Tips for Getting Cheaper Flights

Dreaming of far-off locales? There are very few things as fun and exciting as traveling, but flight prices seem to increase every day. However, the cost of a plane ride doesn’t have to drain your bank account if you know a few tricks. Whether you’re planning a last minute summer getaway or are already thinking about holiday travels, these tips can help you book a cheaper flight:

- Book early. As a general rule, it’s better to book your flights sooner rather than later. On average, there’s a $236 difference between a flight on the best day to book and the worst, so it’s worth watching fares carefully.

- Watch out for seasonal trends and holidays. Flights are far more expensive around big holidays. If you’re trying to fly home the Sunday after Thanksgiving, you’re going to pay a lot more than usual, so it might be worth waiting an extra day. If you’re going on an international adventure, do research to ensure you aren’t booking during that country’s busiest time. For example, Europeans typically vacation in August, which raises the prices of flights, hotels and other travel expenses.

- Be flexible with your travel dates. If you’re flying domestically, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the least expensive days to fly, whereas Fridays and Sundays are the priciest. The average difference between a Tuesday flight and a Sunday flight is $29 each way, saving you $58 round trip if you choose the cheaper travel day.

- Be flexible with your destinations. Most major cities have secondary airports that cater to budget airlines. By not going for the most obvious and convenient airport/airline, you could save yourself a lot of money.

- Compare prices and set fare alerts. Not all airfare search engines are created equal. Some are affiliated with certain airlines and others don’t include budget airlines in their search at all. Do your research to make sure you’re getting the best price.

- Be creative with your routes. Sometimes you can pay a lot less for airfare by foregoing a connecting flight. For example, instead of flying to Paris on a single connecting flight, you could buy a ticket to Dublin and then fly to Paris on a budget airline for much less.

- Sign up for a frequent flyer program. Save big money on flights by signing up for airline rewards programs, special offer email lists and travel credit cards.