Whether you are booking a business trip or a much-needed vacation, chances are you will want to save as much money as possible. But when it comes to airfare, obtaining the lowest price can seem impossible or too time-consuming. However, with the right info, comparisons, and flexibility, you can save hundreds of dollars on your flights. Here are five proven techniques to help you save yourself some time, energy, and cash.
Book In Advance
It is common knowledge that flights are less expensive if you buy them before your trip. Waiting until the week before guarantees you’ll have no options on flights, and you will be stuck paying whatever price is listed. The tricky part of booking in advance is knowing exactly when the cheapest and best time to buy tickets would be. Luckily for us, someone decided to figure it out.
After looking over 5 million flights last year, CheapAir determined that booking a flight seven weeks in advance can save you an average of $201 and booking your flight two weeks before your trip adds about $111 to your costs. Don’t book too early either! Data shows that flights are about $50 above their lowest price when they’re first released. No matter what the outcome, don’t beat yourself up. Did you know that ticket pricing fluctuates around 70 times on average?
This is one of the easiest ways to find cheaper flights. If you can be more flexible, you could save around $100 just by shifting your flight days. Check your booking website for a fare calendar to help you find the best fares on the days that would work for your trip. Try booking different days to see which prices are best before entering your payment information.
Ever heard of a thing called “dynamic pricing?” This strategy is used by airline websites that use individual’s browser cookies to track searches and changes prices based on demand and conditions. So all those times when you refreshed your browser hoping to see a new cheaper flight, you were actually adding costs to your flights. While an incognito window may help, it isn’t a guarantee. Just clear your search history and your cookies, and you are good to go.
Days & Times
The most popular times to fly are during weekends and the days right before and after them. Most people are traveling on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and heading home Sunday and Monday so that the airlines will charge more for flights on these dates. Avoid these extra costs and fly out on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. The same goes for peak hours. The best time of day to fly is between 5 am and 7 am or after 8 pm.
Just as peak hours and days cost more, peak airports also play a part in flight costs. More often than not, especially in more densely-populated areas, there is more than one service airport. Depending on the days, times, and routes, you could save by checking which airline has the cheapest flights.