11 helpful tips you need to know to save on airfare

11 helpful tips you need to know to save on airfare

 
Planning a trip, whether for business or pleasure, can be hindered by expensive airfare prices. Fortunately, tickets are traditionally cheapest during this time of the year because travel is slow in February. (Save for price increases this week due to Valentine's Day.) So wait until about the 25th of February before you buy and use these 11 helpful tips you need to know to save on airfare.
 

1. Book your flight about 7 weeks

– or 49 days – out from your travel date. Some advise about 30 days out. Either way, research shows that this time frame is optimal for good prices. 

2. Take the awkward flight times. 

Whether it's being willing to fly red-eye or around dinner time, these flights are less desirable, and therefore cheaper.
 

3. Travel and even buy mid-week. 

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the least expensive days to fly. In fact, FareCompare.com even says that buying your ticket midweek, they say around 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, can yield savings. Avoid traveling on Fridays and Saturdays, as those are the most expensive.
 

4. Travel as light as possible. 

Almost all airlines charge per bag, but most are built into the flight price, so you don't really know what it costs. But you can save with bargain airlines like Allegiant Air that only charge you per bag, and only if you need it. Take advantage of the ability to carry one personal bag on board for free, and pack light so that, and a carry-on, is all you have.
 

5. Consider buying two one-way tickets instead of one round-trip to save on airfare. 

Prices fluctuate based on flight demand, date, and location, so buying two one-way tickets can sometimes be cheaper than round-trip. This trick opens up the option of flying a different airline going than you take to return, so you can take advantage of competitive pricing.
Prices fluctuate based on flight demand, date, and location, so buying two one-way tickets can sometimes be cheaper than round-trip. This trick opens up the option of flying a different airline going than you take to return, so you can take advantage of competitive pricing.
 

6. Break up your trip into legs on different airlines. 

Like tip #5, you might find savings not flying the whole way on the same airline. Look into breaking your trip into separate legs. You can only have carry-on bags doing this, of course.
 

7. Buy multiple tickets in small groups or even as singles. 

Airlines typically sell their best rates in small quantities. Rather than buying four tickets at once, you can often get a better deal by purchasing two sets of two tickets each or even buying tickets one at a time. FareCompare.com says this is due to a setting in the ticketing system that makes all tickets bought together the same price, even if a slightly lower price was available for someone buying a single ticket.
 

8. Check fares at all nearby airports. 

Driving a little further, especially to a larger airport, can save you big money. Just take parking fees into account, unless you have someone willing to drop you off and pick you up.
 

9. Shop flexible. 

Don't have to travel on a specific day? Use the fare rate calendars most airlines post online to pinpoint the cheapest days and times to fly. Then tailor your travel around the least expensive flights.
 

10. Get on fare sale email lists, follow airlines on Twitter and Facebook, and earn cash back. 

Airlines use social media to post flash sales with deep discounts so start following them online. When flash sales hit, you must know right away and make a quick decision before the offered seats sell out. And don't forget to go through Swagbucks.com before you buy. When you're buying something as expensive as airline tickets, you can rack up some serious cash back.
 

11. Know your base prices before you shop. 

Airlines love to offer promotions where a one-way ticket can be “as low as”, say $49. The problem with that for most consumers is that they don't realize all the other fees and taxes that go into airline travel and once they price their round-trip ticket, the total is more like $219. Do your research to cut through all the information given when to understand how prices are actually calculated. For example, the return flight of your trip might be $49, but the flight there is actually $104. Add to that fuel taxes and fees, and the price makes more sense. Knowing base prices for your travel destination helps you spot true deals so you know when to hit “buy my flight”.

 

Get more great travel tips and hints from: “Escape the Cold! Plan a Vacation”
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