‘Up in the Air’ on a Budget

‘Up in the Air’ on a Budget

Most of us love to travel, but the high price of an airplane ticket could put a damper on vacation plans.

So, if you are looking to see the world on the budget, you have to learn how to spend your dollars wisely, and that means starting with airfare.

Below are the 10 tips we offer to find the cheapest way to fly, as follows;

Be Flexible

Being flexible with your travel dates is Key to finding an affordable ticket. If want to fly on Friday, Sunday or Monday, chances are, your ticket will have added costs associated with popular travel days. According to Aire Fare Watch Dog, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Having a flexible itinerary means you can take advantage of last-minute deals or travel vouchers for oversold flights.

Go Incognito

When you frequently search a particular route, the flight prices will go up, thanks to the website’s cookies. However, this can be avoided if you search in a private browsing mode, such as Google Chrome’s incognito. During incognito, a website cannot create cookies and you can be assured you are looking at the lowest prices available. When traveling with friends, have them help in the search on their own computers when you are ready to book. 

Be Selective about the Search Site

Not all airfare search sites are equal, and sometimes your best bet is avoiding your carrier’s website at 1rst. The best sites are geared towards finding the cheapest flight possible, like SkyScanner, which searches over 1,000 sites to find the most affordable flights. Google Flights gives you the ability peruse fares over the course of the month, allowing you to pick and choose the cheapest days to travel. And Momondo has received consistently good reviews across the board when it comes to finding economical flights. 

Get Flight Alerts

Most airfare search sites allow you to sign up for flight alerts. It is an easy way to get a bargain. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a great site for flexible travelers, with daily email alerts regarding the best deals in domestic and international travel. The base membership is free, but Scott’s also offers a premium version, which gives members priority alerts on deals and mistake fares. Google Flights also lets you save a certain search and will alert you when flight prices drop. Finally, Seeqr is another good e-Mail-based firm that sends flight data directly to your inbox, plus alerting you to great deals and lowered flight prices for your entire vacation.

Do Not Shun Budget Airlines

Flying a low-cost carrier is a no-brainer when it comes to saving money in airline tickets. However, when you choose to fly budget, you often forego some of the amenities of the more expensive airlines, such as in-flight services, entertainment and pre-allocated seat selection. Do not let this deter you, though. You can avoid the ‘misery’ of a budget airline with a little preparation. Bring lunch, bring water and download some movies on your phone and sit back and fly.

Fly Into Major Airports

When you fly to a large hub airport, the cost of your airplane ticket will be substantially less. Smaller airports have less competition regionally and are often subject to higher surcharges and fees. This makes your ticket to and from a small airport more expensive. If you originally planned on flying to a regional airport, consider flying to the nearest major airport and take a car, bus or train to your final destination.

Forego the Nonstop Flight

Nonstop flights are amazing. Being able to hop on a plane and fly directly to your desired destination is the best way to travel. But, it is not the cheapest way to travel. Choosing to fly nonstop can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your flight. If you decide that you can handle a layover, your ticket will be considerably lower and you can do some duty-free shopping along the way.

Buy at the Right Time

Buying your flight at just the right time contributes to those low costs, and the “right time” may be earlier than you think. According to CheapAir.com, the best time to buy is 54 days prior to your departure date. That is just under 2 months. In general, the best booking window is between 29 and 100 days, so as long as you do not book too early or too late you should be able to find a reasonable rate.

Those Points Add Up

The Secret to the consummate traveler’s ability to fly all over without spending too much money is travel points and miles. If you have not already signed up for a credit card with point rewards, you should do. Pick a credit card that works with your preferred airlines and allows you to rack up travel points every time you swipe. You will not regret it.

Scan For Deals

If you are flexible regarding where you want to travel and when you want to go, then shop for flight deals is an easy way to fly inexpensively. Head to Expedia’s Amazing Flight Deals to discover their roundup of the cheapest airfare to popular destinations. Kayak has a similar Deal of the Day, offering up steals on airfare based on your departure city. Plus, their Routes Map lets you explore affordable destinations worldwide, making it fun to shop for a bargain.

Have safe and pleasant flights, Happy Landings!

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

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