How To Get The Best Deals On International Flights

Are you planning an international trip in the next year or two? Would you like to save hundreds of dollars on your international flights while still using your favorite airlines?

If you are thinking about traveling internationally in the year ahead then you need to read this post before you do anything else!

How To Get The Best Deals On INternational Flights! Learn how to save hundreds of dollars on your airline tickets while still flying the best airlines in the world

My secret talent in life is finding incredible flight deals and saving a fortune on international travel. I have an entire section in my book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget) on how to get the best flights possible for the least amount of money. Every hundred dollars you save on airfare is a hundred more dollars you can spend on shopping!

Some of my Glam Italia Tour travelers this past summer saved as much as $800 on their round trip flights using the tips in my book. By this I mean they were able to get the exact same flight on the exact same plane for $800 below price. If the book saves you even $100 on your flights then it was worth spending the $15 to get it! You can get a copy of my book here on Amazon.com

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I am a Sagittarian and I am a Kiwi, so it stands to reason that I have a heavy dose of wanderlust running through my veins. I am never happier than when I’m on my way to the airport about to embark on a new adventure.

The only problem is that I am also a single mom which gives me a different set of budgetary realities to deal with. People are always questioning how I can pull of all the travel I do on such a tight budget. Since 2010 I have flown to Australia round trip twice for free and to Europe five times for free, all using my frequent flier miles. This past weekend I booked a $1700 round trip trans world flight for free, using the ultimate travel hack. I have written about that in a separate post here: How To Fly Anywhere In The World For Free

Grand Canal venice in the late afternoon. If you could fly anywhere in the world where would you go?

The Grand Canal in Venice. If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?

For those of you who are subscribed to my newsletter you will be getting the very specific details on how I do it in your inbox on Friday. If you are not already subscribed to my newsletter you can do so here.

Today I want to look at flight pricing and how to get the very best price on a great flight. There are important steps to follow and they work every time.

How To Get The Best Deals On International Flights

Step One: Go Incognito

Always and only ever look at flights on an incognito window. (Google how to open an incognito window on your computer).

Have you noticed that if you click on an ad or google almost any product these days your social media suddenly gets swamped with ads for that product? You open your computer and everything you try to read or look at gets riddled with ads for that product you only clicked on once???

It’s so annoying! Not only do companies drop cookies into your computer, they also drop Facebook pixels (and no doubt lots of other pixels too) that track you, collect data on what you look at online and change your marketing profile.

Most of the time it’s just annoying, but when it comes to searching for flights it can cost you hundreds of dollars. Now that they know what you’re up to they will keep upping the price of the flights you are researching. Then they start trying to make you panic by flashing “only 3 seats left at this price!” signs at you.

When you only look at flights with an incognito window, each time is the first time and you will see major differences in the price.

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Step Two: Check the airline website.

If you have a favorite airline or an airline you specifically want to use, you need to know what their price point is. My main airline is American Airlines, because that’s where most of my frequent flier miles are, so I check them first.

The airline website will normally show you the most expensive pricing you will find! But you need to know what the top dollar on this flight will cost. It doesn’t hurt to click around on their website and see if they are offering any specials, sales or big discounts somewhere else on the site.

Step Three: Check the consolidators

Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz etc will typically have the same flights for cheaper. The various consolidators have different airlines, so look across several of them.

Green Fiat 500 in Capri. Learn how to get the best deals on airline tickets. If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Step Four: Separate off the junk.

You will find some amazing pricing with the consolidators, but know that there will be some junk routing you need to avoid.

Watch out for crappy airlines and crazy routing. When I was looking for my flights this past week and weekend there were some great prices but they had horrible routing. Instead of a 24 hour door to door some of them were as much as 41 hours! Sending me all over the place and giving me 13 hour layovers in places I didn’t want to be.

On top of that many of the airlines they were showing me were airlines I wouldn’t want to fly. Taking a long haul flight on a substandard airline is (in my opinion) not a great idea. There are plenty of great airlines out there, so if you are not familiar with a particular airline, check the reviews on it before you discard that flight option. If you see bad reviews, dig deeper – you may have a disgruntled customer who isn’t familiar with overseas travel, but if you keep seeing the same types of negative reviews run a mile!

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Step Five: Look beyond your home airport.

I live in Phoenix, which is an expensive airport to route in and out of, sometimes hundreds of dollars more than other airports. So although I do check pricing from Phoenix I also look at other airports not far from here. Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver and Los Angeles all tend to have much better pricing. Tucson is  only a 2 hour drive, and the other three I can get round trip flights to for $150 or less. I constantly save as much as $700 on a round trip flight by booking it from Los Angeles.

Step Six: Stick with it.

If you persevere invariably you can find something fantastic. Most airlines had my flight starting at $1700 and heading upward in price from there to more than $2400 for the round trip! Others were as low as $800 but the routes were just awful and on airlines with horrible revues.

After clicking around across a couple of days I found the perfect flight. It is direct, so door to door 24 hours (other side of the world), and is with one of the best airlines in the world. And it cost $958 round trip. I didn’t pay so much as a penny for my flights though – I used a frequent flier mileage trick that meant I didn’t even pay airport taxes. Normally if flying on frequent flier miles you still have an out of pocket cash cost on taxes. I am walking away from this with not one cent out of pocket. I have detailed it in this post.

Airline choice is a huge factor, especially on long haul flights. Little details such as seat pitch, food quality  and service are super important, and can mean the difference between arriving feeling sick and exhausted and arriving feeling great.

My book Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget) goes into depth on how I get all these flights, how I make sure my flights are fantastic, get upgraded much of the time, and avoid jet lag. Regardless of where in the world you are traveling you will find this information both helpful and cost saving. It makes a great gift for anyone you know who is planning travel to anywhere in the world, (not just to Italy). You can get it here on Amazon.com

Want more details on how I get the best flights for free? Subscribe to my newsletter here.

Staying At Yotel

I was super excited to be having a 12 hour layover in London on my way home from Italy.

London-morning
image via TravelandLeisure.com

I had all these fantastic plans to check my bags and take the tube into town and go hit my old neighborhood. 
I figured I would have time to hit the Kings Road and Knightsbridge, Kensington High Street and Notting Hill – being that I didn’t need to actually buy anything I could just walk and walk the streets and neighborhoods where my career started and where I kicked off my wild 20’s. Hell, I would even have time to swing over to Camden town. It was going to be perfect!

Right up until I actually looked at my ticket and saw that my 12 hour layover was from 10 pm until 10 am.

So now I had to figure out how to play it in one of the most expensive cities on earth. A cab ride and a hotel could be super expensive, but I wasn’t about to sit at Heathrow Terminal 5 for 12 hours.

Some international airports that have long layovers have hotels that you book by the hour, inside the terminal. So I decided to check out that option in case Heathrow did, and low and behold I found that they have one in Terminal 4.

Yotel is a fantastic concept for the long distance traveler. Instead of large hotel rooms that you book by the day, these are more like the berth on a ship or a large overnight train cabin. It’s a micro-hotel and it is everything the weary long distance traveler needs.

A Yotel room is super streamlined, pristine and very modern. You have a bed with a big fluffy duvet and a flat screen TV, a slither of a bathroom with a monsoon shower, a desk and a chair.
Everything you need to freshen up, get a few hours sleep and catch your next flight without dealing with traffic and a commute.
Your suitcase has checked through to your final destination, so it’s just you, your carry on, a hot shower and a good night’s sleep.

image via yotel.com

You book and pay online ahead of time so check in and check out are extra quick. From walking through the main entrance to walking into my room was maybe 5 minutes. No standing around in lines, no waiting for elevators and walking through mammoth hallways in a hotel with hundreds of rooms. 
Yotel is relatively small. I’m not sure how many rooms they have, but am guessing it is fewer than 100.

Yotel Heathrow is outside the terminal so you do have to go back through security before your flight, unlike the terminal hotels at Singapore’s Changi, which are enclosed inside the terminal. 
Had Yotel been inside Terminal 5 I would still own all my travel makeup, haircare and toiletries – can you tell I am still irritated at their version of TSA confiscating my things???

Regardless, Yotel was a fantastic experience. 
I had my room for 7 hours and it cost 72 Pounds Sterling, so a little over $US120. It was worth every penny.

One word of advice, book your Yotel as quickly as possible. While I was there it was fully booked, and the young man who checked me in said they are almost always at 100% occupancy.
The chances of you rolling up and being able to secure a room last minute are slim to none.

Book your Yotel at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Amsterdam Shiphol or Hong Kong via Booking.com


10 Carry On Essentials For International Flights

I spend a lot of time on planes. I’m always flying somewhere.
I like to travel light, but when it comes to long haul international flights I have a list of essentials that absolutely must come in my carry on with me.

In light of the fact that I’m about to lead the first ever 
Corinna B’s World Glam Italia Tour, and that these items have made it onto the list I’m giving the ladies on my tour, I thought you might like to check them out as well.

10-Essential-Carry-On-Items-For-International-Flights

1. My Pashmina.
Actually, I have a few. But this giant pashmina is the one I travel with. I recommend buying real pashmina instead of a big scarf. Pashmina is super light and thin, so it packs down well, but it is also incredibly warm. 
Airlines give you blankets, but they are nasty. My son’s airline blanket last year was full of moth eaten holes – it was awful! So I circumvent any potential problems or violent skin disorders by bringing my own.
My pashmina is big enough to use as a blanket, but also can be a chic accessory or great option instead of a bulky jacket.

2. Compression Hose/Socks
Before you die laughing, know that 20 years ago I was given a pair of these by a major model prior to embarking on a trans world flight. It was one of the best gifts ever.
The theory is that on long flights when you are stuck sitting there for hours, blood, lymph and other fluids pool in your calves, ankles and feet. It can be painful, the swelling is definitely ugly, and getting into your shoes can be really tricky. 
Compression socks/hose keep the fluids moving. Deep vein thrombosis is a definite risk with long flights, and compression hose are recommended by doctors to lessen that risk.
You can actually get full hose that come up to the waist, but that looks like too much drama for me, so I just use the sock version, and swear by them. 

3. Bose headphones.


Bose-Headphones

Mine aren’t the noise cancelling ones, but they are still brilliant, both for their Bose audio quality, and for their ability to knock out an enormous amount of cabin noise.

4. Travel Sized Lysol Spray

I’ve just added this one in for all airline travel, both domestic and international, after sitting for 5 hours on a plane with someone’s hair grease all over the window.
And a flight attendant told me that women routinely pull down the tray  table and change babies diapers on them, and they are seldom cleaned in between flights.
Gag me.
Now at least I can lysol down anything that looks iffy.

5. Facial Cleansing Wipes
These are essential beauty wise. I don’t fly long trips with makeup on  (you’re going to look hideous on landing if you start the trip with makeup on) but I still like to be able to cleanse my skin, especially towards the end of the flight.

6. Nude Pro Genius Treatment Oil

Nude-Pro-Genius-Treatment-Oil



This is one of my all time favorite skin care products. Ever.
When you fly you lose an extra 8oz of water for every hour you are up there, which wrecks havoc on your skin. You are also stuck for hours in dirty, recycled air.
Just as I don’t want to arrive to my new destination with cankles and swollen feet, I also don’t want to arrive with dried out, lifeless, grey skin. I want my skin to glow. 
So I use Nude Pro Genius Treatment Oil several times during the flight. It is full of good stuff including Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9, and instantly hydrates your skin as well as providing nutrients and keeping it smooth and glowing.
I wrote about this wonder oil last year. You can check out all the amazing things it does here.

7. My Stephanie Johnson Miami Cosmetic Bag


Stephanie-Johnson-Miami-Teal-Jumbo-Zip-Bag



I always travel with Stephanie Johnson makeup and toiletry bags – they are the best bags I’ve ever found. They not only look super chic and are endlessly functional, but they are well built too, which means all your goodies arrive at your destination in one piece, and not leaking all through your carry on bag or suitcase.
I’m in love with the Miami collection for travel because they are see through, so they sail through the TSA X-ray machines without you having to take out all your liquid and cream based beauty items or put them into ziplock bags. I love how efficient they are, as well as the fact that I can see everything inside.

8. Oribe Cote D’Azur Hair Refresher, Travel Size






Nothing on earth smells like Oribe hair products! They are divine.

Oribe-Cote-D'Azur-Hair-Refresher-Travel-Size

This one is an essential carry on item because after a long international flight your hair not only looks trashed, but with 8 hours+ of recycled air, it smells awful too.
A quick spritz of Oribe Cote D’Azur Hair Refresher not only cuts static in your hair and makes your hairdo recoverable (so you don’t get off the plane looking awful) but it makes it smell glorious. So if the most handsome man in the world comes in for a hello kiss and a cuddle, he won’t have to pull his head away when he catches a whiff of your hair…



9. Emergenc-C
I always have packets of Emergenc-C onboard with me. I buy a couple of bottles of water before I board my flight, and make sure I drink at least 2 packets of Emergenc-C at some point during the flight. I am convinced it helps me to circumvent jet lag.
It’s all part of my theory that when your flight lands you are feeling refreshed and lovely and looking great, so that you don’t miss one minute of your trip.

10. A Journal.




I buy these leather bound journals every year in Florence. I keep track of my world and all the magnificent people I encounter in them, as well as buying them as gifts.
This year I might do a Corinna B’s World giveaway of a leather bound journal from Florence. Would you want to enter to win one?

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