send me an email. She would be happy to know it!
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We are Léo & Kyomi, a French-Peruvian couple in a long distance relationship since 2019. Welcome to this blog entirely dedicated to this way of life.
We decided to create
My Sweet LDR
to help people who want to live their relationship serenely and who don’t know how to do it.
To read our entire story
you can click just here !