I love to share my tips and tricks on finding cheap airfare, and I’ve been doing it for years.
Now, I’ve gathered together my 5-best tips (what I consider to be an essential list), and present them to you here.
Some of these tips are very “basic”; others are a little more sophisticated. But one thing they all have in common is, they work.
But don’t take my word for it. Test them for yourself.
Just click “more” for…THE LIST.
Tips to Find Cheap Airfare
The Essential List
TIP #1 – Be Flexible
- Be willing to travel outside the typical weekend-to-weekend “box”
- Fly less popular times of day (Noon, early afternoon, red-eyes)
- Switch from your home airport, if you can get a better deal at a neighboring airport (even if it means driving an hour or two)
HINT: Instead of asking the boss for “the last 2-weeks of July” off, see if the boss will allow you to find the best airfare deal within an agreed upon period of time (maybe June, July or August); this way, you won’t get stuck frantically trying to find a deal for an inflexible period of time
TIP #2 – Fly the Cheapest Days of the Week
- Wednesdays are usually the very cheapest days of the week to fly
- Next best days: Tuesdays and Saturdays
HINT: Many airline sales require you to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday
TIP #3 – Avoid Flying During Holidays and Major Events
- Remember, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest flying day of the year (and can be the most expensive)
- Avoid traveling to a city when a major event is taking place (tickets to Phoenix during the week of Superbowl XLII were 3 and 4 times the normal price)
HINT: Forget visiting family at Christmas; have a big reunion after the New Year, when it’s cheaper and less hectic
TIP #4 – Fly Hub Cities (Usually)
- If you’re in a smallish city, it may pay to drive to the nearest big airport. Example: flying from Los Angeles is usually always cheaper than Burbank
- WARNING: this isn’t true everywhere; Cincinnati, for example, can be much more expensive than Dayton, Columbus or Indianapolis
HINT: When shopping for airfare online, look for an “option” button that allows you to compare prices with “nearby airports”
TIP #5 – Book Multiple Tickets One-at-a-Time
- Traveling with a friend? When asked “number of passengers” while shopping online, put down 1 and not 2. Computer systems seek out multiple-seats that are the same price; if there’s a seat for less, but only one, the 2-passenger shopper won’t get it.
HINT: If you’re traveling with at least 8-people, some airlines offer “group travel” discounts (and they need not travel together: American will work with you on getting discounts for guests attending a wedding). NOTE: you should still do your own research; you may find deals that are cheaper than the airline’s discount