16 Tips to Save Money on Flights
It is very possible that the cost of a travel ticket is preventing you from booking for your next vacation. Get yourself up now, clean up your luggage, and learn about the tips to save money on flights – your next flight!
You may not have known before now that there are ways that you can lock in flight rates you see now but want to take advantage of for later. Like you could do a checking in a bag or two with a family of say, five. Here are some known and unknown tips you can save money on flights!
1. Plan base on deals rather than dates
When choosing your next flight, instead of deciding where you want to go and picking the dates and prices on those dates, consider picking your dates and location based on deals that are offered. If you can get flexible with picking your dates and location, you’re very likely going to find a good fare. You’ll save much with reduced efforts.
2. Get the cheapest travel dates for your trip using flexible date search
Simply adjusting your travel dates by a few days can land you some juicy bonuses. You can leverage Kayak or Google Flights to see good prices within the next two months and more. This will help to make necessary small shifts in time to embrace the cheapest rates for really good savings.
Get started by inputting your departure and destination cities in the provided columns, click on the date field to see a box with two months availability shown. Finally, click to the next month for more. The green highlighted dates will show you the cheapest rates.
3. Map features will help you find the cheap travel areas, leverage on it
If you have the option of choosing among different travel destinations, then consider Google Flights or Kayak to pick the cheapest available area. You can have a specific date, a weekend, one-week, or two-week trip in a particular time frame, and you’ll get information on a specific region that you can easily see.
4. Determine to travel across the ocean in the best possible price
When looking for a flight to places that are less visited or far-flung, you’ll find it more affordable buying one ticket to a major hub, and then separate the ticket from the hub to your main destination. For instance, your final travel destination may be Santorini. You are likely to pay less if you go for a one round trip from your home to Athens and separate the roundtrip ticket from there to Santorini. This will provide you with cheaper options than purchasing straight on one journey.
5. Cancel with the 24-hour rule if there is a reduction in price
For the US, you are allowed to change or cancel a flight free of charge within 24 hours of your booking if you did directly with the airline within the seven days of your planned flight whether to or from the States.
In essence if flight costs go down after you have booked, within the 24-hour window, you are allowed to cancel the previous one and get a new and cheaper one. But then, this is one for tickets that were gotten directly from the airline.
6. Be smart with Mistake Fares
When an airline mistakenly discounts a ticket to a much-reduced price than originally intended, it is called a Mistake Fare, and it can offer you up to 90% savings on your fares!
The reason you’ll have to be smart is because these discounts may disappear quickly if you do not act upon them. So, it is crucial that you spot them, and take advantage quickly!
7. If you’re flying a foreign carrier, consider booking in your currency or location set in the home country of the carrier
There are times that you will receive a ticket at a reduced price if you booked in the home country of the carrier or change your location to that of the carrier’s country. You will not find it this way always – sometimes it may be higher – but it’s fine to check.
8. Purchase in the right window of time
International flights often come out with great deals of about 3-6 months, but if you’re considering embarking on your journey during peak times such as summer or holidays, or you do not have a rigid traveling period, then you should consider going earlier.
Hang around for the great deals when they come. Unlike in the past when people would say that there is the cheapest time to buy. For today, fares can be updated often and great deals can pop up when you least expect.
9. Track a specific flight by setting fare alerts
If you want to get the best price on a certain flight with specific dates and destination, you can set fare alerts to find out about any potential change in price. Set them on flight search sites such as Google Flights, Priceline, and Kayak.
10. Consider economy and pay for the things you need alone
If you are not looking for checked luggage or advance seat selection, you can try out with a basic economy ticket as a way to save money on flight. But there are cons to consider.
For instance, you cannot change or cancel the flight, and are not eligible for upgrades. While the seat is situated at the same regular economy cabin, they do not come with benefits of the main economy like advance seat selection. You will however be allowed to pay for the things you need alone.
11. Package your own food
So many of the budget airlines do not provide meal service to customers, so, carry your food. Many times, even when food is available, whatever you buy in the airport or you bring from home will both be less expensive and will also suit your taste buds better.
12. Watch for sneaky fees
These days, you may have fees attached to things that would have normally been included in your regular flight package – depending on the class and airline. For instance, you may want to check when flying with an airline or class that charges over bags, if it is each leg or each way. If the charges is each leg, and you are planning to check a bag, you may find it less expensive to upgrade to a fare class which includes bags or simply switch over to a direct flight.
13. When considering a premium class but can’t afford an upgraded seat, check if you can bid on an upgrade.
If there are seats available in the airline, you might be allowed to bid on an upgrade unlike purchasing it outrightly. These options will often come at a cheaper price. You might also want to check in for upgrades at the counter or check during online check-in. Oftentimes, you can get available premium seats at discounted prices.
14. Ensure to always compare the upgrading costs with the extras
A caveat to basic economy: If you’re going for the basic economy ticket, you’ll pay extra on advance seat selection – and that’s if it is even allowed at all. You’ll also still pay for a checked bag.
You should weigh the costs if you need these extras. Compare that of the basic economy with the extra fees, to upgrading cost to a main economy. Most times, you’ll find this option more economical unlike adding the fees a la carte, but note that you’ll need to upgrade when booking.
15. Don’t pack heavy!
Checked bag fees are turning out to become popular, especially on budget carriers or at the time of booking a basic economy fare, so if you’ll not be having the bags fly for free, then consider going light so that you can try carry-on only. This is one of the viable tips to save money on flights – and you could save hundreds of bucks – depending on the airline and route.
16. Get an airline co-branded credit card opened
You can also earn points with a particular airline by opening a co-branded credit card with them. Aside from flights, you’ll also receive points on your purchases, and may get additional bonuses such as free checked bags.