Times are tough. Even as the economy slowly begins to recover, people are struggling everywhere to get out of poverty, cut dollars and dimes, and save money when they need it most. But more importantly than that, the ultimate goal of all is to enjoy life – smile, laugh, and be able to enjoy the luxuries we all cherish – like travel.
We might not have as much money as we once have, but the opportunity to travel is still available. Done right, you can find a flight to Canada, the U.K. or South Africa – all for affordable rates. Just like managing our money, though, it must be done intelligently, strategically, and with precision.
Using the great tips below is a great first step to securing the cheapest flight possible. The next step – doing the work – is up to you!
Do the research
There are multiple travel websites on the internet you can use to find the lowest fare available. The majority of travel shoppers use one service, assume it’s the best rate, and use it for their flight. Almost always, the first fare they find will not be the cheapest one available. Also, you can sometimes find the best deals on the airlines’ personal websites. Southwest sells fares on its’ own site exclusively, and other airlines are not opposed to posting the lowest possible fare on their own domain.
If you have to fly in at 5PM and leave at 6PM, you’re probably not going to find a cheap flight. Sacrifice a few hours or decide to spend another day wherever you are and you’ll be able to drop a good amount off your bill. Finding ways to work or be productive in areas not familiar to you will allow you to save some precious dollars that will eventually add up in the long run. Don’t, and you’ll suffer the consequences of stubbornness.
Book far in advance
So you found out you have four weeks off work next year, this year. Time to book! If you have some leadership ability, start planning up to a year in advance, push your friends and family on a trip, and you’ll save considerably. However, there is always risk involved with this that comes with booking so far in advance. It’s never too late, though. If you’re within a month, think of the trip, plan it, and book it that day. Generally, the longer you wait, the larger the cost.
…or buy late
For the impulsive traveler, several options exist for dirt-cheap flights. The first is to find all your local airlines online and sign up for their newsletters. You’ll often get tips about last-second deals that can make a great trip affordable. There are also several specialized sites available online that will help you find a great last-second flight.
Never stop checking prices
If you know you have a flight in the future, and it’s already not too late, don’t book immediately. Fares can fluctuate like the stock market, so it can be the most cost effective to continuously plug in your itinerary online until you find the best deal available.
Utilize Air Passes
Many countries offer air passes at affordable prices for tourists to promote tourism and inter-country travel. If you have plans to see the scope of Asia or Australia or any other large body of land, looking into Air Passes can be the most cost-effective way to see the country or continent coast-coast. These passes will generally give you a certain number of preordained flights within the country to go with your round-trip airfare.
Fly on weekdays
Think about what most people do when they travel, and do the opposite. If you do this, you will save the most money, because airlines are always trying to fill these seats. This means fly on the weekdays, when their planes are the least crowded, and the flights are the cheapest. This tip goes with the “be flexible” rule, but more generally, flying on weekdays will always result in a cheaper flight.
The harder you work and the more time you put in, the more likely it becomes that you will find a fare low enough to brag about. Put these tips to work for you and leave your next destination with a smile on your face!
About the author:
Ross Garnaut is an expert in travel, with years of experience seeing the world and working in the travel industry. You can find more of his writing at Low Fares where you can find cheap flights and discount airfare.