We all want to save money by trying to cut our travel expenses through Cheap Airfare and Accommodation.
That is the goal many of us try to achieve while we do our travel planning, but do we absolutely know the tips and tricks to achieve this?
The excellent news for all you planning your next journey is I have compiled 20 Tips & Tricks that you can use right now to Help You Save Money on your next vacation.
Looking for to not pay the soaring travel costs on airfares again? Read more to find out.
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20 Tips And Tricks To Save Money For Vacation
I remember back in the early 90′s on my travels to Hawaii and Disneyland, I had to deal with a travel agent to book everything for me. But times have changed in relation to travel planning.
Presently, the internet is crawling with flight search engines that are making airfare booking a breeze.
Question is, what is the best way to save money by using these airfare travel planners?
I know for myself that finding a bargain flight is a priority first, but shaving off some travel time and reducing layovers is important as well.
If it’s a long flight, I prefer getting to the destination as quickly and as painlessly as possible, with the most amount of comfort and facilities my budget allows!
With companies cutting back on the amount of vacation time, paying a little extra by flying a major airline can reduce time wasted in multiple city layovers.
We all have our priorities when booking our flights. Some like finding the cheaper deals with the extra stop overs to save money. While travelers just need to get there fast and comfortable without paying a little extra in doing that.
But if the question is still, how can I save money and get a cheap flight?
Follow these 20 tips that you can use to help save money and you‘ll stack the odds in your favor!
1. Start searching as early as possible
Flight companies typically release airline tickets 11 months ahead of time. Once you know your desired destination, start researching and continue to check least once per week.
Realtime flight prices fluctuate continuously due to supply and demand, so have a price in mind you are comfortable paying and be ready to jump in it.
Sure, some last-minute flight deals might beat what you’ve already paid, but that’s unguaranteed.
Back when I was a solo traveler, I would be happy to rough it on budget airlines and deal with late night stopovers and budget airlines.
However, if you want to participate in the game of chance by waiting for a bargain, you‘re better off not having a fixed destination in mind.
2. When to buy airline tickets?
I haven’t come across the best guideline while doing my researching on the best time to purchase international airfare tickets.
However, there are some trends to be aware of when looking for cheap airline tickets.
Peak season and holiday weekends are when demand is high for air travel, so expect higher than average prices for your tickets.
But there are some suggestions on the internet that state the optimal time to buy airline tickets was on average 7 weeks in advance(domestic flights).
The WORST time to purchase your airline tickets was within 14 days of flying, or too far in advance, more than 5 months.
For international flights, the studies have suggested that you should book your flights around 11-12 weeks prior to departure for cheap flight deals.
As for which day of the week to buy on, there isn’t a particular day that is better to flight out on.
It’s like cutting a blue or red wire, it’s a crap shoot on which one is right or not.
3. Is there a particular day of the week for the lowest airfare?
Curious on what days to fly out on to Help You Save Money on plane tickets?
It may not matter when you buy your tickets, but cheap flights can be found depending on the DAY you choose to fly!
The consensus is that it’s best to FLY OUT on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
These are typical off-peak days with airlines carrying fewer business travelers, usually meaning lower fares and a surplus of seats.
You also have a better chance of grabbing frequent flyer seats on these days (which I love).
Keep in mind that Fridays and Sundays are usually the most expensive days to fly.
And don’t get confused with the idea that buying a ticket on a certain day will result in lower airfare.
My research has come up with these combinations:
Domestic: depart Saturday, return on a Monday.
International: depart Tuesday, return on a Wednesday.
4. Try To Be flexible with your flight dates
The best tactic for how to find cheap flight tickets to anywhere are to be FLEXIBLE with your travel dates.
Give yourself the most realistic chance by searching a couple of days, or even weeks, either side of your preferred departure date.
If you are locked into exact dates, it will be more challenging to get the best deal.
5. Adjust the time of day for flying
If you can’t change the date of your flight, play around with the time of day you choose to fly. By doing this it can change the price of your air ticket dramatically.
Flying at unpopular hours, such as the red-eye or early in the AM instead of late morning through afternoon, increases your chance of getting discount airline tickets.
Most of the time, very cheap flights leave either very early in the morning or late at night.
Why do you think when you redeem you reward points these are the only flights you can get.
6. Identify the cheapest payment method for your flight tickets
Did you know that companies are charged a percentage by the credit care company to be able to accept credit cards on the transaction you make?
Besides credit card companies charging you 19.99% or more on interest for your purchases, plus the annual fee, they take a piece of the pie from companies processing your transaction.
Discount airlines are clueing into the fact that they no longer want to pay to accept credit cards and will pass this fee along to the consumer.
Doesn’t really seem fare for the consumer, as its the cost of doing business to the airline.
Companies are trying to force you to use direct payment from your bank account, and you can do this to save the potential add on credit card fees, but be careful about liability.
I still use my credit card however when purchasing the more expensive international flights to gain those credit card member benefits and frequent flyer points, and for added consumer protection.
7. Price out alternate airports
If there is more than one airport near your origin or final destination, check them both before making your flight booking.
The more options you have in terms of airports and travel dates, the more likely you will be able to find the best deals on cheap plane tickets.
And consider multi-city flights as a strategy to save money.
IMPORTANT: Ensure you know where the airport is situated in relation to your accommodation and before you book your tickets.
I messed up once and discovered I was flying into an airport(NRT in Tokyo) which was much further away from the city centre.
It cost me extra to pay for a bus into the city centre and a lot more in time than simply flying direct to the main airport.
8. Fly where the deals are
This is one of my best travel tips on how to save money and find cheap flights anywhere!
Instead of choosing a destination and then spending days or weeks trying to find a flight deal, considering flying to where the super cheap flights already are!
This is one of my best travel tips on how to save money and find cheap flights to anywhere!
Instead of choosing a destination and then spending days or weeks trying to find a flight deal, considering flying to where the cheap flights already are!
Choose a destination you can comfortably afford and one you’ll enjoy.
Use a flight search engine like Skyscanner that lets you type in your departure city and search for a list of cheap tickets to anywhere in the world. If you are flexible with where you want to go, these are handy tools and fun to play around with.
9. Consider round trip tickets
Even if you are only flying one way, sometimes they are so expensive that the round trip ticket is actually cheaper.
Just forfeit the return leg portion. I have done this from Vancouver to LA. Crazy, but it happens.
10. Join a frequent flyer program
Why not? These programs are free to join and you can earn points towards cheaper fares, upgrades, free companion tickets and even earning free flights!
I have benefited greatly from our Virgin Atlantic membership. When I was living in Los Angeles, California I had family living in Brisbane, Australia. I had accumulated enough points over the course of a couple of years to fly a return trip from Los Angeles / Honolulu / Brisbane and return for free!
I had to pay a couple hundred dollars in taxes and fly a longer route, but saving over $2,500 was well worth it.
And recently I saved big on my flight from Los Angles to Tokyo to attend the Toastmasters summit.
Frequent-flier programs mainly accumulate by airline miles. So in case you don’t travel frequently, taking just one long haul airline flight will add to your points balance.
For those who have a premium status, such as Business Class or First Class, you normally get access to the airline lounges even if you’re flying economy. You also get priority check-in, priority security, and priority boarding.
If you only travel once or twice a year it’s probably best for you to use a flight search engine to get your best flight deal. (recommendations below)
However, if you are a frequent flyer, paying a little extra for flights by staying loyal to a premium airline or alliance such as Cathay Pacific could be your best long-term bet for getting flight perks.
Side Note : Points.com. Ready to maximize your loyalty potential? Exchange allows you to convert points or miles from one of your loyalty programs to another. Take a look around your loyalty wallet, you might be a quick swap or two away from your next vacation.
11. Use different airlines
For domestic flights within the United States, it’s often cheaper to use different airlines and book two separate one-way flights.
Do your research and factor in online booking costs if you are trying to save money on your airline tickets. If you do two separate airlines, you may be paying two online booking costs.
12. Avoid holiday periods when flying
I understand, it’s and a totally obvious tip when looking for cheap air tickets.
But nevertheless try not to fly up to 7 days before or after a significant holiday period.
However, certain strategies such as flying on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day can save you a penny.
And we’ve all heard of the term “tourist season”.
Europe during the summer time is peak tourist season. Think about visiting in the off-months instead.
Sure the weather conditions could possibly be a little bit cooler, but the prices for flights (and accommodation) will be lower, and there will be fewer people lined up at popular attractions.
13. Sign up for an airline affiliated credit card
If you are using a credit card, why mot accumulate frequent flyer points? Use you card to pay all your travel expenses.
Practise discipline. Make sure you don’t accrue interest by paying it off in full each month (very important).
And don’t forget to shop at member stores that are affiliated with the airlines. By shopping at these preferred stores you will also accumulate points.
14. Sign up for flight deal email notifications
The best flight deals can go largely unannounced.
Sign up for your favorite airline e-newsletter as promotional fares and discount codes reserved only for email subscribers can save you money.
You can also be notified of cheap last minute flights.
15. Use your age or student status for flight deals
If you’re a student or under 26 years old, look into student discounts. I guess shelling out thousands of dollars to go to post secondary institutions has it’s advantages.
16. Be careful of refundable flight tickets
It actually will depend on risk. If you’re taking a short trip and haven’t paid a fortune for it, don’t be worried about paying for refundable airline tickets or trip cancellation insurance.
However, in case you’ve made a substantial purchase and face a higher risk of cancellation, such as traveling during peak hurricane season or you have a potential medical condition, refundable tickets and trip cancellation insurance is a good idea!
17. Avoid airline fees
Most airlines are charging for everything these days, and if you have 2 bags or more, expect to be charged for it.
Try to keep all your luggage within one bag per person, and make sure your luggage is not over-sized.
Alternatively, look for airlines that don’t charge fees, and some airlines will waive bag fees for frequent flyers or members of its credit-card program.
If you do need to check baggage, paying for it in advance is much cheaper than doing it at the airport. Check with each airline before booking so you can make an informed decision.
18. Which seat is best on the flight?
It might not Help You Save Money, but it can save your sanity, especially if you’re traveling with kids or gadgets.
Seatguru shows you the best and worst seats on the plane, user comments, and photos.
Find out the pitch of the seats, if they have power ports, personal TV screens, and if baby changing facilities are available.
19. Consider a mileage run
A mileage run is if a traveler is close to obtaining elite status for a whole year with a particular airline.
They basically find a cheap flight to anywhere and take that flight whether it be just a day trip or a weekend away.
The cheap cost of the flight is a small sacrifice to pay if the extra miles accrued allows them elite status for a whole year.
20. Delete your cookies/history when searching for flights
Some websites store your search data. These sites will increase the price of the flights if they know the specific flights you are looking for.
So when you come back a second time you are pinged as being more ready to buy. Therefore more likely to be offered higher prices than you originally saw.
BEST WEBSITES TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS
Buying flights online is getting easier and quicker. When I start our search for cheap flights to anywhere in the world, I always start with these trusted websites listed below.
Some of them you may already know, and I hope you find the tips useful and Help You Save Money and time in searching.