There are plenty of travel booking options out there. Many of them are specifically travel discount sites. You can literally find more than 100 avenues to book your travel itinerary. If you are super rich and you do not care about how much you are spending, then more power to you! But, if you are like most of the travelers out there who wish to save some money, then you will probably need to do some homework.
I mean, we all want those flight deals, right?
Air Flight Costs – Usually Lower At Smaller Airports
You can visit any of the travel discount sites out there, such as an air fare watchdog type of website. Without some tips and tricks at your disposal, you may just be spinning your wheels. For example, if you are flying within the United States, one thing I always check are the alternate airports. If there is an alternate airport nearby, the air flight costs may be lower than the larger airport.
I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years, more specifically San Jose. Both the San Jose and San Francisco airports are the main options for most that live in the Bay. As i started flying more and more, I started to look at a smaller airport in the area. The Oakland airport is a smaller facility, but usually the best air rates come out of the Oakland airport.
You can also use this method for your destination. I flew into Los Angeles quite often, so LAX is the first airport people think about when booking travel. Now if you were an advanced trip planner, then you would look for the smaller airports instead of the monstrous Los Angeles International Airport.
Let’s say you are going to Disneyland. LAX is an option, but John Wayne Airport is actually a better option because it is in Orange County. Disneyland is close by, and you may be able to find an air rate that is considerably lower than LAX.
Another option in the Los Angeles area is the Ontario Airport. This airport is located more inland, close to Rancho Cucamonga. It is about 45 miles from downtown LA, so if you don’t mind driving a little, it may save you some money.
The bottom line here is that if you want to save a little money off the air flight costs, then you may need to consider airports that are a little out of the way. I personally do not mind this, because I like to drive and view the scenery. You never know if you will get the chance to visit that destination a second time, so I want to take in all that I can.
When Do I Purchase My Airline Ticket?
There’s really no magic formula for buying your airline ticket. I mean, you can put on a full air fare watch, looking at several travel discount sites on five different monitors, but who has that kind of time. Usually the best advice here is to buy the ticket if you get a good deal. Usually the best prices are 14 days in advance. If you can stay on Saturday, even better. Then again, there are certain flights where you can score a really good deal on the day of departure. Obviously, if you are planning a trip, you do not want to wait until the last minute hoping there is a better deal out there.
You might want to try this the next time you are buying airline tickets: Check to see if buying them on a Tuesday is cheaper. According to FareCompare.Com, Tuesday is the best day to buy a ticket. On Monday, airline officials decide on airline costs. They crunch the numbers from the previous weekend and then they set the prices. On Tuesday morning all of the airlines see what each other is charging, and then they adjust their fares. The dust settles in the afternoon, so with this logic, the best time to buy airline tickets are on Tuesday afternoon. More specifically 3pm.
Some airlines even have a policy that most people never take advantage of. If you buy an airline ticket and the fare drops later for the exact itinerary on the same travel dates, you can call them and get a voucher for the difference toward a future flight. You should check on this with your airline, as not all of them offer this.
There is a rumor out there where some of the air rates are based on your browser history. It is said if the travel website detects a cookie on your computer, that they will return higher airline fares. Some people refute this, saying that it is impossible to show different prices to different users. I would look for fares on different browsers and also in incognito mode to see if this is true.
Do You Need To Fly Direct?
I always found that flights that required a stop also have attractive rates. If you are flying from Los Angeles to Charlotte, North Carolina, there may be cheaper options if the flight stops in Atlanta. If you can spend an extra hour or two at an airport, this may save you some money. I am not talking about two or three stops, but one layover may be feasible. Once again, just check out all of the options and determine the best route for you.
While it is fairly easy to book travel online, it may take a little work to find the best prices. Grab a cup of coffee, sit down, take a deep breath, and spend some time researching all of the travel sites that are out there. Who knows, you may find that elusive deal.