There’s no denying that traveling is expensive. No matter your form of transportation or length of trip, it can cost a pretty penny. Even though fuel prices are less than in years past, getting places still ends up being expensive. However, by implementing certain tips and tricks when planning your next vacation, you’ll be able to travel for much cheaper.
Whether you take trips every few months or haven’t been on one in years, follow these easy tips to save money on your next flight.
1. Start Your Travel Search in Private Browsing Mode
There’s no hurt in browsing, but airlines often track visitors’ activity so they can show a different (and higher) price the second time you visit their site. This is based on the logic that repeat customers come back to purchase, not just compare numbers. Keep prices down (and maintain your privacy) by going in incognito mode every time you search for travel deals!
2. Compare Prices
Not all sites are created equal. Some tend to show better prices, and yet others have a larger collection of sites to browse through. Our favorite travel sites are Hotels.com for hotels, which has a low price guarantee and free cancellation for most hotels, and Travelocity or Priceline for comparing all flight, vacation or car rental prices.
You can always search “cheap flights,” “how to fly for cheap,” etc. on Google as well. There are a number of aggregate sites that compile the best deals on tickets, and everyone might have a preference as to which site they’d rather use. Test a few out to find your favorite, and to see what type of budget you’re looking at. We highly recommend using KAYAK flights. It compares all the major airlines, and is great for international travel as well.
3. Keep Flexible Travel Dates
It’s also a good idea to keep flexible travel dates because flights can be hundreds of dollars cheaper if you’re able to leave a day or two differently. Book your flight first, and then head to the hotel site so you’re not forced to change reservations down the line. (Many budget sites also offer stacked deals when purchasing accommodations and rental car usage along with the flight.)
4. Time Your Purchase Right – On a Tuesday
When you’re ready to buy, check out when airlines might be changing their prices. Generally, it’s best to purchase a flight on Tuesday evenings, right before prices are hiked. However, that’s not necessarily a universal rule; do your research to see what time and day each airline might raise their prices, and shop during the times when fees are locked down.
5. Don’t Forget About Those Rewards!
Use frequent flyer miles to avoid paying baggage fees, or even for the flight itself (for those who are extra mile savvy). Certain flights allow you to use more miles than others, so be sure to check with the airline to see which destinations offer the best deal.
6. Stay In the Loop
Email reminders are also a good way to keep track of ongoing sales. Choose your home airport, and a few destinations you wouldn’t mind visiting – the site will alert you when deals are being offered, and what dates will offer the cheapest flights. Just be sure you can take time off from work with only a few weeks’ notice.
7. Travel During the Week
If possible, always travel during the week. Not only will you be saving money on your flight, but up to 50% off hotel prices. Most travelers need to be home or at work by Monday, meaning Sunday is the busiest airport day of them all. Come Tuesday, however, those crowds have died off, and so have the prices. Flying on these days could make trip planning slightly more complicated, but your budget will benefit significantly.
Refer to these proven tips to save the next time you fly! Even better, check DealsPlus for the latest travel deals, coupons and offers for all your favorite travel sites.