Getting ready to go on a trip is always an exciting time. You start counting down the weeks and days until you leave, and you begin planning out all your activities from the second you land until the time you depart to go back home.
Or, maybe that’s just me. 😉
However, in the midst of excitement, the time to buy plane tickets comes and all of a sudden, the cost of travel quickly sinks in. Nevertheless, there’s no need to second-guess your decision to travel.
Follow these tips and you’ll not only save money, but also be on your way to a relaxing vacation in no time.
1. Plan and Book Early
I’m sure you’re no stranger to this idea, but the worst thing you can do when booking your flight is wait until the last-minute.
Although there are times when airlines have cheap, last-minute, it’s not something I’d rely on if you hope to save money. Generally, the closer you are to your departure date, the higher the price of your tickets will be.
So, check with everyone’s schedule and make your travel plans as far in advance as you can, especially if you’re going to travel during the holidays.
2. Travel During the Off-Season
Although the time of year may differ depending on the location, every destination has a prime season that tends to bring in a multitude of tourists.
It’s during this prime time that ticket prices to these areas are much more expensive, which is why it’s smart to travel outside the typical tourist season.
You’ll most likely notice a significant drop in airfare costs, and hotel costs. This will help you save on the two most expensive parts of your vacation.
Of course, one caveat to consider, is whether or not popular attractions will be open during the off-season. So, if there’s something specific you really want to do, make sure you do your research before booking your flight during the off-season.
3. Don’t Travel on the Weekends
There’s no doubt that Fridays and Sundays are the go-to days to travel, however that also means that they’re the most expensive days to fly.
While it may mean using an extra day or two of paid vacation time at work, it’s well worth the money to travel during the week. Fewer people leave mid-week, which results in more empty seats and reduced airfares.
Flexibility to travel mid-week is another thing I love about working for myself. I now have the ability to travel mid-week without having ask for time off or take a vacation day.
In order to save money, there have been times that I’ve flown in early or left late from events I plan to attend. For example, when I go to my business conference each year, I typically fly in at least a day early. This is partly because of flight price. Even when you factor in an extra night of accommodations, it may still be cheaper to fly in early or stay an extra day. This is especially true if you use a cheaper option, like Airbnb, for your accommodations.
4. Do Your Research
More than anything, take the time to research before booking your flight.
Look through multiple airfare and airline sites for a variety of prices and flights options. Make sure you take into consideration any extra fees when looking at different airlines, like the cost of checking your bag.
Picking a company with cheaper or no fees, like Southwest, will usually save you money. However, on the other hand, picking an airline with low flight costs may end up costing your more because they have high fees for other things.
Furthermore, look at both non-stop and multiple-stop flight options. You may be surprised at the differences in price.
The Bottom Line
Airfare doesn’t have to cost you the majority of your travel budget, and it shouldn’t be the reason you can’t go on your dream vacation. With some smart planning and a little research, you can book cheap flights and start planning your trip to paradise, wherever that might be.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to do more traveling, both state-side and abroad, in the future. 🙂
Are there other ways you save money on flights? How else do you save when planning a trip?