I’m always looking for ways to save money when I travel. Instead of cutting back on the small things or saving a few dollar by ordering off the dollar menu, I try to save in the big ticket items. Airfare is by far one of the biggest expenses you can incur during a trip, and there’s usually room to save when it comes to flying.
So how can you save money on airline tickets? Here are a few strategies I’ve used to save up to $700 on a single flight.
Use Bing Flight Watch
A lot of people are unaware of this awesome tool. Bing will actually notify you when flights are at their cheapest rate. The flight checker tool will also show you if the tickets are estimated to increase or lower in price. Pretty helpful tool and definitely worth it. Even if it saves you just $50, it’s worth the few minutes it takes to try it out.
Loyalty Points = Free Flights
I usually fly American Airlines when I travel for work because I have a loyalty account with them. All my flight segments and miles count towards free flights and other perks. I usually travel enough to get one free domestic flight per year. It took about 10 minutes to create my rewards account by flying American Airlines, I end up with a free flight each year – which is usually about $300 savings on average.
Most people are familiar with these tools, so I won’t go into too much detail. Basically, they search for the cheapest flight by searching all the different airlines for you. You can really save a lot of money with these sites but make sure you look to see how long your flight will be. Generally the cheaper flights will have a layover (or two) which means that you’ll bounce between airports. You’ll might even have to fly multiple airlines, but if these drawbacks don’t bother you, it would be worth the savings.
Get a Free Flight With a Rewards Card
If you’re responsible with a credit card, shouldn’t you be rewarded for it? My wife and I recently took a vacation to Barbados and flew there for free! This was because we received two free flights when we opened a Citi AAdvantage credit card. I don’t suggest that you run out an open a credit card just because of the free flights, but if you’re looking for a good card and great perks (like free flights) this is a good one.
Volunteer to Go on Standby
A lot of times airlines will overbook their flights in order to make sure they’re full. They plan for some cancellations but sometimes they need volunteers to give up their seat. If your travel plans have flexibility, you might want to volunteer to give up your seat because you’ll probably get a voucher for a free flight. I did this earlier this year and got a $300 flight voucher! All I had to do was catch a flight that was 2 hours later that evening.
Even with the cost of air travel increasing, it’s still possible to find affordable flights. I hope you can save some money with these tips!
Have you recently saved money on airfare? How’d you do it?