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5 Tips to Find Cheap Flights

Updated on July 15, 2011

Cheap flights

Airplane taking off
Airplane taking off

Great Tips for Cheap Flights

It’s summertime and you’re ready for a vacation, but it feels like the age of easy travel is over. With rising fuel prices and airlines struggling to stay afloat in a weakened economy, you run a search for cheap flights and are bombarded by options and confused by hidden fees. But don’t pack away your guidebooks yet! It is still possible to find affordable flights. Here are some tips to trim the extra dollars off plane tickets:


1. Consider your timing. Airfares vary according to the hour, day of the week, and season. Avoid purchasing flights during peak seasons such as Christmas or the middle of the summer. Also avoid flying on peak travel days, such as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Wednesday and Tuesday are the cheapest days to fly, and many airlines push deals on Monday. Look for flights that depart at odd hours as well, such as very late at night or very early in the morning. It is often a good idea to book international flights early, even up to six months in advance. However, if you’re able to be spontaneous, the old rule of last minute purchases still applies. They’ll do anything to fill the plane right before takeoff!


2. Look for student, family, or senior citizen discounts. Studentuniverse.com is an online travel site for young people traveling under a budget.


3. Shop around. Be flexible with your hours, travel dates, and airports. Flying out of Dulles can be cheaper than leaving from Baltimore Washington International. If you’re traveling internationally, look for inexpensive domestic flights to take you to gateway cities. If you are leaving from a highly metropolitan area, driving an extra hour or so may be worth it for a cheaper flight. Use fare tracker tools such as Bing Travel, which can help you predict whether or not it is a good time to buy, or smart phone apps. Websites like Orbitz Deal Detector can send you alerts when a specific trip’s price falls below a certain amount. If one airline stands out as particularly inexpensive, visit their site directly. Good sites to assist in shopping around are Kayak.com, farecompare.com, and airfarewatchdog.com.


4. Do your homework. Find out if the airline you plan to purchase from has hidden fees for things such as meals, luggage, and printing your boarding pass. Many travelers have found that the cheapest flights ended up costing more after all of the hidden fees are revealed. If you notice that the fare drops within 24 hours, many airlines will refund you the difference, so read the small print and continue monitoring the flight for at least 24 hours after your purchase it.


5. Go international! Just because you’re leaving from the US doesn’t mean you need to use US airlines. Shop around international airlines for good deals on flights. For example, if your destination is Morocco, it may be cheaper to travel first to England then find a cheap flight from London to Marrakech on a European airline. Several sites to find budget European flights include Ryanair.com, edreams.com, and vueling.com. Air Asia is one of the leading budget airlines in Asia, along with Jetstar Pacific, and Korean Air is running several promotions during this year’s summer holiday.

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    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      Thanks for commenting! I hope these help you save some money!

    • kaitlincolee profile image

      kaitlincolee 

      6 years ago

      Great tips! I am considering a trip in Jan or Feb and will definitely keep your tips in mind.

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      6 years ago from Miami, US

      You're welcome, hope you find it helpful

    • mauricio.quito profile image

      mauricio.quito 

      7 years ago from everywhere

      This is really useful! Thanks Steph!

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