There's no doubt it's a tough economy these days, and anything you can do to save a few bucks is worth it. Even in tough times, we all still love to travel. I would say, that especially in tough times, it's good to travel. Travel gives your mind and body a break from all the stress. But, travel can be expensive. How do we manage to sneak some travel time in, without breaking the bank, and making it harder to enjoy our much needed vacation.
Finding cheap airfare, is one way that can help. I don't mind compromising on airlines, as it's really not a big part of my vacations. It's usually a day at the beginning, and a day at the end. Sometimes the journey is the destination, but not always. If your flying somewhere, chances are pretty good, that it's the destination, that is the destination. Whenever possible, I look for the cheapest flights I can find, and then put the savings into a nicer hotel.
So, how and where do you find cheap airfares? Well, here are a few pointers.
Go With The Flow
The more flexible you can be with your travel dates, the more opportunities you'll have to choose from. Not every airline flies every hour of every day. Especially the smaller airlines, that have fewer planes, but also much lower prices. Sometimes, just adjusting your travel arrival and departures by a day or two can mean a cost saving of hundreds of dollars.
Be Sure To Plan
Planning ahead can be a big time saver. Quite often airline seat prices go up, the closer you get to the departure date. So if you can, book your flight at least three months ahead of time. The airlines would rather know their seats are sold months out, instead of a few days before departure.
Now, of course there are times when the opposite is true. If you can stand leaving things to the last minute, you can get deals again. The airlines hate to fly with empty seats, and if you are really flexible, and can fly on a moments notice, then this may work for you.
Keep Doing What Your Doing
If your reading this, and obviously you are, then your looking in the right place. The internet has pretty much rendered the travel agent redundant. Even when I traveled for work, and my company had it's own travel agent, I never used them. Obviously, it wasn't even about the money savings then. I'm just a bit of a control freak, and liked to know my travel arrangements were perfectly in order. One less person in the loop is good.
But, you can get substantial savings these days, with all the travel websites around. They do a pretty good job, of comparing prices, and showing you plenty of travel options. These "aggregated" travel sites bring all the airlines, hotels, trains, cruise and car rental companies under one roof. One stop shopping so to speak. There are even some travel sites, that aggregate these sites.