How to save on flight tickets with Skiplagged, real example

A lot of you heard of Skiplagged, the site that saves you money on air tickets, created by this awesome guy, who is not backing down from the United lawsuit and continues to help people find cheap flight options.

I decided to give it a try, when my search for a R/T flight from New York to Montreal jumped to $475 (from $350 a day before). Because who is paying that for a 2-day trip, when you can get that same direct flight for half the price!

What does Skiplagged do?

  • It takes your destination airport, and searches for flights where that airport would be a stop-over. The 2nd leg of the trip would be somewhere else.
  • You, obviously, won’t need to take the 2nd leg. As long as you don’t check your luggage, you get off the plane and walk away.
  • And this way the trip is cheaper, because of some shady airline pricing tricks they play on consumers. Skiplagged to the rescue!
  • So here is my example (today tickets even more expensive, as we get closer to the travel date):

    New York (LGA) to Montreal (YUL), non stop flight: $607 round trip if you search on Orbitz, Kayak, Google flights, etc. OUCH!

    Go to Skiplagged, and type in your search. And WOW! $236, that’s savings of 61%, ladies and gents!

    You can’t book those flights directly on Skiplagged site, but just do another search on any site, knowing what your “new destination” would be, and book away.

    If someone tells me that it’s not a genius travel idea, I don’t know what is. Thank you Aktarer for this awesome service!

    15 minute DIY welcome banner

    Here’s how you can make a quick “Welcome Home” banner for your favorite person, who’s coming back from the airport in less than an hour.

    Supplies needed:
    – MTA subway map (available for free at any subway kiosk)
    – Black Sharpie
    – Scotch tape (or glue, but I find tape way quicker and easier)
    – String, about 1.5 – 2 meters long
    – Pencil (or pen, crayon, anything), scissors

    Step 1.

    The MTA map is folded trifold, which is perfect. Open up the map until you have 3 folds, and draw zig zag lines from top to bottom, so you have triangular flag shapes

    Step 2.

    Cut the map into triangular flags

    Step 3.

    Use Sharpie to write “Welcome Home” letters, or any other message you want

    Step 4.

    Fold top of flags about an inch, so you can put the string in that fold. Wrap around the string and tape it (or glue it)

    Step 5.

    Repeat so all flags are stringed together. Tip: since you’ll be taping on the back of the flags, you’ll want to string them in reverse order. So for “welcome home” you’ll want to start with the last E in the word “home” (e-m-o-h e-m-o-c-l-e-w)

    Bonus tip: I had some extra space so I added the name (and who doesn’t love hearing/seeing their name!), and an exclamation point at the end.

    Tada! All done! Hang this pretty sucker up high somewhere, and pat yourself on the back on the quick, but impressive job well done!

    Birthday gift idea: How to travel around the globe without leaving New York

    It was Sean’s birthday time of the year again, and of course, a few weeks prior to his birthday I started to think about a perfect gift for him. We both love to travel, and we both much prefer experiences, spending time with each other and friends/family, and doing fun stuff instead of getting things.

    Last year we went on a weekend trip to Providence and Newport, RI, that was a lot of fun and just a perfect celebration getaway, including romantic gondola ride, amazing dinner, visiting mansions and seeing a show at a tiny theater. This year I was thinking if it’s possible to figure out something fun like that, but at the same time different enough, and exciting enough. For some good logistical reasons, we can’t really travel far away from home these days. So all the fun had to happen here, in NYC… and that’s how I got the idea of creating an around the world adventure here at home!

    I picked a few European countries that we’d love to visit in the near future, and decided to make a little suitcase, plane tickets and a passport with clues and fun facts about those countries. Sean would open up a package, find tickets and solve clues, then we would go and visit cafes, restaurants and places that represent our countries and pretend that we are actually visiting them!

    What you’ll need:

    • list of countries/places you want to feature, with clues, fun facts, anything fun you can think of. Google is your good friend for this.
    • research on places you want to go, like cafes and restaurants. Find out their locations and opening hours, so you can plan and make reservations if needed.
    • themed paper goods: I found a perfect selection of a printable paper suitcase, customizable airplane tickets and a matching ticket jacket on Etsy. They send the files to you, and you just print and assemble them! Very easy. I’d suggest printing them on thicker/glossier paper for a nice finish (I stole, ahem, borrowed some from my office).
    • passport: I made one myself in Photoshop. The the pages took a bit of time to design, but I think it came out nicely (although the resolution was not that good and could be done better) and it was a lot of fun to create.

    • postcard: optional, but I think it just tied together the theme so nicely. I found this super cute traveling bear postcard on Etsy, and the designer Shanna was really kind to even personalize it for me with a European stamp and country flags on the suitecase. I totally loved the postcard when I got it!
    • country-themed little gifts: optional, I wanted to have them as souveniers that you would bring from real travels. So for Sean I got a bottle of beer from each country (Whole Foods on Houston St. in NYC has a great selection), and vintage posters from Etsy. Some other ideas: luggage tags with country flags, candy/chocolate from different countries, pins, etc.
    • and finally, a bit of time, good spirit and thirst for adventure!

    Places we visited in NYC:

    We are lucky to be living in New York, where virtually any culture in the world can be found within the city limits. But if you live in other cities, you can probably still find some unique ethnic restaurants, or even create your own adventure by just picking fun places to visit, such as museums or parks or cafes, and thinking of a theme to tie them together into a story.

    As you can probably guess, the whole “traveling around the globe” day was a lot of fun! We had the most beautiful weather, perfect for walking around and exploring, and having only 3 countries to focus on made it easy and manageable. All the places we visited were great, and we had the best time (I loved watching Sean figuring out clues and seeing that he liked the food we tried and places we went). Now we just can’t wait to travel for realz!

    Favorite business/creativity/life books

    I just started reading the book about Richard Branson (thanks Sean for the epub file!), and thought I’d list similar books by great people that really stuck with me. The books that make you want to do stuff, or grab your life and live it to its fullest, or both. The list is short, that’s why it’s good – only the best books (in my humble opinion), made it.

    Ignore Everybody by Hugh McLeod
    This book is not only witty and full of great life stories from the author and advice on how to stay creative and make a business out of it, but also has great hilarious cartoons sprinkled throughout. You can just read one chapter at a time, all of them are humorous, insightful and inspirational.

    Steal Like an artist by Austin Kleon

    I wrote about this book previously. It’s short, smart and highly enjoyable for anyone who’s even a tiny bit creative (=all of us).

    The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
    I forgot how I stumbled upon this book, but it’s by a very technical guy, who worked at some very innovative companies, and then was teaching CS at Carnegie Mellon. It’s a great, very inspiring read, and includes not only thoughts on technology and career but life in general and priorities and decisions one has to make before death. Highly recommended.

    If you don’t have big breasts, put ribbons in your pigtails by Barbara Corcoran
    Sean got me this e-book after we watched a few episodes of the first season of Shark Tank. We really like the show, and Barbara Corcoran is one of the “sharks” (multimillionaire businessmen and women who successfully made it, and have enough time, money and influence to help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals).

    The title of the book is funny, but the content is great. Barbara writes about her life from childhood (being one of many kids in a blue-collar family in NJ), to her first business venture, to running a successful real estate firm in Manhattan. The chapters are short and each one illustrates a point, and I especially appreciate her perspective from a woman who doesn’t talk about beaten women-in-business related cliches, but rather describes her experience straight and to the point. Loved it.

    I’m always, always on a lookout for great books, so feel free to send suggestions in the comments.

    11 great rules from Swissmiss

    This past week I finally had a chance to watch the video of Swiss Miss’s talk at this years SXSW.

    A wonderful talk – definitely watch it, I especially love the fact that she doesn’t complain and just does stuff (and that includes building things, teams and having a family).

    And as I was hoping to just find her 11 rules written out somewhere online, Rashi of BucketofSquash actually put it in a very neat graphic. Thanks Rashi!


    When I grow up…

    … I wanna become Richard Branson. For the ability to speak with British accent, working on awesomest projects, having an actual life, family and fun outside of work, and owning islands in the Caribbean. And to top that off, a few billions of net worth.

    The news of of us. And the fact that Richard Branson and his teams made this happen absolutely deserves admiration and applause.

    I long wanted to read his books and downloaded whatever was available for Kindle, and loving it so far. If someone has a copy of “Losing my virginity” – please be so kind and lend it to me (as it’s not Kindle-ized yet for some silly reason). I’m very curious to learn about this great man’s first sexual encounter ;)