Many people I’ve met believe travel is too expensive for them to afford. The truth is that most travel factors, like lodging and activities can fit whatever budget you’re trying to accommodate.
Flying, however, is often the most expensive variable- but, it doesn’t have to be.
Aside from knowing which websites to use for finding deals, and keeping in mind a few other planning tips, the most important thing is being ready to act. Sometimes, flight prices drop for no apparent reason, and to score a good deal, you’ve got to be able to book immediately.
Previously, I’ve shared the details behind how I find and book affordable flights. Today, I’m culling those details down into 10 simple secrets.
10 Simple Secrets to Finding Cheap Flights
- Flexibility with dates can be key to scoring deals. I usually try to fly mid-week, when flights are less crowded, and in the off-peak season (for my destination) to score the best deals
- Search in Google’s Incognito mode or erase your browsing history before every search (airlines raise prices of flights if they see you’ve searched that route before)
- Check routes and set alerts on multiple websites, a few favorites: Google Flights, Skyscanner, Hipmunk, Hopper
- If you’re traveling to multiple cities and don’t have a set agenda, check different flight routes to see which city-to-city combination is the most affordable
- Book in advance- I start checking fares for domestic flights 4-5 months in advance, and international flights as early as 8 months in advance. If I’m hopeful the flight will drop, I set an alert and keep an eye on it
- Once your flight fare drops, act fast. I have my go-to sites downloaded as apps so I’m able to receive alerts and make quick decisions on the go
- Consider all costs, think about whether you’ll need to check baggage, pay for a seat, how you’ll get to/from the airport, etc. All these little things add up, and may make that flight with a budget carrier that seems like a great deal actually more expensive than a flight with a moderate airline
- Bring your own snacks to avoid purchasing airline food. I’ve gone through TSA with fruit, veggies, sandwiches, salads and various snacks- usually, I only buy water before getting on a plane
- Sign up for email promotions with your favorite airlines and third party sites so you receive special offers as soon as they go live
- Sign up for a frequent flier program to work your way toward scoring free flights and upgrades
Do you have any tired and true secrets for finding and booking affordable airfare?