Now that summer is just around the corner, everyone is looking for the best flight deals. The previous year has been especially tough for many people, so this year, more than ever, it's important to find ways to save money where you can. If you have good packing cubes and decent luggage space, you are all set to travel to your destination. You just need to find the right airfare rates.
Keep reading as we share some helpful tips on how to book cheaper flights, so you can spend less time worrying about money and more time planning your dream vacation.
Set Price Alerts
The best way to find cheap flights is to be proactive and set price alerts with your preferred airlines. This way, as soon as fares drop, you'll be the first to know and can jump on the opportunity to book. You can typically do this directly on an airline's website.
Ticket prices fluctuate all the time, sometimes multiple times a day, so checking in regularly can pay off. You can also set up fare alerts with sites like Kayak or Google Flights to track price changes for specific routes.
Book Your Flights Early
Airlines typically release their cheapest seats about three months in advance, so if you know your travel dates, it's best to start looking then. However, don't book too far ahead, as airlines also tend to increase prices closer to the departure date if they think they can get away with it.
The "sweet spot" for booking flights is usually between four and six weeks before the departure date. Another benefit of booking your flights early is that you'll have a wider selection of dates and times to choose from. There are various search engines available like Skyscanner that can help you find the best flight deals.
Don't Fly on Weekends
Flying during the week is almost always going to be cheaper than flying on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. That's because most people travel for leisure on weekends and may carry unusually large luggage with them, so airlines are able to increase prices. If you have some flexibility with your travel dates, try to fly mid-week instead.
Another disadvantage of flying on weekends is that popular routes tend to be fully booked. This means that if you're looking for a last-minute flight, you might have to pay a premium.
Be Flexible with Your Dates and Times
If your travel dates are flexible, you have a better chance of finding cheaper flights. The same goes for the time of day that you fly. In general, red-eye flights (overnight) are usually cheaper than flying during the day.
You can also use this flexibility to your advantage when searching for flights. For example, if you search for flights from New York to Los Angeles without specifying a particular date, you'll see a calendar displaying the cheapest days to fly over the next month or so.
Likewise, if you're willing to fly to a nearby airport, you might be able to find cheaper flights. Use Skyscanner's "Nearby airports" feature to compare fares.
Travel During Off-Peak Seasons
If you can, avoid flying during peak travel periods like summer vacation and winter break. Not only will flights be more expensive, but airports and planes will be more crowded. If you have to travel during these times, try to book your flights as early as possible.
You can also take advantage of shoulder seasons, which are the periods between peak season and off-peak season. For example, flying in late spring or early fall is usually cheaper than flying in the summer.
Fly During Off-Peak Times
Another way to score cheaper flights is to travel during off-peak times when there is less demand for seats. This typically means flying on weekdays rather than weekends, as well as avoiding holidays and popular vacation periods. Prices will also be lower if you fly early in the morning or late at night when there are fewer flights scheduled. Of course, this isn't always possible or convenient, but it's worth considering if you have some flexibility in your travel plans.
Use a Connecting Flight
If you're able to take a connecting flight, you might be able to find cheaper flights than if you fly direct. While this may be difficult if you have large luggage with you, the reduced prices will more than make up for it. This is because airlines can sometimes offer discount fares on routes with stops as a way to fill up seats. Just be sure to factor in the time it will take to make your connections when considering this option. The search engines will show you the flight times for both direct and connecting flights so you can compare and decide what's best for you.
Look for Flight Sales and Deals
Airlines often offer sales and promotions on their websites, so it's always worth checking to see if there are any special deals before booking your flight. You can also sign up for an airline's email list or follow them on social media to get updates on upcoming sales.
Another way to find cheap flights is to use a flight search engine that tracks airline prices and notifies you when the price drops. A few popular ones include Scott's Cheap Flights, Airfarewatchdog, and Secret Flying.
Look for Discount Airlines
When searching for flights, be sure to check out the budget airlines as well as the major carriers. Budget airlines typically offer lower fares but have fewer amenities.
Some popular discount airlines in the U.S. include Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Air. In Europe, there are several discount airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, and Vueling. Discount airlines will not always show up in a search on a major flight booking site, so it's worth checking the airline's website directly to see if they have any special deals.
Use Airline Rewards Programs
If you fly frequently, it might be worth signing up for an airline's rewards program. These programs are free to join and can offer some great benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding, and even free flights.
Of course, you'll need to actually fly with that airline to rack up the points, but if you do most of your travel with one particular carrier, it could be worth it in the long run.
If you have accumulated airline miles through credit card spending or previous travel, you can often use these to book flights for less than the cash price. Each airline has its own rules for how many miles are needed for a free flight, so be sure to check before booking.
You can also sometimes transfer miles from one airline's rewards program to another, which can come in handy if you find a good deal on a flight but don't have enough miles with that particular carrier.
Look for Airline Specials
Sometimes airlines will offer special fares to specific destinations or for certain routes. These deals are typically found on the airline's website or through a travel agent. If you have a particular destination in mind, it's worth checking to see if there are any airline specials before booking your flight.
There are also some last-minute deals to be found if you're flexible with your travel plans. Many airlines will offer discounts on flights that are departing soon and have empty seats to fill. Of course, this isn't always possible, but it's worth considering if you're able to be spontaneous.
There are a number of ways to snag cheaper flights, but it often takes some planning and flexibility to get the best flight deals. Moreover, you need to make sure you have the best travel bags with you especially if you have large luggage. With our 30 inch luggage bag from Royce and Rocket, you can make your travel experience as smooth as possible.