No one wants to pay more for a flight than necessary, but most of us also don’t want to spend hours searching every possible departure date, airport and airline on every corner of the internet until we find the best price. Follow these tips for finding cheap flights and you won’t have to.
1. Book at the right time by scheduling alerts. While last minute plane tickets are never going to be cheap, buying them six months in advance might not be cheap, either. Sooner isn’t always cheaper — in fact, Fortune says that 54 days in advance is when fares are at their cheapest, on average. That’s 300 or so days after most airlines start selling them. Patience is a virtue if you’re looking for a cheap flight.
Sites like Airfare Watchdog and Kayak allow you to set alerts to keep you apprised of the price for specific routes. For example, if you’re planning a trip from New York to Miami, you can enter your travel dates and receive a daily email with the cheapest price. You’ll see how it fluctuates. Once the price drops, grab your ticket.
2. Fly on the right days. We can all surmise that a trip during spring break or over a holiday weekend is going to be pricier than normal. But the year-round consensus is that Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are the cheapest days to fly, regardless of destination.
While the days you fly heavily affect price, there is no day of the week to buy your ticket that is particularly advantageous, contrary to popular belief. The founder of Airfare Watchdog told the New York Times this notion is a “myth.”
3. Check travel deals before you decide on your vacation destination. If you’re looking to get away but aren’t sure where, why not make your decision from some of the cheapest options that offer what you’re looking for? Take a peek at sites like Skyscanner to see what deals are hot, or use this Kayak service to see prices by choosing only your departure airport, not your destination. There are so many affordable options it’s sometimes overwhelming.
4. Book two one-way flights, if needed. This will take you a few more minutes of searching, but the savings might make it worth it. By buying two one-way tickets, you can split your trip between two different airlines, taking the advantages of each while not being stuck having to book the other half of the trip on the same airline.
This option isn’t always cheaper, but it’s always worth checking.
5. Don’t fly or stay at a hotel without collecting some sort of points or miles. Nearly every major airline and hotel chain offers a free program for frequent customers that will includes discounts or freebies eventually. This won’t help you immediately, but if you travel often, you’ll be thankful you did it some day down the road.
No need to rush and sign up for every program right now, but make sure you do it the next time you fly with an airline you aren’t collecting points from.
About PC Housing
While flying is inevitable if you travel often for work, hotels aren’t. You have other options, like short- or long-term business rentals. At PC Housing, we offer these rentals across the country. Why live in a hotel when you can live in a home during your stay? Learn more about what we have to offer, and check out our extensive list of locations in the U.S. and Canada.