There probably isn’t another commodity that is as expensive as airfare, especially when it’s an international flight. Planning on purchasing a flight to visit family or go on vacation? Here’s how to do it without breaking the bank:
When planning a trip, try to purchase your plane tickets first, before making other reservations. This way you can take advantage of the “flexible dates” option offered on sights like: Orbitz.com, Cheapair.com, and Travelocity.com. There are also some individual airline websites that also offer you this option, like: jetblue.com and southwest.com.
Google also has an amazing tool that lets you look at prices for multiple airlines over several months, with a convenient bar graph to help you see when the cheapest time to fly is. Their map lets you see prices for other airports. The map function is also helpful if you don’t have a set destination in mind. You can choose your vacation spot based on the most economical option from your departure city.
If you’re destination and dates are set, then the best advice is to purchase your tickets with enough time. Six weeks seems to be the sweet spot for regular non-peak tickets. Now if you absolutely must travel on high peak travel dates like Valentine’s Day, Labor Day weekend or Spring Break, then the earlier you book the better. Several websites recommend buying on Tuesdays; however CBS’ travel editor, Peter Greenberg disagrees. Check out his formula for finding the best flights.
If you have been planning this trip for a while, likely you’ve done a bit of research on the internet. Before booking your flight, try clearing your browser history. According to USA Today this can shave hundreds off you ticket price, depending on your destination.