Getting to a travel destination can be the most expensive part of planning a trip. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some key tips that will save you time, frustration, and most importantly money!
1. Use flight search engines
Search engines aggregate flights to find the best deals for you. Many also offer price alerts when airfares drop to whatever destinations you’ve been eyeing. Our 5 favorite search engines are:
- Google Flights (our #1 choice)
- Skyscanner (a close second)
- Airfare Watchdog
- JetRadar (includes budget airlines, unlike many other engines)
Scott’s Cheap Flights is a useful subscription service we frequently use. Subscribers receive cheap flight alerts going all over the world departing from the region(s) you choose.
2. Keep searches private
Thanks to the cookies in your browser, flight prices increase when a particular destination is repeatedly searched. Search for flights incognito in private browsing mode to view the lowest prices.
3. Be flexible with dates
Avoid flying on weekends (Fridays through Sundays), which are typically the most days to travel. Offset costs by leaving on a Thursday and returning the following week if possible.
Also avoid busy travel times like holidays and school breaks, since flights will be more expensive during these high-demand periods. Additionally, planning a trip during your destination’s low season practically guarantees lower prices on flights AND accommodations, not to mention fewer crowds.
4. A longer flight itinerary means savings
If extremely price sensitive, look for flights with long connections or overnights. While it may be less convenient to add travel hours or even overnight in an airport, doing so could mean big savings on flights and more money to spend during your vacation.
Not recommended for those with limited vacation time.
5. Book as soon as possible
Flights typically become more expensive the closer you book to your travel dates. Your biggest savings come from booking far in advance when possible.
International flights are less expensive at least two months before travel dates, while domestic flights can range from a few months to weeks in advance. The beginning of the week is generally the best time to book flights, while Fridays are the most expensive.
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