Today’s Travel Tip Tuesday theme is Saving Money on Airfare. Since airfare is usually the largest expenses you’ll have when you travel, it makes sense to try to score the best deal you can on a place ticket. Here are some of the best ways I have found to date to fly on a budget.
BEST IDEAS FOR SAVING MONEY ON AIRFARE
1. Sign up for all the free airfare alerts or newsletters you can find. This way the airfare deals come right to you! Each site works a little differently, but on some you can put in an alert for notification of a specific price you are looking to pay, others will let you flag when a specific airfare has dropped by a certain dollar amount.
Airfare alerts are available thru Kayak, Google Flights, FareCompare and Airfarewatchdog. Others have newsletters that come directly to your email with a list of the top deals of the week. Travelzoo and Sherman’s Travel offer this type of service. And as I said, these are FREE!
2. Don’t forget to sign up for alerts and airfare sales with the airlines directly.
3. Always travel midweek. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday seem to offer the best fares. And don’t be afraid of a red-eye, they can be less expensive. One easy strategy for saving money on airfare is taking connecting flights, rather than direct flights. Direct will almost always cost more. But you’re the only one who can decide if the savings is worth the possible stress and time lost if something goes awry.
4. Book on line. Generally, the airlines will charge you a fee for booking over the phone. Try to compare prices during the week. For some reason, Tuesday evenings seems to be a time where the airlines lower their prices, albeit temporarily. Often a flight I have been watching goes on sale on Tuesday, but goes back up on Wednesday. I don’t know why, but now you know!
5. I am not a huge fan of travel packages, but for the right price, I would go for it! Most packages often lump in your plane ticket, hotel, car and/or attractions for the same price that you would find for just airfare alone. You end up paying alot less for your airfare in the end. Sites like Expedia and CheapoAir can be good for package deals.
6. Check with consolidators. I used 1800flyeurope to go to Italy. They were able to get me the same direct flight that I wanted on Delta, at far less than the airline price. And I was still able to rack up the frequent flier miles on the flight, which doesn’t always happen on a sale ticket. Bonus!
7. Speaking of frequent flier miles – try signing up for Frequent Flier programs that have codeshares with other airlines. You may not reap the rewards with your first flight or two, but if you make a valiant effort to use only those airlines, you could see yourself with a free ticket, sooner than you think.
Delta is just one example, as their program codeshares with Alitalia and AirFrance. Many of these programs also offer points by partnering with other businesses like car rentals, floral delivery, movie tickets, etc. Shop around and find the one that will offer the most benefit for your lifestyle.
8. If you will be traveling within Europe, check out Ryanair and Easyjet. These are smaller Europe-only airlines, but you can score tickets for a little as $20 each way. You will sacrifice many luxuries and have luggage limits, but at those rock-bottom prices I would think you would be ok with bringing your own water or buying a new wardrobe when you get to your destination.
9. Consider flying a low cost airline. Airlines like WOW, XL Airways and Norwegian offer really cheap, bare-bones tickets from major cities in the U.S.. And they keep expanding, adding more routes. Understand that you’ll be nickel-and-dimed for everything from seat assignments, to water (if it’s even available) to carry-on bags – so you’ll need to be very careful comparing costs. But if your only goal is to get from point A to point B, the cheapest way possible – it’s definitely worth considering.
10. And last, but not least, airfare auctions like Skyauction.com are becoming more popular. But like any other auction, make sure you price compare your tickets on other sites, just to make sure are actually saving money on airfare.
> You might also be interested in these easy ways to save money for travel.