Finding cheap flights when on a budget is a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. Money is often a huge hindrance for those desiring to travel. However, there are many ways to discover when and where to buy the cheapest airline tickets at a price tag that fits into your travel budget. Read these money-saving hacks I use when flying and budget traveling.
Know when the cheapest seasons are to travel
Typically, every destination has an on and off season. For instance, if you are flying out to Colorado flights are much cheaper in February than in June. Every city has high and low travel times which, will affect the cost of the overall trip. If you are willing to go during an offseason your bank account will thank you.
Don’t fly out on a Sunday
Since the average American workweek is Monday-Friday, flying out on Sunday is a popular date to fly. Due to the demand, airlines typically increase the prices of flights on Sundays. Other dates during the week are much cheaper. If you are looking to fly out for a weekend trip Saturday and Tuesday, are both are less popular days that are often cheaper. Flying out on a Sunday can make the difference of an additional several hundred dollars, so avoid it altogether. Recently, I saved a little over hundred dollars by flying home on a Tuesday instead of a Sunday or Monday.
Use the right apps/ websites to find good deals
There are lots of helpful websites that can compare prices between airlines. Cheap O Air, Kayak, and Skyscanner are a few I regularly use. You can look up each airline’s website but using a third party site is quicker and easier. Here are a few apps that will be your assistant in finding cheap flights.
Plan your trip around the cheapest flight
If you already have your trip dates set, let the destination be a mystery. When going on vacation, look up which locations have the best flight deals for those dates. Additionally, while searching be sure to check if the location has affordable places to stay.
If a flight price looks too good to be true- IT IS
Unfortunately, there are a few apps and websites that are scams. The safest way to avoid this and, keep yourself from having to pay additional costs, is to only book on the airline’s website. If I find a flight on a website I don’t trust I simply look up that same inexpensive flight on the airline’s actual web page. While there are several good websites you can book from that offer deals be sure that the flight actually exists on the airline’s page before booking anything.
Be sure to read the fine print
Not all airlines use the same policies, especially when it comes to baggage. Some airlines might offer your complimentary checked bags, while others do not. Don’t assume they are all the same. After purchasing your ticket, be sure to read all the information regarding the airlines policy. Policy information is not always easily accessible online. In that case, calling the airline is also an option.
Know the seating policy
Most everyone knows not all seats on an airplane cost the same. First class, business class, and economy class all vary drastically in price. However, I did not know that you can be charged for selecting a seat even when it is in economy class. Thinking it was required to select a seat, I made the mistake of picking my seat while booking a flight. It was an unnessesary additional cost.
Other airlines have different seating policies. For instance, Southwest allows you to pick your seat while boarding. United Airlines will assign you a seat unless you want to pay for one ahead of time. Be familiar with your airline’s seating policy before you book.
Earn points and free flight miles
Select an airline and stick with it and airline companies will reward your loyalty. When you make an account with an airline company and fly regularly you can gain reward points and can earn free travel. Another way of earning free travel points is by opening a credit card that offers airline rewards benefits.
Always search for flights in the incognito mode
A key element in finding cheap flights is how to search for them. Don’t be surprised if you refresh your browser and prices skyrocket on the flight you were monitoring. Airline websites want to encourage you to buy your ticket before prices increase and will raise the price tag on the ticket you were looking at. Searching in incognito mode or a private window will keep the wide web from knowing what you are looking for and ensure you find the least expensive flight.
Additional ways to save while flying
Connecting flights should always be the same airline
If your flight journey includes several layovers be sure each flight is with the same airline. If your flight were to get delayed or canceled and you miss your connecting flight the airline will cover the expenses of booking another flight. However, if the flight you missed is a different airline they will not be responsible for booking you another flight. In this case, you would be forced to purchase another plane ticket out of pocket. Save yourself a chunk of change and use the same airlines.
Buy travel insurance- it’s worth it
If the airline loses your luggage, reschedules your flights, or cancels your flight at the last minute they will compensate you if you purchased travel insurance. Most travel insurance packages will cover up to several thousand dollars in expenses. If you pay a little extra now, it can save you thousands in the future. Bottom line- always buy travel insurance.
Don’t think that traveling is out of your reach simply because you are on a budget. If you try these simple hacks that make finding cheap flights a breeze, it will help cut major costs down on your trip.
More articles you might like: