Traveling by air for the holidays this year? Like a lot of us, you might be out of practice. We’ll be sharing some of our best tips over the next few weeks, so you’re sure to have a smooth trip from booking tickets to navigating the airport. This week we’re sharing our best tips for saving money while booking flights for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years.
Fly Now, Pay Later
Did you know CheapAir.com has a monthly payment option? Typically, flights are the most expensive part of a trip, and now the up front costs don’t have to derail your plans to visit family or take a winter vacation! Our finance partner Affirm offers 3, 6, or 12 month options to pay for both flights and hotel stays.
The process to qualify is simple, straightforward and doesn’t require a credit check. Read more.
Shop for Flights Early and Often
We’ve been selling flights and advising travelers for a lot of years. One thing that holds true year after year – waiting until the last minute will NOT save you money. Rather, we suggest you start shopping early. Flight prices are pretty volatile, with the average seat changing upwards of 30 times before the flight actually leaves. If you start shopping on the early side, you will be able to get a sense of what is a “good” fare. And when a good fare pops up – we highly recommend you buy it when you see it. The good fares don’t last.
Once you start researching flights, we automatically save your searches for you. When you come back you can pull it up under the My Search section of our website. You don’t have to remember anything – we do that work for you!
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Just as important as shopping early is not waiting until the last minute in hopes of a last minute sale! Those simply do not occur around the holidays. The airlines are in the business of making money and they know that people will spend more around the holidays. The danger zone for getting a good airfare is generally 2 weeks out from your travel dates or less. We don’t want to scare you off – there will probably be flights to buy if you wait – but they are very unlikely to be a bargain.
Same goes for hotels. The longer you wait, the more expensive the rooms get. Another reason you should book hotels early is choice. The later you wait to book, the less chance the room you want will be available. A lot of hotels get fully booked for the holidays – and with ongoing staff shortages, you might find there’s even less hotel rooms available than usual. Some hotels are limiting the number of rooms being booked for just this reason.
A Flexible Air Traveler Has the Advantage
When shopping, don’t underestimate the savings you might unearth when you keep dates loose. Use our holiday planning calendar to identify the dates that are the best value and fly on those if you can!
Also, when shopping for individual flights, you can sometimes shave off costs by checking alternate airports when available and mixing and matching airlines. A frequent flyer needs to book with specific carriers, but the rest of us can save money sometimes if we’re willing to book one airline on the outbound flight and another on the return.
When booking a hotel stay, know that room rates are often much more expensive on the weekend. Book a weekday stay and save!
Take Advantage of Price Drop Payback
When you book a flight with CheapAir.com, you book a little bit of insurance as well. We promise to honor the price you paid for a ticket, even if the flight price goes down – to the tune of up to $100. It’s called Price Drop Payback, and it means you’ll never have to ask yourself “what happens if the price goes down after I pay?”
We’re expecting a busy holiday season. Make sure you get your flight savings!