With the holidays quickly approaching, that means a lot of traveling for people who live out of state from their family. Traveling for the holidays can get expensive, and if you don’t know where to looking, you might be missing out on some huge deals. According to travel experts, there can be more than a dozen pricing categories when it comes to booking your flight, which means extra money leaving your pocket without you even knowing it.
Take a look at some insider secrets on how to get the best bang for your buck on your next vacation and how to stretch the travel budget that will work best for you.
1. Tuesdays at 3 p.m. EST
For some reason, the best time and day to buy your next plane ticket is always on a Tuesday at 3 p.m. eastern standard time. If you find that you’re not getting the deal you were hoping for, wait it out another day or two and see what Tuesday has to offer. Tuesdays typically work best for flights since airlines will launch sales on Monday night, and other carriers will drop their rates to match the competition.
2. Check Low-Cost Airlines
Sites like Expedia and Kayak make our life a lot easier when it comes to looking at numerous airlines, but typically, those sites also jack the prices up a bit. If you’re looking to save money, check out places like Southwest that don’t allow their tickets to be quoted on popular comparison websites. Also, make sure you look at the fine print for extra charges like carry-on and checked bag fees.
3. Book Seven Weeks Early
Don’t procrastinate too much when it comes to booking your flight. Research shows that passengers pay 10 percent the average fare when they buy 50 days before their trip. Remember thought if you’re about two weeks out from your trip the price won’t be getting any better, so you better book.
4. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are Important
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are the cheapest days for domestic flights. Weekdays tend to be less expensive than the weekends, with Friday and Sunday being the most expensive days for domestic travels. Since people like coming home either before or after the weekend, airlines will up the prices for Friday and Sunday flights, so avoid them at all costs.
5. Get Free Alerts
Take advantage of all the major online booking sites that offer airfare alerts. These alerts will ping you when the prices drop, allowing you to score a major deal. Resources like Hitlist, The Flight Deal, and Secret Flying offers quick alerts on good deals that you can snatch up.
6. Maybe Get that Credit Card
Building a relationship with a particular airline can really benefit you in the end. Carrying an airline’s credit card will automatically give you a leg up when it comes to other travelers. The credit card will also offer additional perks that were once standard, like a free checked bag or priority boarding. So, if you think you’re going to be a frequent flyer, it might be worth your while to sign up.
7. Fly Out Early
Morning flights have been known to be a better price than other times. This might mean you are getting up at 4 a.m. to board your trip, but airlines take advantage of travelers who don’t want to fly out at inconvenient times. Other great times to fly are during or after lunch, and dinner hours.
8. Stretch Your Reach
Sure, we all love flying out near home, but try looking at an airport that has a more significant hub or are international. Major international airports will have more options when it comes to airline tickets and a better competitive rate. If multiple airports are surrounding you, then check the fares for each location. Flights can be hundreds of dollars less just one city over.
The next time you book a flight, remembers that airlines are always competing for customers, so you do hold some power and options when it comes to how you travel. Do a little extra work and search for the best deal, even if that means getting up a little earlier to catch your flight, sleeping on the plane is always an option.