Today we’re unpacking 6 simple ways to save money on flights so you can either take more trips or spend your money on the things you enjoy most!
6 Easy Ways to Save Money on Flights
Is there a trip you’ve always wanted to take but felt like you couldn’t? Maybe you’re waiting for the day when you can “afford” to take that trip or when the time is right personally and professionally. Well, the truth is, traveling can be a lot more affordable than you would imagine.
Let’s take a closer look at all the costs associated with travel. The cost involved with traveling can generally be broken down into 3 major categories in order of most expensive to least expensive: Flights, Accommodations, and Food/Activities. The good news? There’s plenty of simple ways you can significantly reduce the cost of THE most expensive component: flights.
1. Fly During Low Seasons
When you choose to fly – the time of the year you chose to fly to your dream destination makes a huge difference in the price you will pay. Prices are a lot of higher around major holidays and festivals, so unless you can only travel during those times, try traveling during the offseason and save yourself a few hundred bucks.
2. Fly on Tuesday or Wednesday
Most people with full-time jobs tend to plan their trips near the weekend for both domestic and international travel. They will usually finish their workweek – maybe take a Friday off – and fly out on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays. The same goes for the return flights. People tend to fly back on Sundays or Mondays, so those days are more expensive as well. So we have 2 days remaining – Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These are the days when you’re most likely to find the cheapest flights.
3. Book at the Right Time
There is a common myth out there that the farther in advance you book your flights, the cheaper they will be. That’s not 100% true. Prices for airlines fluctuate based on demand. So you may see a higher price for flights 6 months prior to departure than you would 3 months prior. Based on my experience, the best time to book flights is 2-3 months in advance for international flights and 1-2 months for domestic. However, if you’re feeling spontaneous, don’t be afraid to check flights the week of. You never know what you may find.
4. Fly In and Out of Alternative Airports
Let’s say you want to visit some friends in Huntington Beach, California. The nearest airport to Huntington Beach would be Santa Ana/Orange County airport. Does that mean you should only look into flights to that airport? Not so soon. Think about it – there are 4 other airports within 1-2 hour drive from Huntington Beach. We have Los Angeles (LAX), Long Beach (LBC), Ontario (ONT) and San Diego (SAN). Two of them, LAX and SAN are major airports with millions of tourists flying in every year, so you can find more (and cheaper) options for flights to one of those airports. Both airports have public transportation available to get you to Huntington Beach. I like to use google flights for this. You can literally put in multiple airports for your departure city and destinations, and it will Tun all possible combinations to give you the best option available.
5. Use the Right Tools to Search for Flights
There are tons of websites that you can use to save money on flights. Most of them will give the same results more or less, but some of them have clever tools that allow you to research the best possible options. Here are my favorite ones:
Sky scanner– If you are not dead set on a destination and feel that you just want to get away, then this is the website for you. This website allows you to plug in your departure city and the month you want to travel, and it will show you all the cities and flight rates for those months. Find your next travel destination here
Skip-lagged – have you ever noticed that a flight from City A to City B costs $500, but the flight from City A to City C with a layover in City B costs half that? Well, the guy behind this website did and he decided to do something about it. This website lets you search for flights where the city you want to travel to may not be the final destination, but just a layover city. If you are traveling with just a carry-on, you can choose to just skip that second leg of your trip. Full disclaimer – this practice is frowned upon by the airlines and can even get you banned if they notice a pattern so only do it at your own risk.
Google flights – as mentioned above, this is a great tool to search for a combination of multiple departure cities and destinations at once to find the best price. In addition to that, Google also shows you how the current price compares to the average price for the trip, so you get to decide if you’re getting the best prices or if it’s worth watching the price for a few days. Google also has an awesome “feeling lucky” feature where it will recommend cities to fly to based on the timeframe you want to travel.
6. Use Points to Pay for Flights
Using airline miles or credit card points for your flights is by far the best way to get a free flight. There are a lot of credit cards out there that offer points or miles that can be used towards booking a flight. All you have to do is learn how the point system works and get to work. To learn about how to earn maximum points/miles, and the best credit cards to sign up for, click here.