I’ve already starting posting articles in preparation for the summer. Well, this is another one:-)
With the oil prices rising and the airfares flying higher and higher in the sky, everyone tries to save on their trips.
How can we do that?
Several tips, from my recent experiences:
1. Use price-comparison sites, like Kayak or TravelZoo. These sites allow comparing prices from different sources (various different travel sites, airlines directly, etc), and also allow getting email notifications when prices change.
2. Use “watchdog” features and notifications. The sites mentioned above do that, and so do sites like Airfarewatchdog, which is dedicated to this feature. The point is to get notification as the price to the destination you want reaches your desired target. The prices fluctuate all the time, and go up and down for now apparent reason several times a day. Using the “watchdog” features will help you to optimize your spending.
3. Use frequent flyer miles. These can be given for just signing up to the company credit card, converted from the credit card reward points, or accumulated by flying, renting cars or staying in hotels. People who sign up for a new credit card may receive up to 50000 miles, while a single one way ticket for a domestic flight can be as low as 12500 miles (at United/Continental for example). Even if the card has annual fees, it is usually free for the first year (you can cancel later), but the savings are hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
4. Be flexible. Fly in the middle of the week, late at night or very early on Saturday.
5. When you look for flights, you can always check nearest airports to your destination which may get you much better fares. For example, if your destination is Los Angeles, you may find much cheaper tickets to Burbank, Long Beach, Orange County or Ontario – all are within 1 hour driving range from the Los Angeles International Airport.
6. Look at the companies sites. Some companies don’t advertise their prices, others just don’t sell tickets anywhere other than their own sites. Takes Southwest for example, which is one of the cheaper domestic carriers.
7. Combine. Some companies will give you discounts if you buy your flight tickets and book hotels together. For example, try US Airways.
Smart shopping and flexibility is the key. By the way, sometimes flying First/Business class may be cheaper than flying coach. Check that out, as well. Strange as it sounds, during the vacation season there is much more demand for coach tickets than for business travel.
Enjoy your trip,