For an experience that’s typically short on luxuries, air travel has become one very pricy privilege—without the perks. Between sky-high fares and jacked-up fees, flying just about anywhere can set you back a small fortune. Luckily, there are simple ways to cut costs when booking your ticket to paradise, and we want to help you navigate the seemingly endless options. Whether you’re jet-setting to an exotic destination or heading home for the holidays, we’ve got four savvy tips to save you money on airfare. Safe travels, happy landings, and money in your pocket— we’ll raise our $7 cup of plane Pinot to that!
Bend Over Backwards: Flexibility Is Key
When booking a flight for a business conference, you probably have to stick to a strict schedule. But researching dates and fares for a tropical vacation likely affords you a bit of wiggle room. When it comes to timing your travel, a little flexibility can translate to big savings. Most booking sites offer you the option to “play” with the calendar—meaning you can see how fares vary one to three days before and after your intended departure and return dates.
Those who are serious about stretching savings with the practice of—let’s call it “airfare yoga” —should also be willing to depart at off hours, make connections and consider alternate off-the-beaten-path airports. Chalk it up to part of the adventure, and your wallet will thank you—all the more to spend on poolside cocktails. (We’re really rooting for that warm-weather getaway.)
Finally, the ultimate measure of flexibility: keeping an open mind. Perhaps your dream vacation destination is not set in stone (Bahamas vs. Barbados, Cancun vs. Curacao, Venezuela vs. Venice). Compare and contrast ticket prices before you settle on a spot. It’s all about feeding your wanderlust, exploring your options and giving you, to quote its slogan, “complete flexibility.”
Ultimately, as long as there’s a hotel with a pool, you’re golden—just like your tan. Namaste.
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Mark Your Calendar: The Days of the Week
Calendar rule number one: Generally speaking, airlines release new fares midweek. That means Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually best for researching and ultimately booking less expensive flights.
Calendar rule number two: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays tend to be the ideal (translation: cheapest) days to fly. If you can arrange your trip accordingly, you’ll likely see significant savings.
Bonus tip: Give Hopper.com a try. The innovative travel site amasses a staggering amount of complex research and translates it into digestible tips, tidbits and insights for consumers—like those above. Often, you can pull detailed reports with practical budgetary advice and trends for traveling to and from two destinations worldwide.
Start Fresh: Clear Your Web History
Many travel booking sites (we’re looking at you, Travelocity) record web-browsing data and use this information to sneakily raise prices on flights you seem interested in. So trash your cache, clear your cookies, delete your history—or simply switch to a different browser. You’ll save money and beat the system. Stick it to the man!
Get Social: Use Twitter to Save
Facebook and Twitter can be your airfare allies. Follow your favorite airlines via social media, and you’ll gain access to exclusive sales, special deals and discounts. Turns out, 140 measly characters can save you a whole lot of dollar bills. In summary: #Winning.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.