Guess what?! We're noticing something - the demand for travel is skyrocketing! Here are a few tips that will ensure you're booking the right flight at the right price!
1. Setup Flight Alerts
Be sure to sign up for flight alerts using Google Flights keeping in mind that certain discounted airlines will not appear. More often than not, cheap flights are only available for a limited window (usually 24 hours) so when you get an alert of a significant price decrease, hop on it!! Once you setup the alerts, you will receive an email any time the flight price changes, whether up or down. Snatch it when it goes down!
Google Flights will also let you know if the price you're seeing is typical, higher, or lower than market rates for that particular date and time.
Signing up for each airlines' sales and offers can come in handy as well! Timing is everything.
We advise using these search tools to find the best rates, but if at all possible - book directly with the airliner. You'll have the most flexibility when booking direct.
2. Points and Miles
Airline rewards programs are the #1 way that avid travelers earn free flights, travel perks, and hotel stays. From flight upgrades, huge welcome bonuses, free baggage, early boarding, credit toward rideshares like Uber and Lyft, exclusive VIP sky lounge access, and much more - redeeming your points can almost always decrease the cost of your flight.
SkyMiles = Life!! Certain airline credit cards offer a pretty lucrative sign-up offer. I use my Delta Skymiles AMEX for EVERYTHING and earn a few free flights per year - SkyMiles never expire. Do your research, various airlines offer cardholder sign-up offers that are often worth the cost savings.
If you possess an airline credit card, you're likely able to check in bags for you and your travel companions for free - more savings!!
3. Be Flexible!!
Sometimes you have to bend a little to get a better deal. Maybe leaving a day earlier or coming home a day later can help save money. Also consider flying mid-week or flying from a different airport. In general, Friday and Sunday flights are typically more expensive. Flying mixed airlines can also help - in this case, search for one-way flights in both directions to get an idea of which segment is driving the price.
For those that only fly non-stop, we know that having a connecting flight isn't the most fun when trying to get to your destination, however, being flexible with the route you take is another way to get a great flight deal!
Fly Basic Economy - You'll board last, you may not sit next to your companions, and you'll be nickeled and dimed for things, but you'll still take off - and better yet - you'll land and you'll save money.
4. Don't wait too late!
Airlines' prices typically rise the closer you get to the departure date, but there is a sweet spot when airlines begin to lower fares based on supply and demand - alerts will help you identify the right timing if you setup alerts far enough in advance. While last minute deals sound attractive, if you're traveling to a special event or a destination wedding, it is best to book in advance since last minute deals oftentimes limit your options.
5. Always Search Ticket Prices Incognito and as Individual Travelers
Always search for tickets as a single person and during the checkout process, you can select your seat to ensure your travel companions are all sitting together. Even if you are unable to select seats that are near each other, that's a fair trade for saving money.
Try using a private browser or incognito window because airliners and search engines can increase the price if they know its you again, but ready to pay this time! :) Ever searched for travel, and then 5 mins later, the price went up?
Since you're still reading - we have a treat for you. Here are a few bonus tips, but you didn't hear it from us!
- Certain airlines are offering lots of flexibility within their cancellation policies - so book the flight - and if you notice a significant price difference, cancel and get a credit and use the credit to rebook immediately! Or call the airline and ask them to provide you the lower rate. Shhh - we didn't say it! **Read cancellation policies before booking / cancelling**
- Remember the 24 hour rule. Book the flight - and cancel within 24 hours for cash back - no questions asked. (Flights must be booked more than one week prior to departure) **Read cancellation policies before booking / cancelling**