Our number one goal at DollarSprout is to help readers improve their financial lives, and we frequently associate with businesses that share that same vision. If buy or signup is created through our Partners’ links, we receive compensation for the referral. Here’s how we earn money.
Shopping for airfare could be frustrating. Finding a flight is often the worst aspect of planning a vacation or visiting family members.
Knowing the ideal way to look for affordable tickets will shortcut the process and help you save money on your next excursion. If you are tight on cash, there are a couple of suggestions that can help you to find affordable flight deals.
Tips to Save on Flights
If you only look at one or two search engines when buying flights, you are passing up the best deals. Price shopping is among the very best strategies to find cheaper airfare to your destination. But should you will need to travel on a budget, there is a right way to price shop — and a wrong manner.
1. Search incognito
Have you noticed the way the flights you are tracking an increase in cost every day or two? While a part of the reason may be because of natural supply and demand, it may also be because the biscuits on your browser follow your every move.
Search engines monitor you once you look for flights and increase the price accordingly. It’s a way to create a sense of urgency and push you into buying the tickets faster.
One approach to get around this is to search for flights with your browser’s Incognito or Personal mode.
When employing an incognito or private window, your browser tracking cookies are cleared at the end of every session. Once you close the browser, websites can no longer monitor your history. As a consequence, you can search for cheap flights multiple times without having the price changed according to your internet activity.
2. Try to be flexible
If you simply fly over the weekend, you’re passing up a great way to save flights. Because demand is higher on weekends, airlines raise prices. Weekdays see fewer travelers, so costs drop to lure more customers.
The next time you’re searching for cheap flight deals, attempt to be more flexible with your flight dates. If it’s possible, be willing to fly to a Tuesday instead of a Sunday.
Check flight costs on several days or perform an entire month search to spot the best prices. Being flexible with your travel plans can net you hundreds of dollars in savings.
If you want to save on flights, be flexible with your destinations or airports too. Big cities often have several airports, so check all of them and compare costs. For example, if you are flying to New York City, assess LaGuardia, Newark, NJ, and JFK airports for the best deal.
Certain destinations, such as Europe, are more popular during the summer. Consider flying through off-peak times such as the spring or autumn. You will also save on resorts and Airbnb stays when traveling during less popular times.
3. Compare prices on as many travel sites as you can
There are lots of search engines such as Expedia and Kayak that pull from different sources and may have their agreements with airlines.
Not all airlines show up in every search engine, which means you may lose out on great savings by adhering only to your preferred one or two choices. Have a look at several travel sites (in private or incognito mode) and keep an eye on the purchase price difference for your flights.
More than 30 printable pages that will help you organize your budget.
4. Use credit card travel points
If you use credit card reward points or miles, you could be able to get your flights at no cost. You often receive a sign-up bonus for opening a new rewards credit card and fulfilling certain spending requirements.
As soon as you satisfy the demands within the specified time frame, the miles or points you earn can be used to reserve free airline travel. You are still responsible for the airport prices on flights booked with points or miles, but these will probably be minimal.
It’s possible to continue with the reward credit card to stand up additional points. But you’ll get the most points once you open a new reward credit card and qualify for the sign-up bonus.
If that is something you fight with, then steer clear of reward cards.
5. Traveling light
Since many airlines charge for checked luggage, travel light will allow you to save money on flights. This means having a carry-on and a private bag only. Before booking a ticket, check the airline’s policies concerning checked luggage and carry-ons.
If you do choose checked luggage, don’t exceed the weight requirements or you will owe extra fees, which can add up, especially if there are numerous travelers in your party. When moving the carry-on only path, make sure that your bag complies with all the airline’s requirements.
The airline team spot-checks how big a carry-on bag, and you may end up with a checked bag if yours exceeds the limit.
6. Utilize Rakuten to book your flight
Many traveling search engines have agreements with Rakuten to give cashback once you reserve a flight. It is a quick and easy way to get a rebate on your flight without further hassle.
Once you find a great deal on a trip, go through Rakuten’s shopping portal (or use the browser expansion, for those who have it downloaded) to purchase the actual ticket. How much you earn cashback will depend on the current specials which the website is running.
7. Book directly
Sometimes booking with an airline directly may get you a better price than heading the travel search engine path. Check the websites for the specific airlines you’d like to fly or those which appear most often on your search results. Start with the airlines which have hubs in town or neighboring towns. As an example, if you live in Delaware and you also utilize the Philadelphia airport, then check the fares on American Airlines first.
Enter the dates for your trip and see if you can find a better deal booking with an airline. Some airlines don’t appear in search engine results, so search the websites for those airlines too.
You’ll need to search and book your flights with Southwest right to make the most of the bargains.
It’s Easier to Find Cheap Flights Than You Think
Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or planning an anniversary holiday, finding deals to save on flights is easier than you think. But keep in mind that finding a great price on airfare will require research and patience.
Be willing to experiment with various ways to locate cheap tickets. Assess multiple travel search engines and maintain a spreadsheet of the deals you find or set up alarms to inform you of deals or decreases in fares. This way, you will know if you find a stunning ticket price that suits your criteria.