One of the keys to travel is knowing how to do more of it without breaking the bank.  For me, much of this is done through the use of miles and points.  In fact, I would suggest that for anyone looking to make regular travel a reality, having a solid points strategy is a necessity.  This is how I am taking one of my best friends to China and Japan this coming fall, what will largely be a $20,000 trip, for about $2,000.

The second part is knowing how to find amazing deals.  I subscribe to a few services that help me identify cheap flights or other amazing travel bargains.  One of those, The Flight Deal, and another friend who was a bit quicker in checking their posts one morning that I was, alerted me to a FANTASTIC deal on Delta from Los Angeles to Madrid.  The best part?  It was valid over Thanksgiving!

My family celebrates Thanksgiving a week early to make it easier on out of town cousins, so I always have a long weekend to myself.  While domestic travel is crazy over that weekend, international travel is fairly easy.  So a meager $386 later (including tax), I am off to Madrid for a nice four day weekend in November.

(The most important thing, if you find an incredible fare like this, is to book immediately.  I was alerted to the fare at 9:30am, booked at around 10:15, and by 11:30, the fare was gone.  These do not last.)

In addition to The Flight Deal, I also subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flights and Frequent Miler, in addition to a couple of points blogs, The Points Guy and One Mile at a Time, that help me find these amazing deals.  What do you use?

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