We’re right in the middle of summer and according to all reliable sources, 2014 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record. It’s not too late to escape the heat and take a summer vacation to cooler climes. Or maybe you prefer a beach holiday – we have plenty of options there as well!
Cheap tickets on summer flights can still be found if you know where and how to look. CheapAir has done all of the heavy lifting for you. Take a peek at our Summer Flight Trends Report and get the inside scoop on how to save your well-earned cash this summer – Labor Day is right around the corner.
1. Avoid weekend travel.
Your best flight deals will be for travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Sundays are typically the most expensive. In general, weekday hotel rates in leisure travel destinations follow suit, and may even offer discounts or specials to try to get your business. Scheduling your vacation during the week will also mean more attentive service at restaurants and local attractions. A random search for flights while researching this story indicates that flights from major cities like Los Angeles and New York to various European destinations in August are on average about $220 less expensive if you travel on a Tuesday rather than a Sunday. If you’re traveling with a family of four, that’s a savings of almost $1,000 before you even leave the house. Check out our post, “Is it Too Late to Get Cheap Flights for Summer Travel?” to get more information on the best days of the week to fly.
2. Three words. Flexible, Flexible, flexible.
The more restrictions you put on your air travel, the harder it is for us to get you the best deal. If travel dates are flexible, you’re going to get a better fare. When you can mix and match™ airlines and do not have to fly according to where you carry a higher frequent flyer mileage balance, you’re going to get a better fare. Can you fly into Burbank or Long Beach rather than LAX? Sometimes the smaller airports get you the best deals. Of course, we understand that sometimes you have restrictions that limit your flexibility and that’s ok. This leads to our next point…
3. Manage your own expectations.
You’ve got to be reasonable with your own wish list. If you’re dead set on a Labor Day weekend vacation, know that you will be paying a premium for that plan. The airlines adjust prices based on supply and demand and lots of people want to capitalize on three-day weekends. Some savvy travelers try to avoid the high-traffic weekends for better service. Less traffic and more relaxation are almost guaranteed (and after all, isn’t that what a vacay is all about?) But sometimes your hands are tied. You’re arranging flights for a family reunion or a wedding and the dates are out of your control. In that situation, just remember that bargain basement prices will be the very occasional exception and not the rule.
4. Mitigate sticker shock by purchasing early.
We’re talking right now. If you’re planning for a trip in August or early September, don’t wait. Do your research and buy as soon as possible. The likelihood of finding a better deal shrinks quickly the closer you get to your dates of travel. When you see a reasonable rate, you might be tempted to wait another day or two. Save yourself the headache of waking to an airfare price that has jumped more than $300 overnight. That’s an expensive lesson to learn and we’d rather you avoid it. As a protection for our customers, we offer Price Drop Payback™. In the event your ticket price does dip post-purchase, the PDP™ will give you up to $100 back in a credit for future travel.
5. Understand the pricing game, especially when you’re traveling in a group.
The airlines only offer a limited number of seats at any given price. Once those seats are sold, the next pricing tier is implemented. To maximize your opportunity to secure the lowest fares when traveling with a group or large family, try breaking your search for a larger group into separate purchases. Sometimes you can book 2 seats at a time at a lower cost than booking all 4 or 6 seats at once. If you use this money saving strategy for buying flights, just be sure to search for your entire group first to ensure there are enough seats on the flight for your entire group. It’s a little extra work but can save you some real money.
Before you know it, Labor Day and Back to School will be here. Reasonable flights are still available to make your summer holiday a reality. You’ve done your homework, now let’s get you the best cheap fares possible. Our Customer Support team is here to help if you need some additional guidance or have questions regarding your travel plans. You can reach out to us in the comments section or at Ask@CheapAir.com. So what are you waiting for? The sun and surf are calling your name.