In these lean economic times the cost of a flight can determine whether or not you can afford a vacation, especially when the flight represents the largest portion of your travel budget. Here are some tips to help you find cheap flights and discounted airfare.
Table of Contents
Have Flexible Travel Dates
If your travel dates are flexible and you are willing to depart or return a few days earlier or later, you will usually pay less. The online site Travelocity is one of the most recommended for locating airfare for flexible travel dates. Experiment with various dates or try adjusting your travel plans by a few days or even a week. In most cases you’ll find it results in a considerable reduction in fare prices.
Make Your Reservation Early
Making a reservation as soon as you determine your travel dates will increase your chances of finding cheaper airfare. If you are going to fly during peak travel periods, such as during the summer or over Thanksgiving or Christmas, making last minute reservations can be expensive. Airlines offer a limited amount of seats at lower prices. When those seats are sold, the price for the remaining seats increases.
Fly In the Middle of the Week
Weekend flights are usually pricier than midweek flights. Flights departing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday offer the lowest fares. Consider booking your flight on Tuesday or Wednesday when most airlines launch fare sales. Discount fares are occasionally offered on Saturday flights, but it is generally more expensive to fly on a weekend than on a weekday.
Use a Neighboring Airport
If you live within a few hours of more than one airport, research the fares for all of the airports. In some cases you may find considerable savings if you are willing to drive to a nearby airport. Online fare search engines such as Kayak, Travelocity and Orbitz will automatically search neighboring airports and most others will ask if you are willing to depart or arrive in more than one city.
Consider a Low Cost Carrier
A low cost carrier is an airline which offers lower fares but less comforts. These budget airlines may lack traditional amenities such as food and priority boarding but offer a substantial savings on ticket prices.
Low cost carriers are becoming more common and are frequently listed on online booking sites. Both Kayak and Expedia list fares for JetBlue and more. The site Low Cost Airlines will display a list of low cost carriers and their prices when you enter your departure and arrival information.