Do you know that it is possible to take flights for way less than you are paying for them now? We bet you don’t. Most people do little more than take out their credit cards whenever they want to take a flight. They do not do the due diligence of carrying out some research to find out the best possible prices or even understand and take advantage of certain things like error fares or make plans to fly with budget airlines. All of these are ways to save money while flying. Unfortunately, most folks are unaware of some of these tips and tricks.
In this article, we’ll show you how to save money on flights. We’ll discuss the best tips, tricks, and more. If you follow this guide effectively, you will find yourself partners with your airlines in the journey to your destination at an affordable price!
How to Save Money on Flights
The ways to save money on flights necessarily demand vigilance and discipline from you. Thus, to apply the tips below, you cannot dip into your savings or whip out your credit cards once any destination comes to mind. However, the travel hacks are super easy. In fact, when we get to the end, you will be surprised that you had been neglecting them the whole while.
Find Out About Fees for the Plane Tickets
The first thing to do when looking for cheap flights is to look at each airline’s ticket price. Even if you are a regular traveler, you have to carry out this process each time. This is the only way you can discover the best flight deals and won’t have to burn your savings on airfare. Before you get on the plane, check out what each company is charging.
Apart from airfare, it is also important to confirm other fees. These can include luggage fees, carry-on fees, and change fees. Airlines like Spirit Airlines, Southwest, and Jetblue all have a discount they allow for some of these fees as well as flight deals. Eventually, if you take advantage of these discounts correctly, they can culminate in cheaper flights. However, the first port of call is realizing that these discounts exist in the first place, which can only come from doing proper research.
Be Familiar with Bag Weights and Size Limits
You may think that you are on a cheap flight until you get to the airport to discover a tripling of your airfare because of your baggage. Thus, it is important to determine if the airline allows extra luggage when making your flight booking. Some airlines can be sneaky. They sometimes deliberately decide not to reveal that they charge some extra fees on their airline websites. Thus, you would be working with the impression that you are on a cheap flight when the reverse is actually the case.
What then can you do? Always find out if the airline charges extra cost for items of baggage even before you head for the airport. As already stated, some airlines may not give full disclosure of this fact, but if you do your search really well, you will have access to this information.
Also, do make sure you do not exceed the weight limit of the companies. Weigh your luggage at home or have a portable luggage scale that you’ll carry around. On setting out, you may well be within the limit; however, it is typical for folks to acquire more luggage as they head back. Access to a scale will make things a lot easier for you.
Book at the Right Time
One of the best travel hacking tips you’d find is correct timing. Yes, there is such a thing as the right time to book a flight and the best time to buy airline tickets. This gives you the most convenient opportunity to get the fairest price on a ticket, such that you could pay cheaper for a different fare class than the one you had in mind. As a general rule, you should never book your flight just as you are about to travel. Researching the airline and booking in advance is one of the surest ways of getting a good deal. Similarly, there are other tips about the times and periods to book your flight.
You must understand that this all ties into consumer psychology. Airline sites often get massive traffic within certain seasons, such as during Christmas or any other holiday. When this happens, the prices of the tickets shoot up. As a matter of fact, certain research has considered the way consumers interact with the airlines to reveal that, on average, within an 11-month period, fares can change as much as 11 times. Thus, it makes sense to keep an eye on the most feasible time to book your flight and take advantage of the discounts during that period. You can also use apps like the Hopper App, that are designed to help you find the best price on flights and other travel expenses.
Do Your Research in Incognito Mode
Some airlines are sneaky when it comes to their customer dealings. They show you a higher price every time you do a flight search. Typically, you do not begin your search as the travel dates draw near. In fact, if you are looking to go on a holiday, you may not even have had the destination locked in. Thus, you may find yourself going on the airline’s website every other day. Each time you make this journey, the fare could shoot up.
One way to beat this is to put your search engine on incognito mode whenever you visit an airline site twice or more. It is relatively easy to do so. Most search engines have this option available to users. Even if you are already on the site before remembering to turn on the incognito mode, you could easily minimize the browser window. You can even use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to mask your digital footprints completely. The advantage of this is that the company will be none the wiser. You will get to know and compare the prices of any budget airline without their knowledge of it. Thus, before you set out on any destination, use the incognito mode to search price fares.
Increase Savings with Basic Economy
When it comes to travel plans, you score bonus points when you fly economy. If you are going on a regular trip and thus have no need to have your bags checked or book a seat in advance, basic economy is more than ideal to suit your needs.
However, you must know that you cannot go on any such airline sites to have your seats changed when you are flying economy. You have a limited number of bags to travel with, and you cannot upgrade or cancel your fares. However, this option does a world of good to your savings.
Consider Alternative Routes
You should also consider alternatives routes to your destination. Basically, getting to the end of your trip in one piece (and for a lower price) is more important than your departure city. Thus, you must check out if there are alternative and cheaper routes to go through your trip and then explore those options. For most international flights, taking a straight flight might not be the best. Having a layover at another airport or combining other means of transportation could be a way to get the best deals. Thus, the first benefit you get with checking alternative routes is a reduced price on your plane tickets.
However, having layovers on your trip can also be fun. You can stop over in some location and check out the sights and scenes of that place. More so, you also get to save time because some alternative routes are actually shorter. It goes without saying that this isn’t one of the tips to follow if you are on a business trip or any other similar official assignments.
Get the Most from Your Credit Cards
You can get great credit card deals as part of the travel rewards airlines offer. Some companies give you a discount on your money if you constantly book your flights with some particular credit cards. Credit card companies also sometimes have partner airlines. Thus, the travel rewards kick in once you book your ticket on the official site of that airline and pay for it with that credit card. Some of the companies that offer credit card deals include Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and Capital One.
Set Flight Alerts
While you are doing your research before booking the flight, you may want to set a flight alert. Basically, it might be impossible to keep up with the airline’s goings-on, so an alert keeps you up to date. Most airlines have this option available on their website. Thus, when you activate it, you automatically get emails when the flight prices change. Furthermore, some companies even go as far as helping you predict possible future trends. From how ticket prices have changed in the past, they can show you how the prices are expected to change in the future.
This option is quite effective because it demands little but conscientiousness from you. While you go about your daily activities, your quest to find the cheapest ticket prices does not grow cold. Furthermore, it is a convenient way to keep up with prices over a long period. Instead of having to search for the best flight price whenever you wish to travel, you can have the information delivered at your convenience.
Bring Your Own Entertainment
One thing people often do not notice that they spend money on is in-flight entertainment. Of course, the airline sites would not inform you that the food and drinks are not always free of charge. You need to be proactive yourself. Thus, instead of loading your bags with irrelevant things, you could stock up on books, games, and toys, especially if you have children traveling with you. In the same vein, do not rely on the airline’s food services. Instead of spending money to get whatever is on their menu, you can come with snacks you could eat. You do have to be mindful that you aren’t breaking any rules when you bring food onboard.
Conclusion: Save Money On Your Next Flight
The crux of the discussion in this article is the ways to save money on flights. Generally, you feel an inherent satisfaction when you believe that you got the best possible deal from any arrangement. However, even beyond that, saving money on flights has actual financial consequences. For instance, all of the spare funds might be important to reaching your savings goals. Also, you will be learning financial savviness and further modeling it to anyone within your space. Thus, even as you pick out a destination for your holiday or work event, you ought to think about ways to cut the cost of your travels. Implementing the tips here shows you one way to do that.