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3 Ways To Save Money on Flights for Families This Year

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When travelling with family, one of the most expensive parts of any vacation are the flights. Which is why I wanted to share my top 3 ways to save money on flights for families this year, that we use ourselves.

Flights tend to eat up a big portion of any family’s budget so it’s a good place to start when looking at ways to cut costs for your next vacation.

Here are top 3 things our family does to find more affordable flights for the 1-3 trips we take each year.

1. Use GOING (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights)

Going's cheap flights dashboard showing deals to New Zealand, Austria, France & Spain.
Going’s Dashboard, based on my airport preferences | Photo: Donna | Packed for Life

Going is my # 1 cheap flight hack, to save 40 – 90% on flights without having to do the work of searching the internet for hours. Which for families, and busy parents is amazing.

You can join their free or paid newsletter tiers, set which US airports & top 3 watchlist destinations you want cheap flight alerts for, and then click through their links to book directly with the airline.

They send you deals from all the airports you choose. So simple and easy.

I have their Premium Tier which sends timely deals on economy class tickets to destinations I want to watch. At the time of this writing it costs $49 USD, / year and you can save hundreds of dollars on each ticket. For larger families the savings can be significant.

Their Elite Tier is if you want to save thousands all their incredible deals on high-class fares (premium economy, business & first class), mistake fares and get ALL the deals.

At the time of this writing the Elite Tier costs $199 USD / Year.

Email screenshot showing all the flight deals from Going.
Example of emails from Going (Premium Tier), set for my preferences | Photo: Donna / Packed for Life

Read more about how Going works here


  • Going is great for people who live in the US or near a US airport.
  • Families who know they want to buy at least one plane ticket either within the US or Internationally this year
  • Busy parents who don’t have the time to scour the internet for hours for flight deals

For example, as a Canadian I watch for flights out of Seattle as I’m often in Vancouver / Victoria, BC visiting family anyway.


  • Families that don’t live in the US or near a US airport.
  • Families who aren’t planning on flying anywhere in the next year
  • DIYers who prefer the challenge of finding those deals themselves

Sometimes there are such great deals it inspires us to want to travel anyway.

⭐️ Sign up for their free or paid membership here

2 – Check out Google Flights & Use their tracker

Screenshot from Google Flights Explore Map option

Flight prices are coming down. YAY! I get excited everytime I get an email notification for Costa Rica & Thailand, the two places we’re planning on flying into upcoming trips.

Google Flights is a great way to do research on flight prices, best times to go, and then go to the airline to book.

Tips for using Google Flights:

  • I’m working on a video walk through on how to use Google Flights, but here’s a useful article on how to use google flights until it’s done.
  • Use the explore map option to find cheap destinations.
  • Use at least a 7 day trip for international flights (will be cheaper than fewer days)
  • Search destinations, not specific airports – You get info on all airports, and sometimes it’s cheaper not to fly into major airports.
  • Use google flights as a research tool & then book directly with the airline
  • Keep an eye on the price info box. It will tell you if the prices are typical, higher or lower than usual.
  • Use the calendar to see which dates are cheaper
  • Set up the price tracking notifications and keep your airport & airline options broad. That will give you a better idea of the best time to book.
Screenshot of Google Flights & where to find the tracker & Date Grid options to explore prices

You may also like our free, online vacation budget calculator


  • DIYers who like the challenge of finding their own deals
  • Families who have some flexibility with destination & dates. It can work for specific dates / destinations too, but you may not find a stellar deal.
  • Their calendar view shows cheap flight prices over the next month, making it easier to find a cheaper time to fly.
  • Tools to help you choose best time to go. Their Price Info Box tells you if the fares are high, low or average.
  • Google Flights Explore Map option allows you to search for the cheapest deals world wide. Maybe there’s a destination you hadn’t considered.


  • Families who don’t have time to do the research.
  • Google Flights doesn’t always display the cheapest price
  • May sometimes show you expired deals
  • Cheapest flights aren’t always the shortest time wise, and don’t always include baggage fees etc. It’s important to do your own due diligence before booking and consider cancellation policies, extra fees etc.
  • They don’t show all airlines. So if you want a particular one not on google flights you’re outta luck.

And remember, Google Flights is a search engine, so they aren’t actually selling you the tickets. If you click and book they’re sending you to the airline or online travel agency.

We usually prefer to check out & book the deals directly with the airline if possible.

3. Collect & Use Reward Travel Points

Two women looking at a computer that says rewards
Save up those travel points for almost free family vacations | Photo credit: Rawpixel | depositphotos.com

Travel hacking, or collecting and using reward travel points through credit cards is one of the best ways to travel more often for less. It’s easier if you have your partner onboard, working in two player mode to rack up the points.

My partner Derek isn’t super onboard with this option, so while I have an Amex and points, it’s slow going. I am definitely a newbie with this.

10x Travel has a great free course that outlines how to do it. While they focus on the US, it does give you a great overview of how it all works. For Canadians, I’ve been following Prince of Travel.


  • Families who are willing to put the time in to learn and use these strategies. It’s easier if you do two player ( have two people) onboard for racking up the points.
  • People who can pay off their credit cards each month, and have a handle on their budgets
  • Families who want to travel more for almost free (there’s stil usually taxes, fees etc.)
  • Families who have a bit of time before their next trip. It takes time to accumulate the points, so it’s easier if your trip is not in the next few months.


  • People who struggle to pay of credit cards each month, or who have a very poor credit rating.
  • Families who don’t have the time or desire to learn how to make collecting travel points work for them.
  • Families who want an instant reward – this takes a bit of time, and energy

BONUS TIP: Use Rakuten

I’m giving you a bonus tip, because hey, I like to be a bit of an over achiever.

Use RAKUTEN to Save & earn more $$​​

Using Rakuten is more a strategy to save up more money from every day purchases you’re already buying, that can then be used for travel, flights or anything.

Best part is it’s free, easy to use & it keeps track of the best coupon codes which you can use for all your Holiday, travel or the ever growing kids clothing online shopping.

⭐️ Extra Bonus: If you use this link to sign up, you will get $30

⭐️ Fellow Canadian eh? Sign up here for the $30 bonus

PRO TIP: Add the Rakuten Chrome extension to make “clicking through” easier to get credited for your cash back.

Final Thoughts: Top 3 Ways To Save Money on Flights

We’ve highlighted our top 3 ways to save more money on flights for families this year.

Some are easier than others like our favourite ,way to save 40 – 90% on flights without having to do any real work ourselves.

All will give you an opportunity to travel more for less and make those lifelong memories with your kids.

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