The Real Trick To Scoring Cheaper Airfare

TravelandLeisurePublished: December 20, 2017
Published: December 20, 2017

Out of all tips and tricks for saving on airfare, there is no money-saver quite like flexibility. Travelers who are locked into rigid plans will almost always have to shell out more money than their freewheeling counterparts. Here are five ways that being flexible can help you travel on a budget.

Don’t take vacation when everyone else is taking vacation. Avoid holidays. Book flights in early November, early December, January or February in order to save money. In the summer, aim to travel in early June or in the middle of August. Avoid traveling the day before Thanksgiving, the days before Christmas, and spring break around Easter because they are often the most expensive times of year to book a flight.

Consider the day of the week. Fly in the middle of the week, rather than on weekends, for lower airfares. Surveys show that Fridays and Sundays are among the most expensive days to fly, so bare this in mind.

Choose the time of day wisely. Sacrifice a few hours of sleep and take a red-eye flight. Not only will you save, but you will find less people and faster security lines. Airports are generally less crowded in the mornings, so security lines are faster.

Take the route less traveled. Making a detour to an out-of-the-way hub instead of taking a direct route is often the cheapest option for passengers traveling through smaller airports. Airlines operate on a spoke-and-hub model, so avoiding the hub can result in less expensive airfare.

Reconsider your loyalties. Fares may be low enough on another airline that any frequent flier miles or rewards from your usual airline won’t be worth the price difference. Even though you may be trying to rack up frequent flier miles with a particular airline, shopping around may reveal that fares are low enough on another airline that the rewards for a single flight aren't worth the price difference.

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