Airline prices change frequently and depend on a variety of factors. If you want to get the best price for your trip, here are a few things to consider when making your travel plans:
Are your travel dates flexible?
The highest prices are typically found during the most popular travel months. Those months are March, April, July, August, and December. The cheapest flights can typically be found during off-season months of January, February, and September. In addition, certain days of the week tend to be less pricey than others. For domestic flights, the least expensive days of the week are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. International flights tend to be less expensive on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This is because most business travel happens on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, and people who go away for the weekend often travel on Fridays and Sundays. Avoid traveling on the most popular travel days to save money.
Is your travel time flexible?
Are you willing to travel very early in the morning? Could you travel very late at night? Many airlines offer lower prices for inconveniently-timed flights. If you don't require a non-stop flight, you may be able to save even more.
Could you travel to or from another airport?
Some airports are more expensive than others. Sometimes smaller airports offer lower prices than larger ones. When researching your airfare, check to see if another airport might be a feasible alternative and compare prices.
Do your comparison research.
A few examples of popular comparison websites are Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, but these are not the only ones. These websites can quickly compare prices of several airline companies and determine which prices are the best. However, keep in mind when using these websites that some airlines may not be included in the search. It may be worth your while to check which airlines offer service at your airport, and make sure they show up in the search results. If any airline is not listed, go to that airline's website directly to see what is available and check prices.
How much luggage do you need to take with you?
Checked baggage fees can make a huge difference in the final price. Consider purchasing some items after you reach your destination instead of packing them. Supplies such as baby diapers and certain toiletries can take up a lot of room in a suitcase, and the cost of transporting them might be higher than what they are worth.
Ask about discounts.
Some airlines offer discounts to certain individuals such as senior citizens, college students, or military personnel. Also, ask about frequent flyer miles and any other programs or incentives offered by the airline.
Book your flights early, but not more than three months in advance.
Prices are usually much higher if you wait until the last minute to purchase them. If you have time to plan ahead, sign up with Google Flights to find out when ticket prices are low, and get email alerts when prices change. If possible, book your tickets at least three weeks in advance. However, avoid booking more than three months in advance because prices could still drop.
Compare final costs before making a decision.
Some ticket prices look better than they are because they do not include everything. If you are flying round trip, make sure all ticket prices are for round-trip airfare and not just one way. Also be sure the prices include all taxes, baggage fees, and any additional costs. You may discover that a ticket that appears to cost less initially may not include everything you need, and a ticket that seems to cost more may actually be the better deal.
In conclusion, there are many things you can do to save money, but the most important thing you can do is to plan ahead. If you don't have much time, your options will be limited. The more time you have, the more likely it will be that you can find a good price.
Brown, A., and Leaf Group. How to save on airline flights. Retrieved from http://traveltips.usatoday.com
Elkins, Kathleen. (2017, June 10). Here's the ideal time to buy plane tickets if you want to save money. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com
Hsia, Cliff. (2016, June 2). 7 tips to save big money on airfare. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com