Tips for Saving Money on Airfare

December 23, 2018 in Travel, Travel Tips - No Comments

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With the holidays comes travel. Airlines know this and raise their ticket prices. This means paying more to gift distant relatives with our presence and presents.

But with a little savvy and knowing the best websites for cheap flights, you can maximize your travel dollar. Here are seven tips to save on airfare during the holidays and all year long.

When traveling during the holidays or bad weather, how’s what you should do if your flight is canceled.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.

7 Tips for Saving Money on Airfare

 

Flex It

Changes in the date or time of flights can mean significant savings. When you’re looking for flights, make sure to check the “I’m flexible” option to see the lowest prices by date and time. Checking prices from nearby airports can save money.

Go Undercover

Travel websites use cookies to save the history of your flight search. So when you to come back later to book, you might pay a higher price per ticket. Research hasn’t confirmed that websites intentionally raise prices, but why take the risk? Switching to in-private browsing while shopping may save you money.

Set Alerts

Airlines often advertise short-term sales on social media. So follow your favorite airlines and blog on Facebook and Twitter.

Pro-tip: Subscribe to Dollar Flight Club to get flight deals.

Time Your Ticket Purchase Perfectly

Start shopping for fares three months before you travel. But don’t your ticket until about three and a half weeks before departure. This lets you check ticket prices to get the lowest fare.

Book Quickly

Airlines often have flash sales to fill empty flights. These low-priced flights book fast. When you see a good deal, always check the refund policy. If the fare is refundable, go ahead and book the flight. You can get your money back if you decide not to travel.

Be Sure You Know What You’re Buying

Airlines have gotten pretty creative when it comes to padding their bottom line. Always check for any extra fees before booking a flight.

If you’re traveling for a long time and have a lot of luggage, paying a higher fare could save money on checked bag fees. Or use a card that gives you a free checked bag like the United Mileage Plus Explorer card. You can also use your yearly travel credit from the Chase Sapphire Reserve and airline credit from the American Express Platinum and Amex Business Platinum.

Need a drink or two and in-flight entertainment? It could be worth using your airline miles to upgrade to Business Class if you can’t find cheap First Class or Business Class tickets.

Go It Alone

Even if you’re traveling with your partner and children, book tickets as if you were flying solo. Because when you buy multiple tickets, airlines charge the highest fare for all tickets. Even if some of the seats fall into a lower price range.

Buying tickets separately lets you pay the lowest price for each seat. That way, parents as tall as Shaq can book those seats with extra legroom while saving cheaper, smaller seats for the little ones.

Conclusion

Whether you love or hate flying here are seven ways you can save money on airfare. Using these tips, you can use the money you saved to spend on other things during your vacation like dining out.

Remember, you can get a refund on a nonrefundable ticket.

Here are 15 more tricks to save money on airline tickets.

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Featured image courtesy of Tom Barret via Unsplash

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months).
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 2X points on travel and dining, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 

Debra Schroeder

Debra is a former 12-year travel industry executive and has traveled the world using airline miles and credit card points since 1994. She'll teach you the secrets of traveling well for less.

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