HOW I SNAGGED A $21 FLIGHT TO AUSTRALIA
Looking for cheap flights to Australia? How about an almost free one?
I recently had you all guess where I snagged an international flight for $21 on Instagram. I received dozens and dozens of questions from you asking how it was possible once I revealed I was headed to Australia.
Australia?! For $21? Aren’t they usually $3,000?
Yes, yes they are.
How this spur-of-the-moment trip became one of my cheapest:
About five years ago I went to Australia. It was my first big trip and I irresponsibly dropped my life savings and graduation money on a ticket to “down under” that cost $3,000. No regrets, but it definitely wasn't a cheap flight.
I knew I wanted to return and when I suddenly had a gap to go in a couple months I started researching. Three days later I booked my tickets and deducted the $21 from my bank account.
Once I tell you how I did this, you have to promise me to read further. Don’t stop at something that seems impossible because you “don’t fly a lot”.
I booked a ticket for $21 using air miles from mile American Airlines account.
STOP. YOU PROMISED YOU’D READ ON.
“I don’t fly American Airlines!”
“I’ve never even flown before!”
Whatever your excuse is, I don’t care. If you have bills or if you spend money (which I’m assuming you do) you can fly to Australia, or nearly anywhere, for nothing more than the booking fees.
How many times have I flown with American Airlines in the last two years? Maybe twice. Maybe.
What you will have to do is 1) get the American Airlines Credit Card and 2) Not be stupid with your American Airlines Credit Card.
Credit cards that offer reward miles, like American Airlines, usually offer bonus point potential when signing up. When I signed up for my credit card, American Airlines was offering 40,000 miles if I spent $3,000 in the first three months.
Rent, bills, groceries, travel expenses= all on my credit card and paid off within the month. After three months, boom 40,000 miles. A one-way ticket to Australia is 40,000 miles.
That was nearly three years ago when I got my credit card, and I put everything (and I mean everything) on it to this day. If you fly that airline, you also get points for flying with them.
Three years later I’ve hoarded my points up and taken advantages of promotions and deals to gain me enough points for two international flights or 10 domestic flights. Not bad.
If you actively use your card and meet minimum requirements you’ll receive other perks like free checked bags, possible upgrades to first class, and passes for the admiral clubs where I’ll be spending most of my 12-hour LAX layover taking a shower, eating buffet food, and enjoying a couple relaxation drinks before the flight. None of which I paid for.
So in February when you see me jump on my cheap flight to go explore Australia and New Zealand, remember that it cost me less than a meal at your local steakhouse.
Travel on and Happy New Year!
Soulful adventurer. Probably lost. Definitely eating ice cream.
In her late-teens, Shalee drove out of her small hometown watching the sunset behind her along the two-lane highway. Her ventures began in Michigan, where she taught herself to travel on a budget. Today, Shalee shares her tips and stories to thousands of readers interested in adventure, budget, and outdoor travel. Learn more about her here.