Vacations abroad are fun, but they can be pricey. Anytime your trip includes airfare, it will automatically be more expensive. However, there are many tips and tricks of the trade that you can use to find cheap airfare. Use these six ways to find your next flight – cheap.
Buy At The Right Time
Be strategic. The best time to buy plane tickets for domestic flights is 47 days before your trip. On average, booking your tickets this far out will usually result in the lowest fare. It is important to remember that since the market is always changing, the best day to book your specific trip could be a year in advance or the day before. However, 47 days is a good guide to use when looking for flights.
It is said that Tuesdays are the best day of the week to book your tickets. Midweek bookings are, on average, cheaper than those found on Sundays – the most expensive day of the week to book.
Try Various Travel Days
Many times when looking for a flight, near the date criteria is the option for “flex” or “flexible” days. If your lifestyle allows it, this can be a great option when looking for a flight.
Sometimes when flying, leaving a day earlier or later can save you literally hundreds of dollars. When checking out flights, be sure to consider the possibility of moving your travel time to save some money.
Be Adventurous With Your Location
On the other hand, being flexible with your location can also save you major cash.
Try using Google. Go to Google Flights and type in where you want to go in the search bar (i.e. Boston → New York), along with your dates. A list of various airline carriers will come up with a variety of times and prices. If you don’t see a price you’re happy with paying, and you’ve already checked out changing your dates a bit, try and see if there is another location you may be willing to go to.
It might be hard to change your location if you are traveling for business or to meet family. But if it’s a vacation, why not check the map to see where you can go for cheap?
In the top right corner of that same screen on Google Flights, you will find a map. Once you click on the map, you will then be able to see where you can go from your original destination, on those same dates, for a cheaper price.
For example, if you had entered, “Boston to New York,” you would then be able to see where you could get to from Boston on those same dates that might be a bit cheaper.
This method will save you money and potentially lead you to a new and exciting vacation destination!
It is important to note that while most airline carries appear in this search (including some you may never have heard of before!), a few do not – including Southwest Airlines. Make sure to search these separately before making your final purchase.
Travel In The Off-Season
Each area around the globe has a certain “off-season,” when travel and tourism is not at a high. Aim to travel during these times to save some money on airline tickets.
Off-peak for flights from North America to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America are between September 1-30. Low season of travel to South America from the U.S. is May and October. It is best to travel from North America to Europe between mid-January through the end of February.
Use Budget Airlines
Often times forgotten, budget airlines are a great way to travel for a small amount of money. Airlines are usually “budget” when they only fly out of certain cities, only fly on certain days, and have a very limited amount of in-flight amenities.
While budget airlines usually don’t allow free checked bags (or even carry-ons) and may not give you a free soda on your fight, they tend to make up for it in price. If you can stand a cabin that hasn’t been updated in a while, less legroom and a lack of travel times available, using a budget airline such as Spirit, Allegiant Air, or Ryanair (Europe only) may be your best bet. Further more budget travel tips, check out this.
People often fail to utilize all of the discounts readily available to them. If you’re a senior citizen, chances are some type of discount can apply to you while purchasing tickets. Many times if you have certain subscriptions, such as AAA or AARP, flight deals can be purchased through them.
Many airline carriers feature a wide variety of discounts for current military personnel and veterans.
Additionally, some credit cards offer certain deals that cardholders know little about. Log on to your website and see what current offers exist.
Whether you try a new search method or simply use the resources you already have, finding a cheap flight can take some time, but will be worth it in the end. If one solution doesn’t work for you, don’t panic; try another and eventually you’ll find a flight on a day and time for a price you’ll be happy with.