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5 Tips to Save Money on Airfare

Updated on February 3, 2018
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Cheap Airline Tickets!

A significant expense when traveling is the cost of arriving and departing from your destination. With the rising cost of airline tickets it is important to know some strategies to get a great deal on airfare. Here are five tips that will save you some cash.

1) Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

Most of us are on a tight schedule but if possible try to be flexible with your travel dates. You can save money if you change your flight schedule around by even a day or two. When searching for flights focus on the days you would like to depart and return from your destination. Next, search a few days before and after the dates you wish to travel. Booking your flights mid-week can almost always save you some cash. I always choose my arrival and return flights on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I have found that traveling on these days will give me the best deal on airfare. Saturday is also a great day to purchase tickets. People prefer not to fly on this day because it usually interferes with their vacation or business plans.

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2) Be Flexible With Your Travel Time

Flexibility in your travel time is also an important factor for saving money on airfare. Sacrificing a few hours of sleep the night before or arriving late night to your destination can pay off. You have a much better chance of saving money if you catch a flight at the crack of dawn, during dinner hours or overnight. The overnight flight is often referred to as a red-eye flight because passengers emerge from the aircraft with tired, droopy red eyes from lack of sleep.

3) Book Your Flight Early

The closer your travel date approaches, the more the flight will cost. To get the best deal you need to buy your ticket in advance. Airlines usually start to lower prices 3 to 4 months before the departure date. When I travel during the holidays I try to purchase my ticket at least 2 months in advance. It is important to do this because there are a lot more people traveling during these dates. Seats are limited and are more expensive at this time. Another way to save money on airfare is to travel on the day of a holiday, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. These tickets cost less because nobody wants to travel on these dates. Airlines offer tickets at an extremely discounted rate to fill up empty seats. When I am not traveling during the holiday season I buy my tickets no later than a month in advance. I find that if I wait any longer the tickets increase in price and seat selection is limited.

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4) Try Flying To A Nearby Airport

Flying to an alternative airport near your destination can save you money. Sometimes tickets are cheaper to an airport that is less traveled because airlines are trying to fill up seats. For example, if you are traveling to San Francisco check how much the tickets are to fly into Oakland, or if you are traveling to New York, check the rates to fly into both JFK and LaGuardia. Even though you might have to pay to catch a train or a cab, flying into a nearby airport might still save you some cash. This traveling tip does not always work. Once I was researching tickets from San Francisco to Louisville, Kentucky. My first search I found a great deal on a flight that had a layover in Cincinnati and a connecting flight to Louisville. I then checked how much it would be to land in Cincinnati and to just get picked up by a friend. I thought for sure this would save me some money because it cut out the connecting flight. I was wrong, the ticket ended up costing $100 more to land in Cincinnati without the connecting flight to Louisville.

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5) Use A Ticket Comparison Website

An airfare comparison website is your best friend when you are trying to get a deal on a ticket. Websites such as Travelocity, Priceline, and Cheaptickets are essential tools if you want to save some money. To research tickets all you have to do is type in the dates you want to travel and the airports you want to fly to and click search. In seconds the travel site you are using will compare ticket prices from multiple airlines. Prices of tickets will appear on your screen from lowest to highest. You will notice right away that you can save hundreds of dollars just by choosing the right airline to buy your ticket from. This saves you a lot of time by not having to research each airlines homepage. It is important to note that not all airlines are represented on fare comparison sites. If you want to check the rates of a discount airline such as JetBlue you have to visit their website.

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Works For Me Every time I Fly

As you can see there are a number of ways to save money when purchasing airline tickets. You have probably heard of other strategies to save some cash. The only ones I have written about here are the ones that have worked for me multiple times. Using the five tips above saves me a few hundred dollars every time I travel and allows me to spend that extra money when I arrive to my destination.

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    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 

      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for this article. I am preparing myself for a vacation and this info helps me so very much.

    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 

      6 years ago from SF Bay Area

      Hello, Matt Wells, moderator.

    • ezhang profile image

      Edward Zhang 

      7 years ago from Bay Area, CA

      Very useful Hub Matt! I've never thought of flying to a nearby airport for cheaper tickets, although it sounds like quite a bit of work to do so. Maybe I'll have to bring up your Hub the next time I consider traveling.

    • nicregi profile image

      Reginald Chan 

      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for sharing. For me, the best way is to plan ahead and try book as soon as possible. Earlier booking means higher chance for discount.

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