Finding a great deal on a flight can be easier than you might think. It can take a little legwork, but being flexible and using technology to your advantage can ensure that you get a price you’re comfortable with paying. Using frequent flyer miles can help you get your flights for almost free, but not everyone has enough miles to be able to do that. If you’re paying for your airfare out of your own pocket, these tips can help you save big.
It’s important to be as flexible as you can possibly be when searching for flights. The more flexible you’re able to be, the more likely your chances of scoring a great deal. Flights leaving on Fridays and returning on Sundays are usually the most expensive, and for good reason, as those are the most convenient days to leave and return for people working a 9-5 kind of job. If you can take off on different days, you could get yourself a bargain. Being flexible also means not having a rigid set of dates for taking a trip. It’s much easier to get a good deal if you know you want to go on vacation in the month of June, as opposed to a specific week in June. Finally, if you’re able to be flexible about the time of year, you’ll be able to save some money that way as well. Flights to the Caribbean, for example, are much higher during the winter due to the amount of people looking to escape the cold.
Many airlines and airfare websites allow people to sign up via email to receive their latest airfare deals. This can be a good strategy, as the best fares tend to sell out fast, and being on their email list will ensure that you’re one of the first people to know about it. Many airfare websites also offer the option of setting up an alert when a particular fare you want falls below a certain threshold, then emailing or text messaging you when this occurs. For example, you could set up an alert to email you when flights from New York to London fall below $600. This is a great way to catch fare sales, or catch unusually cheap fares that are available for a limited time.
It’s also worth it to check budget airline websites individually when looking for a great deal. Many of the major airfare websites online don’t show budget airline options, and oftentimes these airlines can get you to your destination for hundreds of dollars cheaper. If you’re looking for airfare and having a tough time finding a flight that’s in your price range, consider flying to a cheaper hub airport and then taking a budget airline to your final destination. For example, it’s often much cheaper to fly into a European hub, such as London’s Heathrow, and then take a budget flight to another destination in Europe.
Booking as early as possible can also help you get a great deal. So, if you know where you want to go and when, go ahead and buy your ticket, as it’s unlikely to get much cheaper. The only caveat to this are last minute fares. If your plans are truly flexible, it’s often possible to get a great deal on a flight at the last minute. But, there’s also a huge chance that many of the flights you want will be completely booked, or close to it, and any seats available will be extremely expensive. You should only buy last minute if your plans are truly flexible.