When your destination is within driving distance, road tripping can be a ton of fun and typically a pretty cost-effective option. However, sometimes when you consider timing and location, it makes much more sense for us to just hop on a plane and jet over to our next adventure. But as we all know, airfare can be expensive and finding reasonable prices can be difficult, if not frustrating.
As Wanderers ourselves, we tend to be on the go pretty often and have picked up a few helpful nuggets over the years on how to keep as much money in our pockets as possible while traveling. We went ahead and put together a list of 8 ways to score cheaper airfare for the avid wanderer.
#1: Search For Flexible Dates
If you have some wiggle room in terms of when you’d like your trip to take place, using your desired airline’s “Flexible Dates Calendar” can be really helpful in finding the least expensive option for your departing city and destination. Each airline will differ, but in most cases, once you’ve located the calendar, you should be able to filter it by the month you are leaving/returning and choosing to only see the “Lowest Fares” for each day:
Over the years, we’ve saved anywhere from $25 to over $100 dollars on trips by referencing this calendar ahead of time!
#2: Consider Using Another Nearby Airport
If you live in an area that has multiple airports within a reasonable driving distance, you may want to consider including all of them in your flight search. Often times, you can find flights for a much cheaper rate flying out of another nearby airport. Even if you have to drive a little out of the way, the potential savings you’ll be able to enjoy could very well be worth the money spent on gas to get there.
#3: Book Connections Instead of Non-Stop Flights
Depending on where you’re headed, you might want to consider adding a stop (or even two) to help lower the total cost of your trip. Generally, flights that are non-stop to your destination will cost more than if you were to book flights that have connections. And if you find yourself in a situation where it’s cheaper to book your connecting flights on separate airlines, just be sure to leave enough time in between to account for delays and other possible scenarios that could cause you to miss your next flight.
#4: Book Your Flight As Early As Possible
Sometimes things don’t work out quite as we had planned and we end up having to book our flights at the last minute. If the flight we desire isn’t booked close to capacity, you might be able to score some pretty sweet fares. But normally, the closer you book to your departure date, the higher the airfare rates will be. This is why we recommend booking your flight as far ahead of time as possible so that you can enjoy rates that aren’t inflated because of last-minute high demand.
#5: Book To Fly Midweek vs. Weekend
I think we’ve all probably heard that rumor that booking your flight on a Tuesday will guarantee you cheaper airfare. However, this may not always be the most reliable piece of information to help you get the cheapest airfare. Personally, what we’ve found over the years is that booking flights that leave in the middle of the week instead of the weekend can save you a ton of money as weekend airfare tends to be much higher. In fact, on a recent trip, we were able to save about $250.00 by returning home on a Wednesday instead of a Sunday!
#6: Checkout Airfare Websites and Apps
A great way to search for multiple fare options at once is to do so through travel/airfare search engines such as Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak, etc. Often times, they can show you the best possible rates and comparisons for your dates and destinations through multiple airlines. However, always be sure to check the airline websites too as sometimes you’ll be surprised to find rates cheaper directly through the airline itself.
In addition to travel websites, there are a ton of apps out there that were designed to help you find the cheapest flights possible for your trips. A few that we recommend checking out are Skyscanner, which makes it easy to search for flights and rates quickly to find the best airfare anywhere in the world, and Hopper, an app that tells you when you should book and when your should wait for both flights and hotels. Both apps are free and available on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
#7: Consider Booking On “Discount Airlines”
If all the fancy bells and whistles during a flight aren’t really that important to you, you might want to consider booking your trip on a Discount Airline. Now, you might be wondering what the difference is between a Discount Airline and a Full-Service Airline and it basically comes down to what is offered to you as a passenger on the flight.
- Hot Meals
- In-Flight Entertainment
- Baggage Allowances
However, Discount Airlines tend to keep the frills to a minimum, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to get from point A to point B. These include airlines such as:
But even some of these airlines (such as JetBlue and Southwest) offer things like light snacks/drinks, in-flight entertainment, deals on baggage fees and the choice of paying for additional services that you would find on Full-Service airlines should you need them on your flight.
By booking on Discount Airlines instead of Full-Service airlines, we have been able to save up to $200 on a flight!
#8: Stick With One Airline To Rack Up Those Miles
Although searching through multiple airlines for the best deals can bring about tons of savings, booking consistently with one airline can help you rack up miles over time that can be used on future trips, thus saving you money in the long run. Plus, if the airline offers a credit card, you can earn additional miles that can be used towards the cost of an entire flight to your next destination.
We hope that we were able to provide some helpful solutions to finding the most affordable flights for your next adventure! Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know which of these tips you’ll be giving a try when you book your next trip!
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Live Simply. Live Adventurous.