After sharing all my favorite vacations yesterday, I’m in full on travel mode! It’s safe to say since living in Hawaii, I have become a master at booking flights. I did a rough estimate and in five years, we’ve booked approximately 34 flights and that’s not counting the trips we have coming up. That’s a lot of traveling, folks! And no – we aren’t filthy rich (though, that would be nice ;)) So, how do we do it?! Today I’m sharing how to get the cheapest airfare possible!
How To Get The Cheapest Airfare Possible
With a little effort and some savvy strategies, you can learn how to save money on flights without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Today I’m sharing all my secrets on how to get the cheapest airfare possible.
Opt For Budget Airlines
Budget airlines often offer lower fares than their full-service counterparts. While they may charge extra for amenities like checked baggage and in-flight meals, the savings on the base fare can make up for it.
I know it might make you crazy waiting to book with a looming trip, but I’ve found that 6-8 weeks before a trip is the sweet spot for trips in and around the continental United States and 4 months ahead for trips to/from Hawaii and the mainland. There are always going to be outliers to this rule, but I utilize apps like Hopper and websites like Kayak with trip alerts to keep me in tune with the price of airfare.
Being flexible with your timing can be the difference between $500 and sometimes it all adds up! If you’re able, consider taking a trip Tuesday-Tuesday so you’re not flying on peak travel days like Saturday and Sunday when everyone else is trying to get their butt in a seat. I know this isn’t always possible, but it definitely helps if you’re able to do it!
Flying during off-peak times can yield significant savings. Consider departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday, and avoid flying on weekends and during peak holiday seasons.
I mentioned Hopper and Kayak before, but SkyScanner, Airfare Watchdog and CheapoAir are all my top choices when it comes to searching out the best fares. I know a lot of people who swear by Priceline’s Name Your Price tool, but honestly – it never works in my favor!
Clear Your Cache
This one is so important. Have you ever heard the phrase “Big Brother is watching”? Well, that’s kind of how I feel about internet sites and airlines. Airfare will increase when a specific route is searched time and time again in your browser. Not sure how to clear your cache? Search in private mode, or incognito. If you’re using a MAC, you can browse privately by hitting Command, Shift, N. A private browsing window will pop up and you’re good to go. This way, you’ll start with a clean slate each time you look for flights.
Book On Tuesday Afternoon
After 3PM if we are getting specific!
Use Loyalty Programs
If you frequently travel, consider joining an airline’s loyalty program and accumulating miles. Many credit cards also offer travel rewards that can help reduce the cost of flights. Use these miles and rewards wisely to save on future bookings.
Consider One Way Fares
Sometimes it’s the roundtrip ticket that will get you! I’ve saved as much as $300 by booking two one-way flights. Sometimes, booking one-way tickets on different airlines can be cheaper than round-trip fares on the same carrier. Be open to mixing and matching airlines to find the best deals for each leg of your journey.
Now that I’ve shared all my best tips – what are your tried-and-true methods for getting the cheapest airfare possible?