Saving money on airfare can be a great way to have extra cash to spend at your destination, but wading through all the options online can be daunting. On top of that, flight prices can be unpredictable, fluctuating constantly.
If you’re trying to be frugal and save some money on your next trip, keep these tips in mind.
If you can be flexible on your departure and return dates, you could end up saving yourself some cash. Sometimes, even booking a day later can end up saving you a lot.
Use airfare search engines to check various dates to see which offers the most affordable prices. Some airlines even offer an entire calendar view that can make it super easy to spot the best time to fly.
Look at Flights Midweek
Many airlines release sales on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, since those are the least popular days for people shopping for flights. Supposedly, Monday evenings are when major airlines announce sales, which causes other airlines to match them. Try searching for deals on these days to catch lower ticket prices.
Search Both Deal Sites and Airline Sites
Deal sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Orbitz have built their business on providing cheap flights, so they are the obvious choice when you’re searching to book. They can also offer an overview of lowest prices across multiple airlines.
However, you shouldn’t overlook the airline websites. Airlines want you to book directly through them, so they often offer exclusive deals that the travel bargain sites don’t know about. Airlines also usually only offer their airline rewards if you book directly through them.
Check Other Airports
If you live relatively close to more than one airport, don’t forget to check the prices of flights out of multiple departure points. Sometimes, being flexible about where you fly out of can save you a significant amount of money.
Don’t Wait to Book
It’s very rare that flight tickets get cheaper as the departure date approaches, especially if you’re not able to be flexible on dates. Typically, the lower rates are the baseline price, and as the tickets sell and there are fewer seats, the remaining ones increase in price.
So if you already know when and where you’re going, don’t wait around for a sale that may never come. It’s far more likely that you’ll see bigger savings by booking in advance.
You can always come back and check to see if the price drops later. If it does, contact the airline to see if they will give you a refund or credit of the difference.