Ten Tips to Get the Best Airfare Deals for Your Next Travel
As the New Year unfolds, it becomes a good time to start planning your vacation time, especially if it includes traveling by air. Thorough planning can help you save lots of money and get the most out of your vacation even within a tight budget. These ten tips can help you save money when booking your airline tickets for your next travel.
- Stay open to travel with multiple carriers – If you need to save money, stay open to using different airline companies within the same trip. However, make sure you have enough time between flights (at least two hours) to prevent losing your connection in case of a delay or an emergency.
- Compare prices from travel sites – Checking third-party travel sites, such as Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz, among many others, can typically lead you to the lowest fares and the cheapest airlines to book your flight. However, it is a good practice to compare the prices through the airline directly before booking.
- Be flexible with your travel dates – Play with the dates when booking your airline, to see the how the price changes, sometimes flying on a Thursday is cheaper than flying on a Friday or a Sunday. Sometimes staying an extra couple of days at your destination can help you catch a lower rate after a holiday weekend is over.
- Be flexible with your travel times – Some airline companies offer what they call “red-eye flights” meaning that you will be traveling to your destination overnight. It is typically cheaper to fly late at night, after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. Just make sure to take this into account when you plan your dates to rest from your flight, and still have plenty of days to enjoy at your destination.
- Sign up for your favorite airline loyalty program – Remember you can earn miles every time you travel that can later be redeemed for free airline tickets. Loyalty programs are usually free and it will keep you informed of the latest deals from your favorite airline company. Some airline websites will allow you to place an alert for when the airline ticket reaches your desired price, they will send you an email for you to take action.
- Hunt for last-minute deals – Do your research online and offline in the newspapers or travel magazines for travel specials. Sometimes travel agents or travel wholesalers can connect you with great last-minute travel deals. Just keep on the watch to catch one of those once-in-a-lifetime travel deals. Also, monitoring airline tickets on a weekly basis can help you spot certain last-minute or 24-hour deals.
- Avoid bag checking fees – Since most airlines now charge you even for checking one bag, when possible, travel with just a carry on. You will not only save the fees from checking your bag twice, but you will also avoid your luggage getting lost by the airline, plus you will save time from waiting for your bags at the baggage claim. It is also a good idea if you decide to travel with multiple airlines.
- Be social with airline companies – Follow your favorite airline companies on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, subscribe to receive the latest deals by e-mail, and/or download its mobile applications. Now more than ever, most airline companies are trying to engage and win the loyalty of flyers. Sometimes these companies post contests, or deals in the social media that are not available in their websites. Your best chance to stay updated about travel deals and be the first to know is through social media.
- Use a credit card that rewards you with miles – Credit cards can be a life saver, especially when you travel. If you are going to have one credit card for emergencies, it better be one that rewards you with miles. In addition, if you have such a card, pay for your airfare, use it to check-in at the hotel and for daily expenses, then pay it off with your travel budget. You might be securing a free airline ticket for next time.
- Consider multiple destinations – With so many wonderful destinations in the world and so little time and money to get there choosing one single destination for your vacation can be very difficult and disappointing. Considering multiple destinations can be a smarter idea. It may cost a bit more than stopping at one destination, but it is definitely less than taking two separate vacations. Sometimes the difference in price is not even US$50 dollars (depending on the destinations).
In addition to all these tips, the best ways to secure the best deals is to plan your vacation ahead of time, and to avoid flying during high season periods, such as Spring Break, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Weather plays an important role in airfare too. For instance, flying to Europe during the summer is more expensive than flying during the winter. To find a great deal, just take your time and do some research to be able to recognize that once-in-a-lifetime deal when you see it.