There are few things I love more than travel. I love the chance to get away, change locations, experience a new place, culture, and food. And, like most people, half the fun of a trip is the planning and preparation. But, the hardest part of travel planning is finding the right flight at the right price. As a family of four, we are often priced out of travel options because the flight prices are just too much.
When I worked for a corporation, I was amazed at the travel deals big companies got on flights and wanted to find a way that I could gain some savings for myself and my family. While some love to book with a travel agent, I prefer to do the research and booking myself.
That way, I know that I am also saving on commission rates and getting to pick my preferred airlines. After years of traveling, here are my five tips for finding cheap flights.
#1 Travel mid-week – usually flights are cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – flying out and returning on those days significantly cuts your flight costs. These days are often less expensive because business travelers are more likely to fly on other days.
#2 Research trends in flight drops – with lots of research out there, we can predict drops in prices based on time of year. Check out this USA Today article with great tips.
#3 Search websites are specializing in discount prices. Search google flight for flights that fall within your budget. Using sites like these enables the best rates for the best flights and a search of all major airlines at once.
#4 Book early/last-minute – The earlier you book a flight, the higher your chances of cheap flights. As airlines fill seats, the prices tend to increase but, in the last few days before the trip, you will also see cheap flight sell-offs as airlines try to fill the last few seats.
#5 Collect Points – There is nothing better than only having to pay the taxes on your flight! Booking with points (again book early) is a great reward and a fantastic way to keep your vacation prices down.
Having just booked a flight to San Francisco for the summer, these tips were my guidelines. Not only did I book on a Tuesday, but I was able to find a discount flight that fit my travel needs. I’m all booked! Now, just waiting for a fabulous vacation.