It’s no surprise that the price of plane tickets has been on the rise for the past year, with some domestic flights costing up to $1,000 for a round-trip ticket!
Don’t pay an arm and a leg just to travel this summer. Instead, check out these no-fail tips and tricks from top travel experts on how to score the lowest airfare deal.
Forget paying astronomical airfare costs this year; keep your vacation costs in check with these great tips on how to score cheap airfare. With these tricks, you’ll have no trouble using up those two weeks of vacation.
Be flexible with travel dates
Airline tickets vary depending on the day, week or time of year, so having a less-specific travel date could save you big. Tickets are the highest when there’s more demand for them, like during holidays or big events, so expect to pay a higher fare during Christmas, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, etc. The best time to travel for the lowest rate is during the week, since the weekends are the most popular travel dates. If you can, travel from Tuesday to Friday instead of Friday to Sunday. You’ll save hundreds on the fare and will also be able to score a cheaper hotel and rental car. If your dates are flexible, play around with them to get the best price. The cheapest days to travel are early in the week so book then to save a bunch.
Don’t shop last minute (or too early)
The longer you wait to book a ticket, the more expensive it will be. Airlines used to have last-minute deals for popular travel destinations, however now that airplanes are filling up faster than ever, these deals are no longer applicable. However, booking too early (five months or more before you leave) may also cause you to pay more than you should. According to ABC News, airlines (typically) start managing their cheapest tickets about four months prior to departure. Start looking for trends and price shop on multiple websites. However, the longer you wait to book, the more likely you’ll be to pay more out of pocket.
Try alternate routes
Even if you book a trip on Monday and are traveling during the week, you can still be paying way too much for your ticket just based on where you are flying into! The larger the airport, the better chance you have at getting a cheaper flight! For example, a flight into San Francisco on Monday, Sept 10, is $294. However, a flight into Monterey, a town just two hours shy of San Francisco, costs $500 — that’s a $200 difference for the same exact time period. If you’re able to fly into a larger airport and rent a car or take public transportation to your final destination, you can really save big!
Take advantage of discounts and rewards
Airline miles, reward programs and credit cards are a great way to earn free flights the more you travel and the more you spend on your card. The reason behind these programs is to incentivize you for flying one particular airline. Not only this, you are eligible for upgrades, more flight transfers and cheaper prices on regular tickets. You can also earn miles just by purchasing regular items, like gas and groceries. Nomadic Matt, a travel blogger, earned a free one-way trip to Europe just by using his travel rewards card to make his major purchases! To learn more about how frequent-flyer programs work, check out this video and article written by TLC.
Remember these tips and you’ll be flying to your favorite hotspot for super cheap! Which means less money going toward your travel and more money going toward things you love, like shopping, sightseeing and drinks!