Let’s be real, booking a flight can do some damage to a bank account. Especially when you’re on a budget, like me.
So, what’s the best way to save a few dollars on your next trip? Here are three things I keep in mind when searching for deals online.
Start planning now
This is not for the spontaneous traveler. I’m sometimes looking months in advance to see what time of the year a flight fits in my budget.
It’s helpful to book in “opposite season.” If you want to take a big trip over the summer, start looking in November or December for deals. If you’re looking to get away during those cold months in the winter, start looking in July or August.
From my experience, buying a flight just a few weeks out is usually a few more dollars compared to booking it months ago. Better to book in advance!
Keep an open mind when planning a trip. Some flights in July might be cheaper to book compared to August. It could be cheaper to go somewhere in the fall vs. the spring.
It could also mean taking an early flight, where you have to get up before the sun even thinks about rising. Or you might have to take an overnight flight, where you can (hopefully) sleep the entire time you’re in the air. Whatever works for your schedule.
Set up Google Flight alerts
Yes, emails can be annoying. Yet – emails that could save you money? Less annoying.
I started tracking different flight prices with Google Flight alerts, and I’ve probably saved hundreds of dollars along the way. The emails give you a choice of several flights and how the prices compare to a few days ago.
Sometimes the prices change daily, sometimes they change weekly. The farther out you plan, the more time you have to decide when to jump on a deal.
How to do it: Simply start searching for a flight on Google Flights, then check off the little switch where it asks to “Track Prices.” You’ll get the deals sent directly to your inbox!
Those are some of the things I keep in mind when booking a flight to anywhere. If you have any tricks for keeping travel costs low, let me know in the comments!
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