Americans sure like to fly. Every year, we take to the skies again and again, with nearly a billion passengers traveling from one place to the next on airplanes. All that flying isn’t cheap either. The average domestic round trip flight is nearly $370 these days. When you add in all of the other costs associated with travel, it can be prohibitively expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Here are some great tips to save money when you are booking your next flight.
This article was written by our skilled staff writer, Will Lipovsky
1. Timing is Everything
When it comes to booking your flight, when you book is the most critical factor. For instance, if you buy tickets just two weeks prior to travel, you are going to pay an average of $111 extra for your trip. Likewise, if you try to buy your ticket super early, you will end up paying more than you bargained for as well. So when is the best time to book a flight?
According to extensive research, the optimal time to buy your tickets is 42 -54 days, or seven weeks, prior to flying. That is when airfare for any particular flight is at its average low. The day of the week you travel can also make a significant difference in ticket prices, too. Typically, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays are the cheapest days of the week to fly.
2. Go Solo
If you are traveling in a group, like a family, you would think that it would make more sense to book all your flights together. That is absolutely not the case. Typically, if you do a group ticket purchase, airlines will charge you the price of the highest ticket. If you book each flight reservation separately, you will likely save a substantial amount of money overall.
3. Clear those Cookies!
Let’s talk cookies. And not those delicious Biscoff cookies Delta offers. (Fun fact: You can get them at Walmart and they aren’t even that expensive!)
One of your biggest enemies when it comes to booking cheap flights is your Internet browser. As you are searching online for the cheapest flight, airline websites track your searches with cookies that recognize your demand for a flight, and inflate airfare prices during your search. To beat these websites at their own came, conduct incognito searches, or clear the cookies from your browser before each new search. If you do so, chances are you will be able to find some discounted flights out there that would otherwise be hidden.
4. Carry On
Most airlines charge you for checked in luggage, anywhere from $25-150 for one bag. Avoid these fees altogether by using a carry on bag instead. Carry on luggage can save you buko bucks. They can also save you time, and make it easier to arrange your transportation when connecting flights get delayed or cancelled.
5. Call Your Agent
Most of us think it is cheaper to buy everything online, including plane tickets. Believe it or not, using a travel agent can actually save you big money on flights. If you are preparing for a complicated trip that features multiple requirements – international travel, lodging, ground transportation – travel agents can help you realize substantial savings.
They often have good relationships with hotels and other companies, and can pass discounts on to the customers who book with them. They usually can answer questions about the destinations you are traveling to as well, and can help save you from making costly mistakes on your trip.
Every single day there are thousands of Americans heading to the airport for another trip. While we all have to suffer through the long lines at TSA checkpoints together, we can do so while saving big money on travel. Try one or more of these tips the next time you book a flight, and you’ll find yourself with extra cash at the end of the trip.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.