Lately, it’s gotten easier to find an affordable flight. But it can seem like challenge to navigate which route to take on which airline or how to even locate some of these great prices. As seasoned travelers will tell you, there are tricks to finding the best rate. I have assembled some tips that could help you navigate this often confusing process.
1- Monitor airfare prices
I tend to plan my trips well in advance. It’s not simple to pack up and go on a last-minute trip with 4 small children. Since there is no rush, I sign up for airfare alerts from Trip Advisor and Airfarewatchdog. This allows me to monitor the flight costs for locations I am interested in traveling to. This easy and free service notifies me when prices drop, making it possible to wait for better deals.
2- Consider a layover, multiple carriers, and weekday travel
The least convenient trip options tend to be the cheapest. If my budget is very tight when planning a trip, I use cheapoair to find the best deal. This website finds routes from various carriers and pieces them together to create an affordable, albeit less desirable, flight option. The layovers tend to be longer and the time (early morning, red-eye, etc.) and travel day (Tues or Wed) are not ideal, but those with wanderlust do what they have to do to travel.
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3- Plan a trip last-minute
There are deals to be had if are you an on-the-go type. Expedia and Cheaptickets offer last-minute deals on flights and other vacation packages. They are worth checking out if you can handle the quick packing and excitement of it all.
4- Buy your ticket at the right time
The exact time to buy a ticket has actually been researched and has data to back it. According to cheapair.com, the best times to purchase is 47 days for domestic and the earlier the better for international. For domestic travel, 1-4 months out (or earlier) for summer and holiday travel is better since those times tend to book quickly. The data has shown a sharp rise in price at 14 days out. International prices, on the other hand, usually remain steady from when they are advertised until 90 days out. They recommend that you purchase flight 11 months in advance for summer trips to Europe.
5- Become a loyal customer
For every trip we take, at least one ticket is paid for with airline miles. We signed up for a credit card with the largest airline in our area. Many purchases, like gas and groceries, give us double miles. Once we have reached a certain amount of miles, we start planning our next trip. Often, those miles are reciprocal with other airlines. Here are a few of the American airlines who participate:
6- Travel in 2017
Ticket costs are going to continue to drop through 2017 do to competition between carriers. Many European airlines have started flying from the US and offer amazing deals. Check out Wow Air and Norwegian Air. Those who wish to travel have the opportunity to save money. Flights between the United States and Europe will be particularly affordable. If you see a good price, book it!