We all love to travel but as we know it can be costly this days. I recommend a good travel agent who will save you time and often money and will look after each and every single detail of your tip.
Today, travel agents are more of your personal advisors, savvy and knowledgeable in finding best prices. However if you do not want to use an agent, this few tips on how to book better flights might be handy . I personally prefer to save on travel and spend it on a Posh hotel, fine dining or great new shoes.
Many experts will tell you to search for flights on Tuesdays, choose secondary airport for travel rather than the main hub, but there may be some other tricks you can use to decrease budget and save on travel.
Timing is Everything
- Book at the right time. For USA domestic flights book 47 days out , this is considered to be the best time to buy, while for international travels it may vary by destination and time you want to visit, and try to choose much further in advance few months. Good thing is have flexible dates 3 to 5 days range will yield a wide array of prices for you to consider.
- Go multi-city. Long time ago a round-trip ticket was the cheapest, but not anymore. Sometimes, you can find that flying into one city and out of another will yield better prices.
- Go one-way. Sometimes two one-way tickets to and from the same city may be cheaper than a full round-trip ticket, so don’t forget to check just to see.
- Consider layover. If you’re not on a very tight schedule, having a short layover will almost always save you dollars. If you can make that layover functional (so, a half or full day!) and in a city you wouldn’t mind exploring, even better. The trick is to not necessarily select a flight with a traditional layover, but instead to find separate tickets and flights together.
- Check one-person flights first. Even if you’re booking for the entire family, be sure to do a separate search for the flights set to one person first. Many airlines hike up prices when you’re buying several seats at once.
- Craft a package- add a car. Travel packages (a flight and car, a flight and hotel, etc.) is saving you big bucks on the flight, but adding a rental car onto your flight could save you hundreds of dollars.
Useful Tips and Tools
- Vary your search. Check few sites at the same time: Kayak, Orbitz, Skyscanner, and Airfarewatchdog as well as the individual websites of the airlines you are interested in; sometimes direct airline websites will have the best deals!!! Momondo.com pulls in every flight that exists, including lesser-known budget airlines, and usually has the cheapest flights
- Use the right tools. Hopper, for example, analyzes flight prices daily and will notify you as prices drop. It also has a predictive feature built in. Hipmunk allows you to search date ranges to compare all of your options in one low-stress results page. Skyscanner is great if you’re deciding between a few different trips. You can compare prices for different trips and dates, and can also set alerts for particular routes and dates.
- Trade your points. Points.com allows you to exchange, buy, and sell points from various loyalty programs. Trading or buying a few extra miles might be all you need to earn a travel reward.
- See it all in one place. ITA Flight Matrix is an extremely powerful search and sort tool. It culls flight information from every service provider and also allows you to sort results by location, cost per mile, date ranges, and more, and lets you reset your sales city to see the potential for altering your point of sale.
- Try a budget airline. If you only want to fly budget airlines and you know your start and end destinations use WhichBudget.
- Clear your cookies. When searching for flights, clear your cookies or cache, or change to a different computer so that your browsing history doesn’t follow you. In Chrome or Safari, enabled by hitting Command (or Control, if using PC)+Shift+N. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or Control, if using a PC)+Shift+P.
- Keep your currency local. If you’re booking international flights, purchase them in the local currency. Flights in converted rates are moreexpensive.
- Take advantage of same-day changes. Many airlines in USA charge around $50 change fee on the day of your flight (Southwest, don’t charge anything at all), and if you have elite status, some airlines will let you make same-day changes for FREE. But if you find that the afternoon flight to the same destination cheaper than the morning one you can book it and try to make last-minute swap the day of your travel.
Do you have any secrets for scoring cheap airfare and save on travel ? Share them with us in the comments!
Information courtesy of Dana Covit