When you need to travel by plane but want to save a few bucks, you need to know the ins and outs to scoring a cheap flight. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your flight just to save some money.
Here are eight tricks to scoring a great deal on your next flight.
1. Plan to fly between Tuesday and Thursday. The days that you fly can make a big difference in the price of your flight. Flying on weekdays is typically cheaper (especially flights on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Also keep in mind that many discounted rates will require a Saturday night stay.
2. Participate in courier flying. Courier companies sell cheap flights (or may even allow you to fly free) if you agree to carry along certain business items with you. Get more information by doing a Google search on “courier flying” and “courier flights.”
3. Book round-trip instead of one-way whenever possible.
4. Search sites such as FareCompare.com to find “Yup” or “Q-up” fares that allow you a first-class seat for a coach price.
5. If traveling with more than one person, call the airline to see if you can save more by purchasing a package of tickets.
6. Use a travel rewards credit card, so you can accrue frequent flyer miles through the purchases you would make anyway.
7. Whenever possible, book your flight in advance. Whenever you have to book a flight at the last minute, you will generally have fewer choices and will be more likely to pay more. If you must fly at the last minute, check websites that specialize in last minute travel booking, such as LastMinute.com. These sites are specifically designed to get rid of excess inventory (and to eliminate empty seats.) You can find significantly reduced fares through these types of sites.
8. Check the large Internet travel sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Orbitz, and Cheaptickets. If you have a favorite airline, make sure to check the fares directly from the airline’s website. When you have a low fare in mind, take it to Priceline and go through the “name your own price” process to see if you can save even more.
The real trick to getting a good deal on flights is to learn that there is no magical formula that will work for you every time and there isn’t one service that always has the best rates. The real secret is to shop around and to know where to look.