Depending on where you’re traveling to, the price of an airline ticket can easily be hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars. It’s often the costliest part of a vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cut down on this expense with some tips and tricks. To get the best price for your next airline ticket, try some of the following:
Find out what the average fare is
If you aren’t already familiar with what the average airfare price is for a specific route, it can be difficult to determine whether you’re getting a good deal or if you’re overpaying. Do some research to figure out what the normal price is; try picking several different dates and combinations to see what comes up and then average the different prices that you see. You’ll also want to try this over the course of a couple weeks since airfare can fluctuate from day to day.
Sign up for airlines’ newsletters
Sign up for major airlines’ newsletters and follow their social media accounts so you can stay informed about any promotions and savings. For instance, if an airline is announcing the start of a new route, they’ll often make the announcement along with a limited-time promotion.
Try to travel during the week
Flying on the weekend tends to be more expensive than flying during the week. If you could schedule your departure and your return to fall mid-week, it’s usually even cheaper.
Compare prices from different booking engines
It can be exciting to find a great deal and you may want to jump at the opportunity immediately, but avoid doing this until you’ve checked all other booking engines, airlines, and perhaps even consulted with a travel agent. Just because you found a fantastic deal doesn’t mean there isn’t an even better one available, or a similarly priced option that works better with your trip schedule.
Book at the right time
Although booking last minute or very far in advance can sometimes give you the best prices, you’ll usually get the best deal if you book somewhere in the middle. There may not be one right answer as to when this ideal time would be, but typically, you’ll have the best luck booking your flight about six to eight weeks before your departure date.
But that’s not the only thing to consider when it comes to booking your ticket at the right time. Even the day of the week can make a difference, and airfare is often priced cheaper on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Redeem your miles
If you’ve been accumulating airline miles for a while now, you may have enough to book your ticket for free. If you haven’t earned enough airline miles to redeem a free ticket, you can use what you do have and purchase the difference. You may only need to buy a few hundred dollars worth of miles to book a ticket that costs thousands. And depending on how many miles you have and what’s available, you may be able to score a free first class seat.
Book connecting flights separately
Are you flying to the Bahamas, but connecting in Miami? Sometimes, you can save a lot of money on your airfare by booking the flights separately on your own. Just be sure to plan accordingly and allow yourself plenty of time to change planes. This is a better option to consider if you wanted to spend more time in the connecting city. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing your second flight.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.