The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that U.S. airlines carried an all-time high number of passengers during 2017: 849.3 million worldwide. This rose by nearly 5% in 2018.
While that’s a lot of people fighting to purchase the same tickets, it’s actually good news for you as it means airlines will have to begin lowering prices due to the fact that flying isn’t such a hot commodity anymore.
Until this begins to happen, however, here are a few travel hacks for finding the cheapest airfare any time of the year.
1. Fly to Nearby Cities
People often forget that travel is about the journey. If you are planning a trip to a popular destination, you might try checking out flights in neighboring cities or nearby airports.
Flying from Madrid to Dallas in December, for example, comes with a price tag of over $1,000 roundtrip. The same round trip flight was found for under $800 if the destination was changed to Austin.
Little travel hacks like this can not only save you a lot of money, but they are a great way to spice your vacation up a bit and allow you to see more of the place you’re visiting.
2. Be Smart About When & How You Search for Tickets
As a general rule of thumb, if you are going to begin your airfare search, always make sure your browser is in incognito mode so the sites can’t track your searches. This is the best way to save money on flights. Or, it’s at least one of the best ways.
If you are searching normally, some websites can pick up on this and raise the prices after you visit the site a couple of times.
As well, you’ll want to search on a Sunday. Whereas it was once thought that Tuesday was the cheapest day to purchase flights, the optimal time to purchase your airfare is on a Sunday about three weeks in advance of your trip.
3. Be Flexible About When & Where You Travel
If you’re open to a little adventure and can be flexible with your travel dates, you’ll likely be able to see a huge discount on the overall price of your flight.
Sites like Skyscanner allow you to view prices for about three days before and after your desired trip or even up to a month to see what day is cheaper to travel.
Or, if you can’t be flexible on the dates then you can enter your information into the search function and choose “Surprise Me!” as a destination that most online booking sites offer.
You’ll be able to view a broader range of vacations that fit within your needs and you might be surprised at just what kind of adventure occurs out of the spontaneity.
4. Use Travel Credit Card Rewards
While not necessarily a hack for finding the cheapest airfare, using credit card rewards is a great way to get points that you can use to reduce the price of a flight or even to fly for free.
Travel rewards are becoming increasingly more popular among credit card companies and function in a similar way as normal points.
The Capital One Ventures Rewards Credit Card, for example, allows you to earn 2x miles per dollar for every purchase you make. You’ll be able to accumulate miles and use them towards flights, making credit cards like these a great option for people who travel often.
5. Optimizing Your Savings
Optimizing your savings isn’t necessarily a way to get cheap airfare. It will, however, make life easier once it comes time to shell out the money for a flight and full vacation.
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