How to Get the Cheapest Prices on Airline Tickets
Everybody likes a vacation, but nobody likes to pay more than they have to. Unfortunately, if you’re planning to travel to a far-off country or you are crunched for time, you’re going to need to book a flight, and flights can be expensive. Fortunately, there are some ways you can bring down those costs as much as possible. Before you book an airline, consider these tips for nabbing cheap tickets.
Book in Advance
First of all, it’s helpful to know when the busy season is for wherever you’re travelling to. Chances are, flights during this time will be the most expensive. Plus, travelling during busy season means that you might have to deal with crowds and higher accommodation prices. So, it’s best to figure out when fewer people are visiting, for both the sake of a good vacation and keeping your checkbook in line.
Book as far ahead as possible to secure your tickets at their cheapest prices. It would be awful to be all ready to go, only to learn that the ticket prices have doubled, or worse, are all sold out. Remember that once you’ve booked your ticket, you can often rebook if you find a better time or price, though that usually comes with a fee.
When on the lookout the least expensive airline tickets, it helps to be flexible, and that’s not just in terms of when your vacation is. If you juggle all the factors that go into catching a flight–which airport you fly out of, how long of a flight you can put up with, the number of connections you’re willing to make–you’ll see that you might get a much cheaper ticket than if you were to buy a one-way out of your nearest airport.
This part of your research is going to take some time and some number-crunching. For example, you might find that there’s a much cheaper flight at an airport that’s a few hours away, but you’ll have to catch a train to get to that airport. Is the low-cost ticket plus the cost of the train less expensive than flying out of the closer airport? Or can you get a friend to drive you? Is it cheaper to leave on a Monday or a Saturday? These questions can be maddening, but the more you’re willing to work, the better options you’ll uncover.
Make Use of Frequent-Flier Miles
Are you a member of an airline loyalty program, or does your credit card offer frequent-flier miles? If so, you could be rewarded for booking flights or spending money using your credit card. Some programs might even offer incentives just for joining their program, so it’s worth researching before you book your ticket. While you probably won’t see major savings on this vacation, a loyalty program will give you better options in the future.
Planning your vacation can be simultaneously exciting and frustrating. Of course, you could forego all this trouble and just hire a travel agent to do all the dirty work for you. But where’s the fun in that?