With the unpredictable spring weather a far away destination begins to call your name. A friend of mine recently scored $200 roundtrip tickets to Mexico. For those who do not travel often, that is a steal of a price.
Often times the transportation portion of the trip is the priciest. And the more money you spend getting there, the less money you have to spend while on your trip.
Finding cheap plane tickets is often considered an art. Some are lucky enough to stumble on to cheap prices, but others have developed quite the technique to find good deals. If you do not consider yourself lucky, try these tips to score the best deals.
- Check often. Whether you have a specific location you want to visit or wanting to travel wherever, you need to check flight prices often. This will give you a good idea of what the going rate is for your intended destination, which will let you know if a low price is good enough to pounce. Plus, flight costs are very fluid, bouncing up and down with just a day’s notice. Check consistently to score rock bottom prices.
- Use travel websites. Often times, travel websites get a bad name for themselves, which is disheartening because travel websites can do a lot of the leg work for you. It is time consuming to visit each independent airline for specific prices. Travel websites like Expedia or Hotwire can do the legwork for you. My personal favorite flight website is Kayak. The easy to use site gives you a variety of options and, in my opinion, the cheapest fare on the same flights.
- Sign up for a price alert. One of Kayak’s greatest attributes is its handy price alert system. You enter in your intended destination and it can send you an alert if the prices drops or gets below a price that you indicate. This will save you time and will update you constantly on what you need to know.
- Use your rewards. Loyalty to one airline can benefit you. Big airline companies often have a rewards system in place. If you accrue so many miles, you can often get free flights and other insider swag. Many airlines offer reward credit cards that can be used to gain points for future flights. Be careful of any type of credit card you sign up for, however. Sometimes rewards flight cards have high interest rates and may not yield as great of reward as promised.
- Get deals sent straight to your inbox. If you have an open intinerary and don’t have a specific destination in mind, sign up for weekly (or daily, if you prefer) newsletters from travel websites sent to your email inbox. These emails often boast deeply discounted flights, hotels, cruises and excursions. Most have an impending deadline, but you can get great deals if you have the flexibility.
- Check out Bing. The new search engine has a great price indicator that will show the history of flight prices, giving you a good idea on when to purchase.