How to Save on Airfare: Tips for Cheap Flights
When you finally get to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about, you want to make sure the hard-won vacation fund goes to, you know, vacationing, not overly expensive airfare and hours wasted in mind-numbing airport layovers. That’s where these tips come in!
- Book Early — But Not Too Early
It’s easy to fall into the intuitive trap of booking your tickets too early. It seems only logical that if waiting too long means gauged prices, booking half a year in advance means beating the crowds and getting the best deals. Not so, however, According to Kayak.com’s data analysis, the average flight cost 19% more when it was booked six months out than when it was booked only 21 days before departure. According to Cheapair, the best time to book, on average, is 47 days before you’re set to leave. It’s good practice to think of that number as a guide – start checking a little early and if you see a good price, grab it.
- The 24 Hour Rule
Check back within 24 hours later to see if the price of your flight has fallen. If it has, most airlines will let you cancel and re-book without any penalty, so long as it’s within this time window. Even if you find that the price has improved days or weeks later, it might not hurt to ask. Airline policies vary on this one, but some don’t publicize that they will quietly refund you the difference when a price falls. It’s worth a try!
- Mix and Match
It might seem like the obvious choice to book one round flight ticket, but the slight extra convenience could mean missing out on a much better deal. Always search for two one-way tickets separately, and don’t be afraid to book your outgoing and return trips with two different airlines.
- Cover Your Tracks