As 2016 comes to a close, I am torn with the feeling of saying ADIOS to this year. See ya never! I haven’t liked you very much. At the same time though, there is so much to be thankful for. While mixed emotions swirl through my brain, one thing that I am looking forward to in 2017 are new trips and destinations to visit.
Flight prices are usually one of the biggest expenses when booking a trip. While I am by no means a “frequent flyer” (even though I wish I was), I have learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me save some major dinero. Below are four ideas on how to save money on airfare. I hope that they help you pocket some cash on your next flight booking!
How To Save Money On Airfare
- Location, Location, Location: Need to fly somewhere but it’s super pricey? Check other nearby airports, both to and fro. It might be cheaper to fly into a city an hour away and rent a car to your final destination. I’ve done this multiple times and it has saved me hundreds of dollars!
- Example: My friend recently had a destination wedding in Bluffton, SC. At the time, it cost over $400 to fly from Cleveland to Savannah, which was the closest airport. I decided to look at other nearby airports and discovered that a round-trip flight from Cleveland to Myrtle Beach, SC was less than $100 through Spirit Airlines. I researched my options and realized that it was a four hour road-trip between the two cities but smack dab in the middle was Charleston, SC! I was able to rent a car, spend a night/day exploring the historic and charming city of Charleston, and make it to my friend’s wedding all for less than one flight from Cleveland to Savannah. I call that #winning.
- Timing is Everything: Always, always, always try to book your flight 6-8 weeks in advance! I have been burned by this one too many times. I think, “Oh, I’ll just wait until tomorrow in case the price drops.” Then, when I check the flight the next day, it will have gone up by $20. UGH! If it’s less than 6 weeks from your trip, book your flight ASAP. In the example above, if you are traveling somewhere over the weekend of July 28th, you should have your flight booked by June 16th. Timing is everything, people!
- If you have flexibility in your schedule, try to leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday as those days typically have the cheapest flight prices.
- Another good trick that can save you moola is departing at odd hours, i.e. early morning or late night.
- Lastly, when you travel to locales in off season EVERYTHING is usually cheaper: flights, hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Embrace Minimalism: Never check a bag, unless you really, really need to! It costs more money and time, plus you have the extra added risk of losing or having a delay with claiming your belongings…and nobody’s got time for that! If you MUST check a bag, always pack an extra outfit and toiletries in your carry-on. In the photo above, that’s me fitting into my new suitcase…it’s huge! On most trips, you CAN fit everything in a carry-on size bag.
- Use Your Points: If you have a credit card with travel points, USE YOUR POINTS. Sometimes I only have enough points to book a ticket one-way, so I book two one-way tickets instead of one round-trip ticket.
- In my first example, I reference flying from Cleveland to Myrtle Beach for a destination wedding. I had enough points on my credit card to book a one-way ticket, so I did just that. I only had to pay for my return ticket from Myrtle Beach to Cleveland, which if you forgot, was less than $100.
Question for you: What are your best tips and tricks for saving money on airfare? In my not so subtle photo above, I’m hoping to go to Greece in 2017, so I’ll definitely need to start scouting prices on airfares ASAP! Help is appreciated :).