Flying is one of the most expensive parts of traveling. While you may get a good deal on your hotel package, your destination events, or even coupons for meals and outings, finding a good flight deal can be a little bit harder – especially if a direct flight isn’t an option.
However, there are some things you can do to secure a better flight price.
If you’re looking to purchase some flights for you and your family, here are some tips and tricks that you should keep in mind while shopping.
- Know the Right Time to Fly
If you have some flexibility on when you can take your flight, know which days are the cheapest to fly and which days you should avoid as much as you can. If you’re trying to schedule a flight around your work schedule or other appointments, it may be more difficult to adhere to the “right times” to fly.
Try to avoid flying on the busiest travel days, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Because many individuals try to squeeze in the weekend to extend their stay, airlines know they can jack up their prices and still make a sale. Instead, look into traveling mid-week to mid-week. Booking your flight from Wednesday – Wednesday can save you a decent chunk of change.
- Travel in the Off Season
Hoping to visit somewhere but flights are particularly expensive whenever you’re trying to visit? This may be because you’re attempting to fly there during their peak travel times. This may include the summer months or dates around a holiday.
If you can, plan your trip for the off season. Not only will you get to book a less expensive flight, you’ll also probably find better deals on hotels and events. As an added bonus, you won’t need to deal with packs and packs of other tourists.
- Use a Cost Comparison Tool
When you decide to make a flight purchase, you’re hoping that there isn’t a better deal on the market for that flight. If you choose to book directly from the airline, you’re taking a gamble that another company or service does not have that same flight at a cheaper cost.
But when you book with a cost comparison tool, you can take the guess work out of finding the best deal. By using a cost comparison tool, you’re allowing the software to find the best flight for you so you can rest assured knowing you paid the right price for your flight. Using a cost comparison tool can help you eliminate buyer’s remorse later on if you find out you missed out on a great deal.
- Consider Mixing and Matching Your Flights
Sometimes the flights you’re looking to purchase just don’t make sense. You can find some good deals, but the dates and times you actually want to fly appear to be much more expensive than surrounding prices.
If you’re running into this problem, consider mixing and matching your flights. Instead of buying a roundtrip flight, which locks you into one airline for the departing and returning flights, consider booking two one-way tickets. This allows you to shop for the right price on any airline at any time.
- Know the Best Time to Book a Flight
Just as there is a right time to fly, there is a right time to book your flight. If you’ve ever booked a flight in the past, you know that waiting until the last minute hurts you more than it helps you. Days before the departure of a flight, you’re likely to see it hundreds and hundreds of dollars more expensive than if you had purchased a seat a few weeks ago.
Booking a flight can be a guessing game of when the “right time” is, but you can get a pretty good idea of when flight prices are at their lowest based on statistics and past experiences. For domestic flights, that sweet spot is about 6 weeks before you hope to take off.
If you’re traveling internationally, your destination will influence how long in advance you should book. For Europe adventures, book your flight about 3 months in advance. However, some places, including Australia or the Caribbean, you may need to start flight shopping almost a year in advance.
- Look at Nearby Airports
Airports in destination areas tend to hike up their prices because they know people will pay the extra amount for the convenience of landing right in their vacation city. However, many of these areas have another airport a little further away which has flights for a dramatically cheaper price.
If you’re looking for a cheaper flight, consider shopping around at these further away airports. While you may need to pay an additional price for a bus, train, or renting a car, it still may be cheaper than flying directly into your final destination airport.
- Beware of Extra Expenses
Booking a cheap ticket isn’t the only way to save money. If you’re wondering how to save on flights after making a ticket purchase, you will want to be cautious of the extra expenses you may have not considered and that try to sneak up on you without you realizing it.
For example, some airlines may offer you a lower ticket price but then charge you extra if you would like to check a bag. They may also add an additional fee if you would like to select your seat or if you would like a meal during your flight. If these are important to you, you will want to consider this cost in to the overall price when making a ticket purchase. Otherwise, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re paying for so you don’t need to pay additional fees later on.
- Compare Prices for One Flyer
Airlines sell tickets by selling a bulk of tickets at a certain price then raising the price of tickets once the allotted number for that price point have been sold. However, if you’re buying a group of tickets and there aren’t enough low-price tickets to accommodate you, you’ll end up buying all your tickets at the higher price point.
To save cash when traveling in a group, research how much the flight would cost if you were traveling independently. If the cost is lower, book your flights one individual at a time. While this can be tedious, you could potentially save a few hundred dollars compared to booking all your flights together.
Whether you’re a rare-traveler or a frequent-flyer, knowing how to save money on your flights means you’ll have more cash for spending, activities, dining, or just to save for a future adventure. With these expert tips for finding the cheapest flights for your next vacation, you won’t need to worry about if you’re making the right purchase. When you shop smart for your flights, you’re going into your vacation with a positive outlook and an excited family.