Sometimes it can seem the fares have increased again every time you go online to book a plane flight. Still, with gas prices rising rapidly, there's no doubt that it's still often cheaper to fly than drive. This article looks at some of the things you can do when booking a flight to make sure you get the best value for your money.
As soon as you know you need to travel, get online and make your bookings. The earlier the better. Many airlines offer cheaper rates if you book more than 21 days in advance. If you can travel on a weekday you'll probably find a cheaper fare, and the same applies if you stay away for a Saturday night. Check out a site that compares the airfares from a number of different airlines. If you can be flexible with your departure date or time, then look for good fares either side of the day you were planning to travel. Some websites will show these cheaper options automatically, on other sites you have to ask for them. Flying early in the morning or late at night is generally the cheapest time of day to travel.
Sometimes it can be cheaper to stopover midway, so that you can buy two roundtrip tickets for the shorter parts of the journey. Make sure you compare this option carefully with flying directly, as it does involve extra hassle. You want to make sure you save enough on the fare to justify the extra time spent at the stopover airport.
Packages can often give you good deals on travel, so bundle together your flight, hotel and car rental. Some places you can check for package deals include cheaptickets.com, priceline.com and Travelocity.com
You might also be able to join a frequent traveler discount program. You can find these as loyalty clubs or frequent flyer programs. Check to see if your credit card has a special deal with an airline. Credit cards often form these alliances and then offer free flights as rewards. So every time you use your credit you can gain credits towards a free flight.
If you work for the government, military or a large corporation, then check to see if you can access cheaper flights. Some of these can be used for leisure travel, not just work related journeys.