How to Save Money on Flights
Planning a trip? Here are some tips for saving money on airfare.
While many of us enjoy traveling and seeing the world, we don’t always appreciate the costs that come along with traveling.
Airfare is one of the biggest expenses we face, so finding ways to save money on flights is often important.
Here are some tips for saving money and finding more affordable options:
1. Go Incognito – ‘Incognito’ is a setting on your Internet browser which keeps your browsing history from getting stored. If you haven’t used it before, open Google Chrome then click the three dots in the top right corner. You should then see the option for an incognito window. (You may also be able to click Ctrl+Shift+N.)
2. Travel in the Off-Season – Depending on where you’d like to travel, consider going in the off-season. Since there’s typically less demand, flight prices are often much more affordable.
For example, if you’re heading to Italy, consider going in the fall/winter or early spring. October could be a good option since weather is still pleasant but the crowds aren’t as bad.
3. Use Apps Such as Hopper
With the Hopper app, you can input your ideal destination and when you’d like to travel then allow the app to track flight prices for you. You’ll get notifications based on average costs and whether the current price is likely the lowest you’d find. It will also advise you to wait if the prices are expected to drop.
4. Check Flights on Different Days – As you may have heard, certain days of the week are often better to purchase flights than others. There are numerous articles stating that Tuesday around 12pm-3pm is the best time to look because airlines announce deals Monday evenings. Unfortunately, ‘Tuesday at noon’ varies depending on where you’re located in the world. Some sources also say that this theory isn’t always true.
Either way, it can’t hurt to compare prices at different times throughout the week.
It’s also suggested to book flights about six-seven weeks out on average. Of course, this varies too, but you may consider looking a few months out and see how prices change.
5. Skyscanner, Next Vacay & Secret Flying – Have you heard of any of these tools? Each is beneficial for finding more affordable prices for airfare.
Skyscanner allows you to choose specific ‘from’ and ‘to’ locations, but they also have the option of making your destination ‘everywhere.' With this, you can find the cheapest destinations organized by country. If you have the flexibility or are feeling adventurous, this is a fun and affordable way to see more of the world!
There’s also the option of choosing an entire month for traveling so you can see how specific dates compare to others. This is a better option than having to play around with specific dates to check prices.
Next Vacay is another service to find cheap flights, but it requires a membership of about $25/year. Input the airport nearest you then you’ll receive emails for travel deals from your location. They also have a six-month risk-free guarantee where you can try the service to see how you like it.
Secret Flying is similar to Skyscanner in that you’re able to input your ‘from’ location (however, many smaller locations aren’t included) as well as an endpoint to see the flight deals. There isn’t an ‘everywhere’ option with Secret Flying, but you search an entire month, and once you click on a deal, you can see specific dates in which that deal is available.
6. Play Around with Travel Dates (if possible) – If you haven’t requested specific dates off from work or you have the flexibility to travel when you wish, play around with different dates using some of the tools mentioned to find the best deals.
7. Consider Long Layovers – Have you considered making an additional destination out of a layover? Flights that include long layovers are often cheaper and could allow you to add another country to your passport.
A similar alternative is to look at taking two flights to get to your destination. For example, it may be expensive to fly from New York City to Munich, but it could save you money to fly to Paris first then take another flight from Paris to Munich. Play around with your options!
8. Travel Zoo – With Travel Zoo you can search for hotels, cruises, complete vacation packages, and activities in addition to flights. You can also use the ‘anywhere’ option to find some of the best deals they currently have. In addition, you can sign up for emails to get weekly deals. The vacations typically have specific dates in which you can travel, but they're usually much cheaper as a bundle than what you could get when you book flights and hotel separately yourself.
9. Be Willing to Fly Early or Late – Flights are often more affordable early in the morning or late in the evening because those are often more inconvenient for people. If saving money is important, you might consider traveling at a less convenient time.
Have you tried any of these tips before?