He made the headlines for his plan to travel 20,000 miles on 21 flights in first class… without paying a penny. Now 28-year-old American, Scott Keyes has revealed his savvy secrets so you too can explore the world without falling into the ticket traps.

His tips are as follows:

  1. Stock up flyer miles through credit cards

Keyes recommends credit cards are the best way to go if you want to quickly and easily rack up frequent flyer miles, which you can then use to take free flights.

He only signs up for cards with high sign-up bonuses and relatively low spending thresholds necessary to get those.

As long as you can handle credit responsibly and treat your credit card like a debit card, you can work towards a surprising amount of free travel.

  1. Fly on the cheapest days of the week


Be flexible with your dates when you want to take a trip of a set number of days.

Often times a Friday-Monday flight will be cheaper than a Thursday-Sunday, for instance, even though it’s the same number of days.

Usually the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

  1. Check the day before and after for cheaper fares

Always search one day before or after just out of curiosity, because sometime red-eye flights can technically leave on the next day.

These flights leave late at night, arriving in early morning and inside the US these flights are almost exclusively for travel from the West to the East.

  1. Work backwards with your trip 


If you want the cheapest flights, chase the fare, not the destination.

In other words, rather than picking a destination and then looking for the cheapest way to get there, start out by looking where there are cheap flights, and then decide among those where you’d like to go.

  1. Search for the whole month for flights 

Refer to websites such as Kayak and ITA Matrix which give you a month’s overview of flights prices.

Make your itinerary as flexible as possible so you are able to opt for going a few weeks after you intended to get the lower fares.

  1. Try flying to gateway airports 
Dayton, Ohio - Dallas, Fort Worth - 861 miles
Dallas, Forth Worth - Mexico City - 935 miles
Oaxaca, Mexico - Mexico City - 228 miles
Mexico City - Managua, Nicaragua - 994 miles
Managua - Panama City - 507 miles
Panama City - Port of Spain, Trinidad - 1234 miles
Port of Spain - St Lucia 217 miles
St Lucia - St George's, Grenada - 131 miles
St George's - Miami - 1535 miles
Miami - Dusseldorf, Germany, 4733 miles
Dusseldorf - Dresden, Germany, 304 miles
Prague, Czech Rep - Vienna, Austria, 173 miles
Vienna - Kiev, Ukraine, 665 miles
Lvov, Ukraine - Vienna, 356 miles
Vienna - Sofia, Bulgaria, 500 miles
Sofia - Vienna, 500 miles
Vienna - Vilnius, Lithuania, 587 miles
Vilnius - Helsinki, Finland, 393 miles
Helsinki - Berlin, Germany, 697 miles
Berlin - Chicago, 4412 miles
Chicago - Dayton, 240 miles
Total: 20205 miles

If you’re flying to a different continent and want the cheapest price, you should search for a number of different gateway airports in that region. For example, if you want to fly to Bali, start by searching for flights to Bali, but don’t stop there.

Also look at the cost of flights to Jakarta, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. If any of those flights is significantly cheaper, you can usually find a cheap budget flight from there to continue on to Bali.


Searching leg-by-leg like this can save hundreds on your overall flight cost because flight search engines usually can’t combine a long haul flight on one airline with a short flight on a separate budget airline.

  1. Don’t book in advance 

Don’t buy domestic flights more than one-three months in advance.

Fares rarely go on sale further than three months in advance, so you’ll miss out on some upcoming deals if you book too early. On the other side, don’t wait until the last minute to book.

For popular flight times during the holiday season or for long haul, look six months in advance.

  1. Being bumped is not the end of the world 

Being delayed or bumped from a flight is a situation many travelers fear.

However it could prove to be in your favour with some airports if you ask for money or frequent flyer miles instead of flight vouchers.

  1. Take advantage of tweet deck and email alerts

Don’t make flight hunting something you only do when looking to plan your trip.

Constantly be updated with alerts and tweets promoting the cheapest tickets. Keyes recommends the best newsletter alerts are from Airfare watchdog and The Flight Deal.

You can also sign up to receive emails from the savvy traveler himself for deals he comes across.

Source: Dailymail UK

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