When it comes to travel, flight tickets are usually the costliest part of any trip (along with hotel accommodations.) Flight ticket prices are constantly fluctuating, however there are times when prices drop, and if you purchase quickly enough, it can save you lots of money.
Here are 5 tips to help you snag the best deals on flight tickets:
- Clear your internet browser’s cache/cookies or use a VPN: airlines use dynamic pricing, meaning different fares are offered to different customers according to demographics and market demand. Clearing your browser cache and cookies or using a virtual private network (VPN) can hide your information (such as search history, location, income, spending habits, etc.) that’s stored in your web browser and prevents airlines from hiking up their prices and using this information against you.
- Use online travel agency (OTA) websites: popular OTA’s such as Kayak, Expedia, Travelocity, Skyscanner, Skiplagged, and many others are an alternative to booking flight tickets directly with an airline. These OTA’s often display cheaper prices and help you find the best deals on flight tickets. Some of these sites also have a helpful option that allows you to track and set alerts for when prices drop.
- Book on a Tuesday or Wednesday: though you may be able to find good deals any other day of the week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the best days to book flight tickets. This may be because some airlines tend to release their deals on Monday nights and competing airlines reassess their fares the next day to either match or beat their competitors’ prices.
- Use your travel miles and points: becoming a frequent flyer member of an airline can rack up miles that can be used to reduce your out-of-pocket costs on future flights. Additionally, credit cards can often offer great reward points that can be redeemed for airfare travel. And depending on your credit card, you might also be able to transfer your points to travel partners to maximize your points’ value and save even more money.
- Be flexible with your travel plans: if you have the luxury, a great way to save some money is to be flexible with your travel plans. This may include:
- Adjusting travel dates to fly midweek: most people prefer to fly during the weekends, so if your dates are flexible, opt for early morning or late evening weekday flights to snag the best prices.
- Flying to/from different airports if your origin or destination has multiple airports, you may be able to save money by flying to/from whichever airport offers lower priced flight tickets.
- Choosing flights with layovers: if you can afford the extra time, tickets with connecting flights are often cheaper. (And if it’s a long layover, you might be able to explore the destination and do a little sightseeing before your second flight.)
- Traveling off-season: off-season months are the time of the year with the least amount of tourist travel in a destination. A great benefit of flying off-season is that flight ticket prices tend to be lower during this period of time and another bonus is dealing with fewer people and crowds.