Air travel can be very expensive. When planning a vacation or business-trip, the expense of reaching your destination can be enough to make you want to stay home. But fear not, there are some tricks of the trade that will get you where you want to be at a slightly cheaper price. You have to know how to play the airlines games. It is all about booking your flight at the appropriate time to the appropriate place. Here are some indispensable tips for booking your next flight.
The cheapest day to fly
Most people begin trips at the beginning of the week. It is human nature to want to start something like a vacation at the beginning or the end of the work week, but this is not the way to save the most money. Because of the tendencies for early and late week flights to book faster, they are often the most expensive. If you are traveling on a budget, you should try to book your flight for a Wednesday. Flights on Wednesdays are cheaper than the rest of the week. The next best day would be Tuesday. Another reason to fly out on a Wednesday is that there are less people in the airport. That equals less time in security and generally less hassle to deal with.
The best time to buy your ticket
Most airline ticket information systems are updated on Tuesdays. That makes Tuesday at around 3pm the optimal time to purchase your tickets. By purchasing your flight as soon as the system has updated, you are able to snatch up the cheapest seats before someone else does.
Also consider how far in advance you should purchase your flight. If you are travelling domestically, 4 to 6 weeks before you leave is a good amount of time. If you are flying internationally, you should try to purchase your flight 7-11 weeks before your departure date. This time-line will ensure you the best possible pricing.
Avoid days with peak travel surcharges
If you must fly close to a major holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving, try to fly on a day where there are no peak travel surcharges. These are charges that are added to the price of your flight on very heavy travel days. They are put in place to try to get people to spread out their travel days. Not everyone who flys can do so the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so the airlines use these fees to encourage people to fly on non-peak days.
Fly into a smaller airport
In many major cities there are multiple airports. There are also many smaller cities with airports that you can fly into that are close to major cities. By flying into a smaller airport, you can give yourself a price break. These small airports are usually on the outskirts of cities and are slightly more inconvenient thus the lower prices.
Compare prices online
There are several excellent sites online where you can compare prices from multiple airlines. Two of my favorites are Skyscanner.com and Yapta.com. Both of these sites offer reviews of prices for most airlines. This is a great tool in selecting the company that will offer you the best bang for your buck.
There are many ways to save money while travelling. You have to, however, be smart about how you travel and carefully plan what your trip. My last tip is probably the best of all. Remember that most airlines have a policy where they will offer you money back if they drop the price of the flight after you book it. If you keep an eye on the prices even after booking you may save a little more.