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MIAMI (CBSMIami) – In April, Christina Yannanon of Coral Springs and her daughter are heading back to Spain.

Each of their flights from Miami International Airport only cost $247.

Yes, you heard right. And that’s a direct flight!

It’s one of dozens of cheap flight alerts that Yannayon receives almost daily.

In just this past week, Yannayon has also received alerts to Lima, Quito, Guatemala, Ukraine, all between $200-$400.

Yannayon said she also found a Tokyo round-trip flight for $614. In the past, she has only found flights from South Florida to Tokyo for well over $1000.

“I’m probably going to find the one to Ecuador [after you leave] from Fort Lauderdale, “said Yannayon. “It’s $299 round trip.”

Yannayon is a former middle school teacher who now home schools her daughter Natalie, who is extremely well-traveled for just 10-years-old.

Internationally, Natalie has already been to London, Rome, Barcelona and Paris.

Yannayon calls it ‘budget travel’ as part of their outside classroom.

“I can teach her about Picasso,” said Yannayon, “[Or I can take her] to the Picasso museum in Barcelona.”

Yannayon said they are not extremely wealthy and they are not in a ton of travel debt.

Traveling for cheap takes time, flexibility and patience… or a membership to Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Yannayon has received alerts from the cheap flight finder service for about 8 months now. Just a couple months ago, she upgraded and joined as a premium member for $39 a year.

“I have the time, it’s true,” said Yannayon. “Scott’s Cheap Flights is a great option. They do the work for you.”

Founder Scott Keyes started the service after he experienced the high of getting a super-cheap flight himself.

“In 2013, I got the best deal I’ve ever got in my life: non stop from New York City to Milan for $130 round trip,” he said.

It started with just free e-mails he sent to his close friends. That grew to about 5,000 acquaintances.

Now, 6 years later, Scott’s Cheap Flights has 1.6 million members worldwide, who the website boasts have saved $100 million dollars in airfare.

There is a free version, but the premium service will get you the best deals, priority alerts, and the pot of gold from airlines: when they release a mistake fare.

Here are a few free tips from Keyes himself:

  1. Don’t plan vacations based off location and date. Base off price. Be flexible with location and date.

“If you’re like me, there are a ton of places around the world you want to go,” said Keyes. “$283 fares, we found to Paris..but if you had set your heart on Germany, it might’ve been $800.”

  1. The airline industry has changed. Don’t depend on airlines releasing cheap flights on specific days like Tuesdays or Saturday afternoons.

“That was true back in the 90s, it’s no longer the case,” said Keyes. “Airfare changing by the hour, [even] minutes, there is not one best time to book.”

  1. Don’t wait last minute thinking flights will be available at low standby prices. Those leftover seats are usually jacked up now for business travelers.

“At least 1-2 months in advance, if you’re looking to travel during peak times,” said Keyes. “Often as long as 6-8 months in advance to find the best deals.”

The great news for South Floridians: Keyes said Miami (and Fort Lauderdale) are in the top 5 places in the U.S. to travel from when it comes to getting crazy good deals.

In the last few weeks, Keyes said his team has found fares from Miami to all over Europe for less than $300. A round trip to Croatia only cost $345. Even to Brazil, Keyes has found flights for $156.

If you can’t take a vacation right away, some trends Keyes said for South Florida in 2019 are for Brazil and Western and Southern Europe. Keyes is finding flights regularly in the low 400s, high 300s to Barcelona, Rome, and Amsterdam.

Frances Wang

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