Being flexible with your travel dates is key to finding an affordable ticket. If you’re always flying on a Friday, Sunday or Monday, chances are, your ticket will have added costs associated with popular travel days. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as it’s less ideal to travel midweek. Having a flexible itinerary also means you can take advantage of last-minute deals or travel vouchers for oversold flights.
Looking for the perfect flight for an upcoming weekend trip? When you frequently search a particular route, the flight prices will go up, thanks to the website’s cookies. However, this can be avoided if you search in a private browsing mode, such as Google Chrome’s incognito. During incognito, a website can’t create cookies and you can be assured you’re looking at the lowest prices available. If you're traveling with friends, have them help in the search on their own computers when you're ready to book.
Most airfare search sites allow you to sign up for flight alerts and it's an easy way to get a bargain. Google Flights lets you save a certain search and will alert you when flight prices drop. Seeqr is another resourceful email-based company that sends more than flights directly to your inbox, alerting you to great deals and lowered flight prices for your entire vacation.
Fly to Major Airports
Using planes, trains and automobiles may just help lower your travel costs. When you fly to a large hub airport, the cost of your airplane ticket will be substantially less. Smaller airports have less competition regionally and are often subject to higher surcharges and fees. Ultimately, this makes your ticket to and from a small airport more expensive. If you originally planned on flying to a regional airport, consider flying to the nearest major airport and take a car, bus or train to your final destination.
Buy at the right Time
Buying your flight at just the right time contributes to those low costs, and the “right time” may be earlier than you think. The best time to buy is 54 days prior to your departure date. That’s right under two months. In general, the best booking window is between 29 and 100 days, so as long as you don’t book too early — or too late — you should be able to find a reasonable rate.
Points, Points, Points
The secret to the consummate traveler's ability to fly all over without spending too much money? Travel points and miles. If you haven’t already signed up for a credit card with point rewards, you should do so right now. Pick a credit card that works with your preferred airlines and allows you to rack up travel points every time you swipe. You won’t regret it.
For more information on booking your next trip, browse our list of local travel agents here.