Have you ever had the stars align and the opportunity for an epic trip just land in your lap? This happened to me as I was starting to brainstorm ideas for a trip for this fall (2022). I found insanely cheap flights to Peru and when something this good shows up, you say “hell yes” and book that shit!
Over the course of a Sunday afternoon, I booked three international flights and two domestic flights for less than $500. In this article, I’m going to share how this all came together and how I found those crazy cheap flights to Peru!
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Letting Cheap Flights Decide My Destination
This is actually really simple. I haven’t had the opportunity to leave the country yet in 2022 and have been chomping at the bit to get out! One Sunday morning in early August, I decided it was time to start exploring my options.
I started by answering these five important questions that I ask before every trip I plan. It didn’t take long to realize I didn’t really care about any specific destination. The only thing that really mattered to me was getting out to explore a new place and culture.
My closest cousin and his family moved to Toronto in the summer of 2021 and I hadn't seen them since. The idea of taking a big trip without stopping to visit them didn't sit well with me so I made that a priority for my trip. Before that, I needed to get home to Salt Lake from Seattle after helping my parents move.
After booking those tickets, I used Skyscanner to see where I could fly for less than $300 from Toronto. Most of the destinations were in Europe, but both Guatemala and Peru were also on the list. A quick look at the climate info for each destination made Peru the obvious choice for me!
Now it's time to get nerdy! I’m going to give you the full breakdown of finding each flight along the way and what I paid so you can see exactly what this looks like!
Total cost: 27,500 Delta SkyMiles + $11.20 taxes.
- Seattle to Salt Lake City: 10,500 SkyMiles (approximately $110 out of pocket)
- Salt Lake City to Toronto: 17,000 SkyMiles (approximately $175 out of pocket)
How I Found Cheap Flights to Peru
Once Peru was on my radar, I started digging into the options I found on Skyscanner. There was a flight from Toronto to Mexico City and then I’d have to switch airlines to go the rest of the way to Lima. Though I do this plenty with my own bookings, I didn’t love the idea of trying it in Mexico City, an airport that’s totally unfamiliar to me.
Since I still had Delta SkyMiles left, I decided to see what I could find with them. As always, I searched for flexible dates so I could see the fare calendar.
I was absolutely shocked to find a cheap flight to Peru from Toronto -- only 21,000 miles (about $210 if I was paying cash)! That price was only available for two days in the two weeks I could see. Every other flight before and after those days was hundreds more!
The Catch -- there was a fifteen hour layover in Atlanta. This was totally great for me! I have a dear friend there and I would be flying through the day before her birthday. I could spend the day with her, go out for birthday dinner, and then head back to the airport. Done.
Total cost: 21,000 Delta SkyMiles + $83 taxes.
Price Without SkyMiles: approximately $300 with taxes
Finding Cheap Flights Home from Peru
Typically I would look at flights home before booking anything at all, but for that price to Peru, I was willing to take a chance and find my way home later. As luck would have it, I found affordable flights back to the States as well!
I started by running another Skyscanner search from Lima to the United States. It didn’t turn up any results I was happy with, so I went back to the Delta website to see if my luck would continue. It did!
Atlanta is the biggest hub for Delta so I searched for a one-way flight from Lima to Atlanta with flexible dates. The cheapest listing was $550. It would then cost me another $300 or so to get back to Salt Lake from Atlanta. Ugh.
Los Angeles is an easy stop for me on the way to Salt Lake. There are multiple flights a day and they’re usually very inexpensive, so I looked at getting from Lima to LAX. Bingo! There was a Delta flight from Lima to Los Angeles for $268! Get this -- it stopped in Atlanta! It just goes to show that airline pricing doesn’t always make logical sense.
The Catch -- I would have to spend the night in LA. There wouldn’t be enough time to catch the last flight to Salt Lake on the same day. Thankfully I still had enough points on my Chase Sapphire to get a free room near the airport. Not my ideal way to spend those points, but it would work!
The next morning, I would take my final flight back to Salt Lake City for $80. I can work with this!
Total cost: $348 ($268 from Lima to Los Angeles + $80 from Los Angeles to Salt Lake)
Price for a hotel near the airport: approximately $150 without points
Wrapping Up Cheap Flights to Peru
There are times when finding insanely cheap flights is random luck, but knowing where to look and what to look for helps you find them more often! It’s also important to note that just because you booked flights, you’re not necessarily locked in. You can also set yourself up to not lose money if life takes a turn and plans may need to adjust.
In the end, I canceled my trip to Peru because I was totally overloaded with life events like helping my parents move from Utah to Washington. Figuring out a whole new country and planning all the logistics in the midst of the move just wasn’t something I had the time or energy for.
Even though my plans changed, I didn’t lose a penny! I received flight credit on Delta, which I’ve already used (I chose to spend five weeks in Canada instead) and a refund on the SkyMiles I spent.
This article about how to find these cheap flights, has a handful of tips to get you started. You can also check out this course that will help you put together all the pieces of an international trip in the way that works best for you! Use the code BLOG15 to get a 15% discount, just for readers here! We go in depth (seriously, there’s 90 minutes of video just about flights!) with the different tools, strategies, and processes that will save you time and money when planning your next adventure!
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Now get out there. The world is waiting for you!
Have you ever pieced together cheap flights this way? Would you have jumped on this deal too?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
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