If you have caught the travel bug, chances are good that you are on the hunt for how to save money on air travel. Here are seven tips for saving more the next time you book an exciting trip.
Travel with Just Carry-on
Baggage fees are getting pricey, but you can avoid them completely by stowing your suitcase in the overhead compartment. Pack a capsule wardrobe of clothing that you can mix and match to create different outfits. This way, you can spend your money on more souvenirs instead of baggage fees.
The cheapest flights depart on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. It might be worth taking the extra days off from work if you can save some cash by flying in the middle of the week.
Let the Airline Choose Your Seat
Airlines are now starting to charge passengers for the convenience of choosing their seats. While extra leg room is always a plus, consider whether you can do without it, especially if you are taking a short flight. If you do not mind sitting in the middle seat in the back of the plane for a few hours, save your money and stick with the seat you are given.
Subscribe to Fare Alerts
If you have a preferred airline or travel website, be sure to sign up for their fare alerts. Even if you are not able to jump on every flight that is priced right, you will start to notice trends for certain destinations and time periods. This information will help you make smart choices when you make travel plans.
Buy Your Ticket on Tuesday
Timing is everything with purchasing your flight. Travel data experts note that it is best to buy your ticket earlier in the week when most airlines offer their discounts. Tuesday is often the best day to buy because many airlines start to discount their tickets on Monday nights. On Thursdays, the prices go up, often to make up for those cheaper tickets. If you can, avoid buying a ticket on the weekend. This is because airlines will usually try one more time to charge higher fares before discounting them again at the start of the week.
Apply for a Credit Card with Airline Miles
This is especially a good idea if you have a preferred airline. Apply for the airline's credit card and use it for most of your purchases so that those frequent flyer miles start to rack up for free airfare. Some cards carry hefty sign-up bonuses, so you might be able to get a free fare sooner rather than later.
Travel During Off-peak Seasons
It is safe to say that even if you follow all of the above tips, you are likely going to pay a ton for a ticket if you leave town during a peak travel season. The winter holidays are typically a heavy travel time, but it is important to think of other peak times. For example, when traveling to popular vacation destinations, keep in mind the school calendar. You will want to avoid traveling during times when children are out of school, which is prime time for family vacations.
Try some of these tips the next time you book a trip. You may be pleasantly surprised to see how much money you can save for future travel.