Traveling should be fun. Visiting new locations, meeting people, and experiencing cultures is a great way to grow as a person and create memories with the people you love. All of that can be difficult, however, if you’ve spent so much money to get to your destination you don’t have much left to enjoy the place you’re visiting.
Here are five tips to help you save on airfare, allowing you to stress less and spend more while you’re out and about wherever you go.
1. Keep Your Dates Flexible
Booking just a few weeks before you travel can mean discounts on seats airlines are trying to fill. Flying in when it’s dark outside, either late at night or early in the morning, can also be a great way to save. And, if possible, depart on a less popular travel day, like a Tuesday or Thursday. The more flexible you can be with the details of your travel agenda, the more likely you are to save.
2. Know Where and When You’re Going
Consider crowd control while you travel. If you’re considering a trip to Europe, you may find that ticket prices are higher during peak season, usually over the summer. Instead, plan your trip during the off-season (November to March). Some places, like Hawaii, are most enjoyable during the warmer seasons. If that’s the case with your tourism agenda, try to stick to the earlier or latest parts of the season (in the case of Hawaii, early June or when school starts up again), to minimize the crowds you’ll be competing with for flights.
3. Take in More Sights Than You’d Like
It’s exciting to get to your destination and get your trip “started.” Consider allowing your trip to take you on a slight detour before you arrive and trade the nonstop flight for one with a layover or two. Indirect routes can cost significantly less money. And don’t forget to look for less popular airports just outside of your final destination, as sometimes it can be cheaper to fly in and use ground transportation a bit.
4. Embrace the Internet
Flight aggregators are wonderful. These days it’s easier than ever to find deals on flights for almost any trip through just about every airline. If you need a place to start, try the AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia. If your itinerary and destination are open, there are additional websites that scan alerts and newsletters for last-minute deals.
5. Be Fee Smart
Almost every deal you’ll find for flights will include fees charged by the airline. In some cases, these fees can be so expensive that the deal you found loses its luster. Keep an eye on the fine print to know what you’ll be paying (if at all) for checked baggage, seat upgrades, or even carry-ons.
You deserve to have as much fun as possible on your next trip. Save what you can on getting where you’d like to go in order to spend more while you’re there. Of course, before you go anywhere, be sure to check for any health alerts and with your physician to ensure you’re ready for travel. And for more travel tips, check out our blog, “Travel Bargains Galore.” Have a great time!