Family is important — Flying doesn’t have to be expensive!

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When moving away from home, I knew I would have the expense in my budget of flying at least 2 to 3 times a year. I have found the best ways to save money to be able to see family and not have a huge expense.

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1. Wait to Check a Carryon

This is a big one — use only a carry on and a big purse or a backpack. Do not pay the extra $25 – $50 to check a bag. Pack outfits that are neutral and can be worn with anything. Create a minimalist capsule wardrobe. Personally, I love to have the accent color as maroon in the fall and blue in the spring.

Example from

I used to think packing for 1 in a carry on was hard…until my husband and I both went to home to Nebraska for a wedding and to see family. We used the SAME carry on for 5 days of travel. Then we traveled with our little girls and you learn to pack even less for yourself and the kids.

My items:

  • 5 shirts
  • 1 dress
  • 1 extra pair of pants
  • 5 undergarments; 5 pairs of socks; 1 extra bra
  • 1 extra pair of shoes

Plane outfits: bulky boots, scarf, jeans, long sleeves, and a sweater

2nd carry on: my purse

My husbands items:

  • 5 undergarments; 5 socks; 3 undershirts
  • 4 shirts; 2 long sleeves
  • 1 extra pair of pants
  • 1 dress shoes

Plane outfits: bulky boots, jeans, long sleeves, hoodie, belt 

2nd carry on: suite for wedding

2. Buy Tickets on a Tuesday

We almost always buy a ticket 3 -5 months ahead on a Tuesday, which is enough time out that they are not $800 to $1000 per ticket. My most expensive from Nebraska to Richmond round trip was $800, but that was because I bought it 4 days out for my grandpa funeral. 

Most flights I buy for a round trip with minimal stops and shortest time frame are around $300 per person.

We found a nonstop flights in 2022 for $188 per fight with AA to go back home with the girls!  This does take some investigation.

3. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

I learned this hack this trip traveling since I was 25 weeks pregnant. Bring your reusable water bottle instead of paying $7 to $8 bucks for a water! If you do not like water, bring a crystal light packet and put it in your water. 

4. Buy Basic Flights Instead of 1st Class

Do not pay extra for 1st class. If traveling delta, basic flights get drinks and a snack too! Paying minimum for a flight will help you stay in budget.

We have never paid for 1st class on an airplane trip, and we receive great service. We usually even stay all the way at the back of the plan to talk with the flight attendants and get hooked up with extra snacks or drinks. We easily save $300+ on staying in the basic seating area.

5. Try Not to Travel During Holidays

I am a family person, and haven’t lived at home for several years. I Skype on the holidays and have friends holiday celebrations. My family usually all gets together when I come home and we just have a family party. 

The first year not being home was hard, but after the first year it gets easier plus cheaper. Travel home on a Thursday and fly home on a Tuesday during non holiday times. 

If you must travel on the holidays, buy far enough out so you get a great deal and shop around. If I look at tickets now in February, for Easter weekend I am able to get the tickets around $350 per ticket.

I know these travel tips to travel will help you not break the bank. Going home to see the family is important, especially if you have little ones growing up. Do not miss out on seeing them!


Travel when others do not. We traveled a lot during Covid because the flights were so cheap! Once gas increased and flights became expensive we stayed home because this is when everyone else was traveling! Hello delayed flights — that is not fun at all!

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Enjoy your trip and spend less money!

If you want to budget with a savings fund and track it yearly. Get the yearly bullet budget tracker this has 4 different areas of the bullet budget tracker. The section on savings will help you make your family traveling home easier, less stressful, and a peace of mind knowing you have a savings fund for travel. To get yours now and use it for your savings goal, click here.

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