If you’re planning a trip, you’ll quickly realize that the cost of airfare can quickly eat into your vacation budget. In fact, depending on where you’re going, it can easily be the most expensive part of any trip. The following tips, however, can help you when it comes to saving money on airfare:
Be flexible with your travel plans
Being flexible with your travel plans can be one of the easiest ways to save hundreds on the price of an airplane ticket. Whether it’s when or where you go, find out popular destinations for specific times of the year and plan to travel during the off-season. Even flying certain days of the week can have a huge affect on the airfare, and you’ll usually save more money if you depart and arrive mid-week.
Time it right
When it comes to saving money on airfare, sometimes it can be all about booking it at the right time. Although booking far in advance or at the last minute can still mean big savings, there is often said to be a sweet spot, which is about six to eight weeks prior to departure. Additionally, the time of day and day of the week can influence airfare pricing, too. Prices tend to go up on Fridays (aka payday and when customers are more likely to have the money to spend), and often stay up throughout the weekend and into Monday. Avoid these times if you’re looking for the best prices; your best bet will usually be a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
If you haven’t done so already, start accumulating airline miles—whether from qualified credit card purchases, staying loyal to one airline and opening up on a frequent flyer account, and so on. Eventually, you’ll rack up enough points to redeem them for discounted (or free) airfare.
Take advantage of promotions
Various promotions can give travelers the option to save big bucks on their next airline tickets, so you’ll want to stay in the loop about these promotions so you can take advantage of savings. For example, if a certain airline is offering a new route from your city’s airport—and it just so happens to be a destination you’ve wanted to visit—there might be an enticing, limited-time offer for booking that route. Be in the know by following airlines on social media, signing up for their newsletters, and frequently checking their websites.
Sometimes, booking a round-trip ticket isn’t always the cheapest option. You may or may not be better off booking two one-way tickets, especially if you’re flying into one city and flying out of another. Another thing to consider is connecting flights. If you’re booking a ticket that requires a connection, take a look at the prices of the two flights separately, and consider booking them as two separate tickets if it’s much cheaper.
Know a good price when you find one
In order to know what a good price is, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with average airfare costs. Whether it’s a specific region, destination, or season you plan on traveling in, begin average airfare costs. Because airfare prices can significantly change in just a matter of days—sometimes, even hours—you’ll need to check airfare prices quite often. After a while, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what a good price is and what a bad price is. This way, you’ll know when a sale price is in fact a terrific price, and you can book your ticket at the right time.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.