Thinking of going to your dream destination on your next holiday but worried about airfare rates? Depending on where you’re going, plane tickets can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Add to this your food and accommodation expenses, and you’ve got plenty of saving to do. Fortunately, if you play your cards right, you wont have to spend all your savings on your next trip. Check out the tips below that prove air travel doesn’t have to be expensive.
Mix and match airlines for outbound and return flights
It’s best to shop around with several airlines that offer the cheapest rates for the outbound and return flights. A round-trip ticket is usually cheaper than a one-way flight. But sometimes it’s possible that your first airline provides low outbound rates, while another airline sells return flights to your destination at a lower price. This is especially true if a certain airline is currently running a promo on return flights. However, before you book your outbound and return flights with two different airlines, first evaluate the overall cost. If the overall cost is cheaper than a round-trip ticket, then you’ve got a good deal.
Book for an off-peak flight
One key to getting the lowest ticket price is to book your flight when less people are flying. Airline prices follow the basic law of supply and demand. So if you want a lower ticket price, book for an early-morning or late-night flight in the middle of the week. Avoid booking flights that are scheduled during the start or end of the week, as this is when most people fly. If you’re flexible enough to catch a red-eye flight, you’ll be able to save a lot on airfares.
Take advantage of connecting flights
A direct flight might be more convenient but if you really want to save money, book a connecting flight instead. Think of it as a chance for you to explore more places on a single trip. To avoid the hassle of missing your flight, give yourself plenty of time to navigate the airport and locate the right terminal or gate. Being early also gives you more time to make sure your bags are checked in and to make the necessary arrangements in case there’s a flight delay or airport problem.
Look for alternative routes to your destination
Flights that are en-route to major airports can cost a lot more than those that are bound for smaller airports. So on your next trip, book a flight that’ll land at an airport that’s still a reasonable amount on distance from the city or other major airports. Then just take the bus or hire a car to your destination. This is especially helpful if you have to book a flight during peak season. It might be less convenient for you, but think of the money you’ll be able to save. You can then use that extra cash to treat you and your family to a fancy lunch or upgrade to a luxury hotel suite for an extra-special holiday.
When looking for the cheapest plane tickets, make sure your expectations are realistic. Cheap rates doesn’t mean dirt-cheap. You’ll most likely have to settle for rates that are a few hundred dollars lower than the original price. Dealing with connecting flights on an off-peak day may seem like a hassle, but with enough preparation, you’ll breeze through it and enjoy huge savings on airfare costs. Don’t forget to check your frequent flier miles and special airline deals posted on Twitter and Facebook. By doing your homework before buying a ticket, cheaper flights are just within your fingertips.