How to Save on Airfare
1. Opt for Early Bird Flights
You can save about 20% by booking an early bird flight. This strategy is the most effective for international flights, but you can steal such a deal on domestic flights as well if you book your travel well in advance. So plan your trip early to get peak season flights at off season prices.
2. Travel Off Season
The peak season for traveling by air is the summer and the Christmas time so avoid traveling at this time as the flights are naturally the most costly. The flights to cities where big sports or music events are being held are also very expensive. If you are flexible about the travel dates and season book your holiday during the off peak time. When the demand falls flights are the cheapest.
3. Sign Up For Email Alerts
We recommend signing up for all major airlines and booking websites to stay informed about all special offers and sales. This way you can find great deals on your preferred destinations or even have a spontaneous vacation when the deal is too good to ignore.
4. Budget Airlines
Opt for budget airlines to save on flight tickets. Low cost carriers have made domestic and international travel much less expensive. In fact, some budget airlines belong to major airline companies. For instance, Scoot Airlines known for its affordable flights to Asia is owned by Singapore Airlines, a reputable airline. The only difference is that budget airlines don't provide in flight entertainment or included meals, and carry on baggage. Some budget airlines may offer travelers to buy upgrades like checked baggage, food and drinks.
Instead of paying for those upgrades offered by budget airlines you may just come prepared and bring your own entertainment and food onboard. For example, you may take with you a tablet so you could watch the movies. Make sure you bring along a portable device charger because not all budget airlines have USB ports. Consider packing your own snacks and meals too but first find out whether the budget airline you are going to fly allows their travelers to eat their own meals onboard. Snacks are usually allowed and they are cheaper than flight food.
6. Be Flexible
You can get a discounted flight ticket if you are flexible with your travel days and times. Make sure you check the airfare several days prior and after your nominated flights to see whether there are the cheaper flights available. Keep in mind that mid week flights are typically less expensive than those scheduled on Friday or Sunday.
6. Early or Late
Flights departing or arriving very early in the morning or late at night normally cost less than flights during more convenient times of the day like mid morning or mid day. Since the demand for such tickets is quite low they are usually cheaper.
7. Split Your Flights
This method requires some extra planning, but it will enable you to decrease your travel expenses considerably. You just need to check whether booking your flights individually is cheaper than booking a return trip to your destination. Sometimes it makes sense to book a return flight to a central point, then book your ongoing flights separately. Of course, splitting your flights involves coping with extra hassle and stress. You will have to stay more organized during your travel. In most cases you will need to collect your baggage and check in again between flights.
8. Alternate Airports
Some big cities have several airports and sometimes arriving at the other airport is cheaper. Just make sure you find out how far it is from the hotel you are going to stay at. If the airport is too far from your hotel you should take into account the cost of getting from the airport to your hotel. If the cost of transportation from the airport to the hotel is very expensive you had better give up this idea.
9. Rewards Programs
Nearly all major airlines have rewards programs that allow their loyal customers to earn points for using the services of the particular carrier. If the airline partners with some non travel services, like shopping or utilities, customers can also earn bonus points for using these services. Reward points can be used to get free or discounted flights.
10. Credit Card Programs
These days a lot of financial institutions offer frequent flyer credit cards tied to a flight rewards program. Even though they have very high interest rates with annual fees, using these cards regularly you can earn your reward points sooner.
These cards normally reward the traveler with 1-2 points per $1 spent using the card, and you can earn more points for purchasing flights and holiday bookings with the airline. Such credit card programs offer a great opportunity to earn reward points really fast so you could redeem the points quicker. Some financial institutions offer generous bonus points for signing up for their card. You can be awarded as many as 50,000 points when you sign up for a new card, and in some cases even get free travel insurance as well.
11. Book Through Foreign Websites
If you are traveling abroad you can save on airfare by booking your plane tickets directly through the foreign airline website. Sometimes when you book in local currency, you will be surprised to get a cheaper ticket than when trying to book the same flight via your country booking services. Also, consider checking a foreign version of popular booking websites as you may also find a better deal there.
12. Travel Agent
You may rely on the expertise of a professional travel agent who will find the best deal on flights for you. However, most travel agencies will provide competitive discounts to those customers who manage to find a cheaper flight than those offered by the agency. So consider researching on your own even if you are going to use the services of a travel agent. Show them the proof of airline prices so they could price match!
Travel expos are typically themed around a particular destination like Europe or North America. During the event the major airlines and travel companies offer expo exclusive deals on airline tickets and hotel accommodation. However, if you decide to visit an expo, be prepared to book right away as it would be impossible to take advantage of the deal after you come back home.
14. Get Social
Very often companies may offer great deals through social media, and airlines are not an exception. Consider checking the pages of popular social networks not to miss special deals or discount codes released specifically for social media followers.
15. Website Comparisons
When searching for the best deal on the airline ticket start by checking various flight comparison websites. But it should be noted that none of them is able to cover every single airline. That is why we recommend doing your own research too. Make a list of all carriers that fly to your destination and check the individual airline websites for prices on flights. In some cases you may find cheaper flights on their own websites since their cost doesn't include finder fee most comparison sites charge. This strategy will also help you find affordable options that were not listed on the comparison websites.
16. Alter Your Route
Consider arriving in a city near your desired destination instead of flying to your destination directly if it can save you money. Then find out whether there is a cheap way to cover the extra distance. If the other city you will arrive in is located not very far away from your destination thinks whether you can reach it by bus, train or taxi. Of course, it will take you a bit longer to arrive at your final destination, but saving money on flights is worth extra time spent on the road.
17. Round The World
If you are planning a big trip that will include visiting a lot of destinations abroad, sometimes it may be cheaper to buy a round world ticket rather than book flights separately. Round world tickets allow for unlimited flights during a particular period of time to certain parts of the world. But first you need to check whether a round world ticket is actually cheaper than booking your flights individually.