The price of plane tickets is often the determining factor as to whether many people can fit a vacation into their budget. Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to cut down on flying costs. Below are five ways Dealspotr has found that are sure to help you get a better price on plane tickets.
Shop for Tickets on Tuesday or Wednesday
When airlines have a sale, it’s traditionally on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Buying your tickets on those days, especially Tuesday, will generally yield you the best price. Keep your eye out for flash sales on those days as well. Every so often airlines will offer amazing prices for a short period of time as a means of guaranteeing revenue for future dates that might look a bit soft. Just make sure you are ready to pounce if a flash sale hits, because they don’t last very long and are regularly followed up by really high prices once they end as airlines hope you’ll pay the higher price since you’ve already gone through the hassle of finding a flight.
Shop At Least a Month in Advance, If Not Longer
While it’s possible to get a great deal on a last-minute flight, it’s certainly not very likely. In fact, it’s common for last-minute flights to cost three or four times the amount it would have cost had you bought tickets a couple months ahead of time. This is especially true during popular travel periods like holidays or spring break. The other nice thing about shopping at least a month out is that you can plan your trip around the flight. For example, if you are able to get a spectacular deal on a flight, then you can book the rest of the trip based on the plane tickets. It’s much easier to get a good price on the plane tickets if you buy them first and then plan the trip around the flight as opposed to setting up all the other trip details and worrying about the flight later.
Join Airline Loyalty Programs
You should make it a habit not to fly with a particular airline until you’ve first signed up for its loyalty program. These loyalty programs are almost always free and reward you for giving the airline repeat business. Some even provide incentives when you first sign up that you can use to get seat upgrades or a free checked bag. If you’ve heard of “frequent flyer miles” they refer to these loyalty programs. The more miles you build up with an airline, the more points you get in their loyalty program which you can later redeem for free flights or other perks. Even if you wind up not using the airline again or getting anything out of the program, there is no downside as you don’t usually have to pay to join.
Find a Credit Card With Travel Perks and Always Use it to Fly
If none of your current credit cards offer points or cash back for traveling, then you should either considering signing up for one that does or call one of your current credit card companies and ask them if they can switch you to a card that provides benefits for traveling. Even if you don’t anticipate traveling or flying very much, it still makes sense to dedicate one of your credit cards to this purpose, so you can have in case of potential unexpected future trips you might have to make. Similar to loyalty programs, credit cards with travel perks allow you to build up points that you can then redeem for discounted flights, hotel stays or attractions. Sometimes you can even get a free flight. Other travel cards offer straight cash back, rather than points, so once you spend up to a certain threshold on flying and other travel-related expenses, the credit card company will give you cash back, typically in the form of a check or gift card, but occasionally as a refund applied to your statement.
Consider Two One Way Flights Instead of Round Trip
For those of you not interested in joining any loyalty programs or getting any new credit cards, this is the best option. The more flexible you are as a traveler, the better chances you’ll be able to score a good price on plane tickets. By researching all of the airlines that travel between your host city and your destination you can compare the prices for one-way tickets with all of them. Should you be flying into and/or out of cities with multiple airports, then you can also research how much he one-way flights are from those various airports. Odds are you’ll find that the best price involves you flying to a different airport than you return from using a different airline each way.
About the Author:
Jason Feller is the Director of Marketing with Dealspotr.com and writes tips and advice articles for the site on how to save money on a broad spectrum of items. He’s a former journalist with The Washington Post, NFL.com and the Times Record News.