Whether you’re traveling across the country or across the globe, plane tickets & airfare can make or break your adventure budget. If you’re looking to soar through the sky without soaring through your savings, check out these essential travel tips:
1.) Book Airfare on a Tuesday
Timing is everything. You may be tempted to wait for the weekend to sit down and book your dream getaway, but experts say that flight prices are actually lowest on Tuesday afternoons when all the major airlines post their pricing updates for the coming week and before they can edit them to match their competitors rates. A tool like Google Flights and their price tracker can help greatly when searching prices on Tuesday afternoons!
2.) Pack Smart or Plan Smart
Some airlines let you check one or even two bags for free. Because baggage allowances and fees vary across airlines, the cheapest ticket price isn’t always the cheapest flight option. Take into account how much you’ll end up spending on checked luggage before clicking the lowest number in sight… or avoid the math altogether and keep it carry-on. I’m looking at you Ryanair…
3.) Be flexible
When searching for airfare, most travel sites (Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline, etc.) allow you to make travel dates flexible by one to three days in order to guarantee the cheapest options. Some sites also have a calendar tool that highlights which days in that month or the upcoming months have the lowest fares. Switching your plans by a few days or to a different weekend might be inconvenient, but it can end up saving you hundreds in the long run. I’m a huge fan of Google’s Flight Explorer
4.) Volunteer as Tribute
Airlines get themselves into sticky situations when it comes to overbooked flights- just ask United. While to some folks, the “overbooked” announcement can be an unpleasant assurance of excessive bathroom lines and limited overhead storage, a smart traveler knows that volunteering to wait it out for the next flight can pay off big time. You might not end up with a million-dollar settlement, but a flight voucher or a couple of free round-trip tickets are usually negotiable.
5.) Remember, the early bird doesn’t always get the worm
When it comes to some things in life -like Coachella tickets and restaurant reservations on Valentine’s day- it pays to book early. The same can’t always be said for booking flights. Flash sales or low booking rates can drop airfare prices as your travel date approaches. Be careful though- waiting too long can cost you big time too. Studies show the sweet spot is around 6 weeks before your domestic travel dates or 12 weeks before international travel dates. Everything else aside be prepared to book a ticket to one of your bucket list destinations on a whim when you hear of a sale!
6.) Swipe Strategically
If you already have a credit card, or if you are planning to open one in the near future, consider switching or starting with an airline rewards card. You’ll be able to rack up frequent flier points when you’re not flying and cash in on free flights and member discounts/benefits as you spend! Check out the great community at /r/Churning for ideas on how to up your points game!
7.) Stay Alert
You probably already get bombarded with emails from every store, website, and vacation spot you’ve ever so much as looked at, but when you’re cleaning out your inbox don’t be so quick to unsubscribe from airline or travel site emails. While they might seem like just another empty marketing tool, airline emails can tip you off to flash sales or special deals you might otherwise miss. I recently scored half price tickets to Thailand because of a flash sale e-mail notice, true story!
I hope these couple tips and tricks will help book some cheap airfare and get you on your quest to explore the world! Check back often and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list for more money saving travel tips & tricks! Now get out there and Explore.Create.Educate!