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One of the holy grails for travel is when a “mistake” fare is published on the internet. When a person finds out and is connected to a forum as well – the word spreads like wildfire in a matter of minutes. I’ve had my share of taking up mistake fares over the last few years.

How do you find out about these fares? First place to look is the world’s leading frequent flyer forum – www.FlyerTalk.com. You would need to be consistently looking at the updated posts to see if anyone has found one.

Recent example for me was that the Hilton in Bora Bora was advertising $500 AUD for a 5 night package which included the basic room, breakfast daily and also 4 spa treatments. They forgot to put the extra zero when it should have been $5000! So I didn’t delay and I made four bookings throughout the year. The great thing about this rate was that it was also cancellable which mean I actually hadn’t paid any money.

Unfortunately I was unable to go as I had very young children at that time so I asked some of my friends if they wanted to go. But this was an amazing bargain – 90% off the original price and the friends that ended up going also paid for an upgrade to an overwater bungalow for $1500 AUD more for the 5 nights which is also a great price.

Another instance was with the Holiday Inn Old Sydney Town during New Year ’s Eve. You had to book a 3 night package – but if you did it on points – then it would have only costed you 30,000 IHG points in total (10,000 a night). This is equivalent to $100 per night. Keeping in mind that it costs $1500 had you paid in cash. So I was lucky enough to book for 2 rooms as I had enough points. Seeing the fireworks on the veranda of the rooftop pool right next to Sydney Harbour Bridge was an amazing experience – especially with my family.

So many people ask me how I consistently get these great deals. There are many times where I find specials on dining experiences (such as the Shangri-La Hong Kong Island buffet and Intercontinental Sydney buffet) that are totally out of most people’s budget – usually more than $100 per person. But with the vouchers and specials I find – price is almost at least 50% off or even free. It’s all about knowing where to look on the internet and surrounding yourself with frequent traveller friends who are aware of the industry specials.

So as much as I would like to say it is luck getting these mistake fares and heavily discounted travel and dining – it also takes skill developed to know when there is an opportunity. Know which sites to continually look at each day. Ozbargain.com.au is a great website to start off with. Currently there is a deal to America flying Air New Zealand from Australia for around $800. That’s like the price to fly to Asia but double the distance!