It’s true: I’ve been talking about how you can save a ton on travel with credit cards as of late. I mean, I did write a book on it. So sue me. Oh! And you can buy it here if you’d like. You’re welcome :)
Anyways, where was I? Right: saving on travel.
There are plenty of other ways to go about saving money while traveling. I wrote about a couple of them here. Unfortunately, when it comes to flights - the "deals" are harder to come by. It’s just the way it is. So what can you do to fly on the cheap?
Don’t believe everything you hear
We’ve all heard it before and it goes something like this: "if you buy a plane ticket on a Tuesday exactly three months before your trip, you’ll get the best deal." Another popular rumor? Buy your plane tickets exactly 54 days out.
Sadly, those rumors are just that - rumors. Think about it. If airlines knew that everyone was searching for plane tickets 54 days out, it’d be smart business to raise your ticket prices that day. That’s what I would do. The bottom line is that there is no way to accurately predict prices. Airlines are unpredictable.
The hands on approach
It’s true, searching for the best deal requires a more hands-on approach. Monitoring websites to find the best deals is a must. You can sign up for their email updates (which may help depending on which site you sign up for), but the best way to it is to religiously monitor their website when looking for a flight.
So what are the best sites out there?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you want to fly out of anywhere, anytime, just use Google Flights and they’ll find the best deal there is for you. Having said that, there is room for improvement. Google Flights will not tell you how much a Southwest Airlines flight is (probably more Southwest's fault than Google's). Same thing for Alaska Airlines. But a search will still bring back a TON of options for you.
My go-to app for cheap airfare is Hopper. If you’re looking for a great deal, this app is a must. Another good one to have in your app-rolodex is Kayak. I’ve been using them for years and they’re still very useful.
Besides mine (ahem), you can typically find some of the bigger deals on travel blogs like The Points Guy and View From the Wing.
Sometimes, though, you’ll find more (or better) deals on blogs that specialize in certain cities.
If you live in or near one of the following cities, the following sites should be bookmarked:
Social media, specifically twitter, is another good option to have at your disposal to find cheap airfare. I recommend following all the airlines you are interested in using as well as the blogs mentioned above and users like @Airfarewatchdog can also be useful.
As an example, if you’re looking to head out sometime in the fall, but don’t have a particular date, use that flexibility to your advantage. When searching for flights, you’ll find certain dates cheaper than others. Usually the cheaper flights fall on a Tuesday-Thursday, but that’s not always the case. Just remember that being a flexible traveler could end up saving you big.
Consider flying ‘basic economy' and/or equivalent
More and more airlines (of which there are fewer and fewer) are changing the way they do business. Instead of looking for loyal customers, they’re looking for customers based on price. And if you’re willing to fly with no frills, you’ll be keeping a whole bunch of money in the bank. These fares are ideal for a weekend getaway where you can pack everything into a small carry-on.
Unless you’re in first class or business class, very few of us look forward to flying. It’s more of a chore. A chore you have to endure to get to your final destination. A sad reality, in my opinion (because I love flying), but true.
However, there are ways to save on airfare that can not only make the chore a little more bearable but also don’t include travel hacking. Most of them I mentioned above. Do yourself a favor and bookmark this page so you have all the resources you need in one place.
Another way to make travel less of a chore? Use my free travel library. It has tips that’ll make the next trip you take a breeze. All you need to do is sign up below.