This post was brought to you in partnership with Dollar Flight Club, but our opinions (which are based in our personal experience) remain our own. We will never compromise the integrity of our commitment to our readers. 

I grew up in a lower middle-class family in Atlanta. So, the idea of traveling to exotic vacation destinations always seemed like a pipe dream.

Instead, I grew up camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visiting the beaches of Georgia and Florida, and taking road trips to visit family in Tennessee and Virginia. Washington DC was the furthest my family ever traveled together!

But when I was 12 years old, I got a chance to spend several weeks touring Italy as a member of the Atlanta Boy Choir.

That incredible trip (which culminated with singing for Pope John Paul II in Vatican City) opened my eyes to other countries and cultures for the first time, and instilled in me a deep love of travel that continues to be a driving force in my life today. 

I’ve been a professional travel writer for over 25 years now. But traveling internationally was beyond my financial means until I was in my 30s. 

With prices on everything from gas and groceries to getaways soaring these days, finding ways to save money for travel has become increasingly difficult for the average traveler. 

Thankfully, my career in the travel industry has taught me an array of tips on how to find the best deals on flights, hotels, rental cars, and more.

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite tips with you on how we save hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars every time we book a trip! 

READ MORE: How I Fell in Love with Travel (& Got Blessed By the Pope)

Poolside View at Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora, Tahiti
Poolside View at Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora, Tahiti photo of Mary Gabbett & Bret Love

How to Save Money on Travel

Mary and I are both very frugal by nature, always looking for innovative ways to cut costs and live below our means.

Some of the best advice we’ve found on how to save money on travel came from her favorite consumer advocate, Clark Howard

“My #1 rule of travel is to buy the deal first and then figure out why you want to go there,” Howard says. “By following that simple rule, I’ve been able to visit every continent except Antarctica and every state except North Dakota. And I’ve done it all on a dime.”

For us, the largest expense when it comes to travel is typically the flights. And most major airlines are currently charging the highest prices the travel industry has seen in quite some time. 

Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index showed a 25% increase in average airfare prices over the last year! Largely driven by consumer demand, these recent rate increases are actually outpacing inflation.

But, like Clark Howard, we’ve been using the flight deal alert service Dollar Flight Club for years (since 2018), saving thousands of dollars on trips all around the world. 

Read on to learn all about the benefits of Dollar Flight Club, including how the service works, how to join for just $1, and how to find flight deals that will save you SERIOUS money!

READ MORE: How to Save Money for Traveling

Posing with Mountain Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Posing with Mountain Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda photo of Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

What is Dollar Flight Club?

Dollar Flight Club is a subscription-based service designed to help its 1+ million members make their travel dreams come true on a budget by sending them the world’s best deals on flights. 

The company was founded by South Africa-born Jesse Neugarten, an avid world traveler who fell in love with the way that connecting with other cultures helped him to grow and evolve as a person. 

After travel-hacking a round-trip flight from NYC to Stockholm for $210 in 2015, Neugarten’s friends and family began asking him to help them find better travel deals for themselves, and DFC was born! 

Dollar Flight Club’s mission is “to make travel accessible to everyone by saving members $500 on every flight, ensuring they can experience new destinations and cultures every year.” 

They save members money by sending them incredible flight deals based on the specific airport (or general region) they designate as “home.” 

For example, while we typically fly out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, we also look for flight deals at other major airports throughout the Southeastern USA. 

We love that DFC sends instant alerts so that you can catch the best flight deals before they’re gone. We also appreciate their in-depth articles and insider tips on how to find the cheapest possible airfare. 

To date the company has served over 1 million members in 100+ countries, saving them $50+ million on flights to more than 500 different destinations around the world. 

Try Dollar Flight Club for $1 to save $500 on every flight!

Napali Coast Sightseeing in Kauai, Hawaii
Napali Coast, Kauai, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

How Dollar Flight Club Works

Dollar Flight Club has a free version as well as two different paid membership plans– Premium and Premium Plus– which get you members-only discounts of up to 50% off the cost of your flights. 

To start, go to the Dollar Flight Club website and sign up for their service, entering your email and creating a password.

Next, you’ll select your preferred Departure Airport. If you sign up for the free service, you’ll choose just one. But Premium members can choose to 4 Departure Airports to receive flight deals for. 

We recommend enabling notifications on your phone or computer so that you can see deals as soon as they’re available. Some of the best flight deals we’ve gotten from DFC have come and gone in a matter of days!

You can also head directly to their website to search for deals. The fastest way to do this is to click on “Flights,” then “Flight Deals” in the top left corner of the DFC website’s menu. 

READ MORE: The Best New Travel Gear for 2024

Bret Love & Allie Love at waterfall in Ford's Terror of Alaska's Inside Passage
Bret & Allie Love in Ford’s Terror of Alaska’s Inside Passage

Dollar Flight Club Membership Tiers

Dollar Flight Club offers 3 different membership tiers to choose from, each of which offers benefits that are commensurate with the price. 

The Basic Version of DFC, which is what we started with many years ago, is totally free. It includes a limited number of domestic and international flight deals from a single departure airport of your choosing. 

DFC’s Premium Version costs $69 a year. But it includes 5X the number of deals you get with the free version (including valuable mistake fares and secret fares), plus you choose up to 4 departure airports. 

Ballers with more budget may want to try their Premium Plus Version, which costs $168 a year. It includes everything you get with Premium, plus extra deals on Business and Premium Economy flights. 

We love the fact that you can give Dollar Flight Club’s Premium membership a 2-week trial for just $1! 

Note that you must sign up for Premium before you can upgrade to their Premium Plus package. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Foodie Travel Destinations for Nature Lovers

Us With Rhinos at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya
Bret (age 50), Mary & Allie with White Rhinos in Kenya

Our Dollar Flight Club Experience

We first started subscribing to the Dollar Flight Club service around 6 years ago. We’ve since used them multiple times to save an average of $500 on every flight we purchased. 

It started in Spring 2018, when we began planning my 50th birthday getaway. Flights from Atlanta to Nairobi, Kenya in late June typically run around $1400-$1800, but we found a DFC deal for $900 round-trip!

We (me, Mary, and my then-16-year-old daughter) had a once-in-a-lifetime 3-week Kenyan wildlife safari and saving $1500-$2700 on flights made it so we could afford to splurge a bit more on an unforgettable East African adventure

From then on, we started building many of our travels around the incredible flight deals DFC sent us.

Highlights included Mary’s birthday trip to the island of Kauai, Hawaii in 2019 (where we got $800-$900 flights for $450), and my daughter’s high school graduation trip to explore Alaska

If you sign up for DFC’s Premium Service, their site will show you round-trip flight deals, the standard price for that flight, how much $$$ you’re saving, other departure airports, and multiple travel dates to choose from.

Note that you will have to book the flight on a flight aggregator or airline website, but Dollar Flight Club saves you the time of endlessly scrolling to find the best flight deals for your home airport. 

Try DFC’s Premium membership for two weeks for just $1, and soon you’ll understand why seasoned travel veterans and money-saving experts alike rave about their service. –by Bret Love; photos courtesy Dollar Flight Club