I have always enjoyed making our family’s air travel arrangements. We fly no less than twice a year to visit family in another state. I have learned a few tricks and tips throughout the years that I would like to pass on.
Be Flexible: Unless you have to travel on a specific date, try a few days before or a few days after you originally wanted to travel to get a better rate. It’s best to leave on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Also, try and book your tickets on a Wednesday, as that is when a lot of discount fares come out.
Book your ticket at least two weeks out: Usually, you will have more of a choice for flights and the fare will be cheaper if you do an advanced purchase.
Find a flight that leaves early in the morning or in the evening. These flights are usually cheaper. Also, morning flights usually have less delay issues.
Although I prefer non-stop flights, connecting or direct flights may offer a substantial discount. Also, check another city to fly in and out of, sometimes it’s worth it to drive an extra hour or so to save a hundred dollars per ticket.
Great a credit card with the airline or airlines you travel frequently: They usually will offer you a travel voucher once a year, plus a substantial amount of miles with your first purchase. My airline credit card gives me two $99 companion tickets once a year. Also, every purchase you make with the credit card will earn you additional mileage.
Check out some of the leading travel reservations websites for great deals: Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia and Kayak. Make sure you review their policies before you buy from some of these websites, as they may charge a small booking fee.
Join e-miles. This company will send you e-mails that contain surveys. You answer the surveys and you will get frequent flier miles for a specific airline. This will not be the fastest way to earn frequent flier miles, but every little bit helps.
If you’re in a pinch and must fly on a certain date and time, look into purchasing frequent miles miles from your airline. I had a family emergency this past summer and had to fly on a specific schedule. It was about half the cost to purchase the miles I needed to get a frequent flier ticket than it would have been to buy a last minute ticket. This is great option if you already have accumulated a certain amount of frequent flier miles.
Try and pack sensibly because it now costs money to check your bags under the plane: Most airlines are charging approximately, per passenger, $15 for your first bag and $25 for your second. This will add up quickly for a traveling family. If you would like to bring the luggage on the plane with you, be sure to check your airline’s website for weight and height restrictions.
Following these tips, I hope will be able to save yourself a bundle on your next vacation.