Traveling is expensive, and most people don’t have the time or money to do it as often as possible. But there are ways you can still get some of that travel experience without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips for saving money on flights while traveling.
- Sign up for a credit card with travel benefits
One of the best ways to save money on flights while traveling is to sign up for a credit card that will give you travel benefits. Many cards have large signup bonuses, and some even offer points or miles whenever you use your card. You can also get special perks like discounts on hotels, rental cars, and travel insurance.
There are plenty of great credit cards with lots of different features. Just look at this list from Forbes of the best travel credit cards. Some of them even have no annual fee!
- Consider traveling during the off-season.
If your vacation plans fall during the off-season, you can sometimes find great prices on flights while you’re traveling. There are certain things to consider – for example, if you go somewhere cold in the winter, it won’t be as fun when it’s 80% humidity and 100 degrees (I’m looking at you, Florida).
But generally speaking, I’ve found that off-season trips can be an excellent way to save a lot of money. There are often hotel deals available around these times, so keep an eye out for the best deal!
This is something we should take into consideration while traveling. Some places have particular seasons, like summer or autumn, where people visit them, but other more overlooked places are much more pleasant during winter or off-season.
- Pack light to avoid baggage fees
Packing light isn’t just about fashion. It’s also a great way to save money on flights while traveling, and – more importantly – it will make your trip much more accessible!
Inevitably, there will be times when your bag is overweight, and the airline will charge you a fee of up to USD 200 for going over the limit. Sure, that doesn’t sound like a lot of money; but if you’re traveling somewhere with limited luggage space or taking multiple flights in one journey, paying extra fees can add up. Plus, carrying around an overly heavy bag can hurt your back (not to mention what it does to your posture).
- Use apps like Hopper to save money
Price forecasting apps like Hopper allow you to see how prices will fluctuate over the next year. You can then use those predictions to determine when it would be an excellent time to book your flight (i.e., if the price is likely to go up shortly).
Hopper regularly sends me alerts about deals available on certain flights, and I’ve been able to save hundreds of dollars just by taking advantage of them!
The best part about using apps like Hopper is that they’re easy for anyone to use; you don’t need any special knowledge of Skyscanner or other tools. These kinds of apps work with both domestic and international flights.
- Book your flight early
You can also save a lot of money by booking your flight as early as possible. Most airlines have deals for customers who book early, and there are often some pretty significant discounts for booking flights more than six months in advance. Airlines will increase their prices closer to the departure date, so it’s worth keeping an eye on them to ensure that you get the best deal.
The flight price will increase the closer you get to the departure date. Some airlines have a per-passenger fuel surcharge, which is often calculated as a percentage of the total ticket cost. Luckily, there are ways to avoid paying this fee. Airlines sometimes include it in the base cost of the ticket, but not always; you can contact customer service to find out if it’s included where you’re going.
You can also check out deals on international flights by using Kayak or Google Flights. They will compare offers from different airlines and leave you with just one place to book your dream vacation!
- Book your return trip home as soon as possible after arriving at your destination
If you’re interested in booking a trip as part of your honeymoon or vacation, it can sometimes be worth entering the return date for that destination in advance. Airlines and travel agents will often offer discounts to people traveling on “mixed” trips, i.e., where there is a departure and return flight booked separately. The deals are usually much better than those offered for single flights alone, so they’re worth looking into!
The best place to find these deals is on an aggregator like Kayak or Momondo. They’ll show you all of the available options and let you narrow down your choices based on price, duration, etc.; then, you just need to book from one site rather than going through multiple sites.
- Take advantage of free airport shuttles when available.
Many airports offer free shuttles to take passengers from one location to another. They are a great way of avoiding the cost of airport parking, and they make it incredibly easy to get around once you arrive at your destination. If you don’t want to pay for a costly airport shuttle service, check out TaxiFareFinder. It will tell you how much things like taxis and private transfers will cost if there aren’t any cheaper options nearby.
The best part about taking advantage of airport shuttles is that they’re often very comfortable; many include televisions, air conditioning, and even Wi-Fi! Some airlines also have an option where you can fly “standby” (i.e., for free) on their routes. It’s a great way to save money and get to your destination without paying for another flight.
- Check out all the fees associated with airfare before booking.
Fees for checking luggage, changing flights, etc., can add up quickly if you’re not careful – and that’s why it’s important to always check out the fine print before booking a flight.
Here are some of the most common fees you’ll see associated with airfare:
- Airport/airline-specific fees
- Change/cancel fees (these usually increase as well during off-season)
- Refunds for changes or cancellations
- Baggage charges
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of baggage; each airline has its restrictions about what you can pack into your bag(s). Please check these on the airline website in advance, so you don’t get blindsided by extra costs.