Looking for a magic bullet to guarantee you’ll get the best flight price on your next vacation or business trip? We, like you, wish there was one foolproof way to assure a rock bottom price. Now before you throw in the towel altogether, we do have some very good news.
There are some solid steps during research, planning and all the way through booking you can take to virtually guarantee you’ll be getting a good price on your trip. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you pull off an affordable trip! You can also watch this video for a quick rundown of how you can score a deal:
Be aware of the various factors that can affect price like holidays and events BEFORE you buy
Some of the factors are outside your control (like the volatility of airline prices – read more about that here), but some elements are actually fairly easy to predict. The holidays can drive up pricing (domestically, be aware that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be much more expensive than other times in November and December when you can often find very good fares.) International festivals including sporting events and bank holidays can also make flight prices spike.
Weather and seasonality also play a big part in pricing
When you’re in the planning stages, keep in mind the seasonality factor. Traveling during a destination’s high season will always be more expensive than traveling in low season. We like to take our trips during a destination’s shoulder season – typically you’ll avoid the highest prices but still get the benefit of decent weather. Another benefit of shoulder season travel is that you avoid throngs of tourists at your destination and you might even have a smoother flight experience. With less people in the airports, you can often sidestep the airport delays that peak travel periods bring.
How to apply the “Tuesday Rule”
People sometimes swear by booking flights on Tuesdays because this is traditionally when airlines publish their sales. You can sometimes scoop up a low priced airfare by applying this technique. Another “Tuesday tip” involves mid-week travel. Travels on a Tuesday or Wednesday are often better priced airfares than on the weekend. We’ve done the research that bears this out. Check out Our International When to Buy Study that gives you the best days of the week to buy in each region of the world. You’ll see, that by and large, Tuesday and Wednesday get travelers the best value.
Lock in that low fare, post-purchase
The closest thing you can get to a low-price guarantee these days may just be the CheapAir.com Price Drop Payback guarantee. Here’s how it works. If you buy your tickets with CheapAir.com and the price goes down after you do, we will refund the difference in price up to $100 per ticket in the form of a travel voucher for future travel! It’s that simple. We find this eliminates post-purchase “did I get the best fare?” anxiety full stop.
Mix it up
One of the ways CheapAir.com is able to bring you the best fares is that our site can mix and match outbound and return travel. Simply put, to get the best overall fare for a pair of cities it might make sense for you to fly out on Delta and return home on Alaska Air. If you’re open to a little variety, it can often save you money. See? Variety is the spice of life!
Remember the extras
You might find what looks like an amazing price for a flight online, but don’t forget that a lot of airlines are now embracing an a la carte approach to seat pricing. In more and more cases these days, the lowest price you see gets you a seat and nothing more. You should read the fine print on any flight you’re considering, so you know what is and is not included in that low, low (or is it?) fare. On CheapAir.com, our shopping experience is transparent and shows you exactly what each ticket entails. With a click of your mouse, the details of each fare are shown and you can even compare up to four different flights to do a side by side comparison. In this way, there are no surprises or hidden costs!
Think outside the payment box
When all else fails, if you come into a situation where you just can’t get a low price for a set of flights, you might consider our monthly payments option, or what we like to call “Fly Now, Pay Later! It’s exactly what it sounds like – you can obtain your flights now and pay in the installment plan over the course of the next 3, 6 or 12 months. It’s a great option if you’re looking to spread some of the travel costs out over a few months. You get your vacation and a little less stress while you do!
Happy and affordable travels to you and yours!