How To Find Cheap Airfare (So You Can Vacation More Often)
Happy Thursday, FRANNNDS! We have made it past the halfway point now (holla), my kittens are getting along great (soon to be bffs I’m pretty sure) and I am SO ready for this week to be over. Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I always have the WORST time finding affordable flights. I fly a lot, so it’s really important for me to be able to do it in a way that allows me to still have money left over for souvenirs (and a whole new vacation wardrobe, obviously). So. Without further ado. Let’s do this.
How To Find Cheap Airfare (So You Can Vacation More Often)
In light of my next big trip being to New York Fashion Week, you will be seeing a TON of posts centering around it (YAY). I leave in exactly a month from now so I’m pretty stoked about it. I’ll be there to take the city by storm so watch out. 😉
I just purchased my ticket earlier this week, and it was hard to find an affordable price, even when flying into an international airport. We also bought plane tickets for the DR (read all about our international vacay HERE) and that, too, was a headache. In light of our travel woes, and the fact that I want you to avoid making the same mistakes I did, I put together 10 ways to save money on airfare so that you can enjoy traveling without the headache.
10 Ways To Travel Cheap
#1: Use a credit card that builds up miles.
I JUST got accepted for the Southwest Credit card, but I am excited to start using it because 1. I love Southwest so I’m psyched to start earning points towards their airlines and 2. you can save a TON of money in travel costs by doing this. Everyone already has a credit card (or you should..read my friend Rachel’s post about why you should have a rewards credit card HERE), so why not get one that allows you to travel cheaply (or even FREE)? If you travel a lot, this will be huge. You can use your card to buy tickets and earn points towards your next flight, and every time you make a purchase elsewhere you are building points, too! It’s a win-win.
#2: Decide what you can and cannot live without.
This is in terms of what type of airline you want to fly with. For example, we flew Spirit airlines to the Dominican because it was the “cheapest”. However, I wouldn’t do that again UNLESS I was flying in the US on a short trip and only needed to pack a carryon. Spirit had SO many add-ons (like charging you to pick your seat, or for more than one carry-on, and a checked bag was CRAZY expensive) that we would have been better off buying the more expensive ticket, because it was all inclusive. We also got NO SNACKS on our flight so that was depressing. But, it would have been worth it if it was a short flight and a short trip. For a 6.5 hour flight and lots of luggage? Not so awesome. Decide if you want the hassle of adding everything you need on extra, or go with the all-inclusive. Most of the time, a reputable airline’s all-inclusive price will save you money in the long run.
#3: Use a private window when searching for prices.
Unfortunately, airlines like to be sneaky. Based on the cookies that are in your browser, the prices will go up every time you search. They want to scare you into booking your flight faster. When you search in an incognito browser, the cookies are saved, and you can always get the cheapest flight options. I recommend always doing this so you are never suckered into a higher price than you absolutely need to pay.
#4: Use a flight scanning website or app to let you know when prices have dropped for your destination.
I love Skyscanner, personally. They do a great job at thoroughly looking through each airline to make sure you get the cheapest and most convenient flight you possibly can. They almost always get you the cheapest flight (but I do recommend looking at other scanning websites or apps to double check to make sure you are getting the lowest price — like Cheapoair, Jetradar and Airfare Watchdog).
#5: If you can, be flexible with your days.
There are just always going to be some days that are cheaper to fly than others. Weekends will almost ALWAYS be more expensive, unfortunately. That isn’t the case 100% of the time if holiday’s are involved, but Skyscanner will give you a month-at-a-glance look at all the prices for your destination so you can determine which day is most affordable. You can save ~$100+ by doing this.
#6: Book quickly.
Flights get more expensive as time goes on, so instead of waiting for them to drop, try to book as fast as you can once you know your dates and destinations. They are usually cheapest about a month or two out of your trip, so don’t wait until the last second. More often than not, waiting will make you end up with a more expensive ticket (by sometimes hundreds of dollars) that you could have paid, which means less souvenirs and that’s no bueno.
#7: Book a whole package.
If you know you are going to need a hotel and a car to get you to said hotel, book them all at the same time. Often times, they run deals when you squish all of these things together. You can save significant $$$$, and you don’t have to run around finding a hotel and a car at your destination. It’s cheaper, faster and much less of a hassle. Just an all around good time if you ask me.
#8: Don’t rule out nearby airports.
Check to see if there are any airports nearby (that aren’t the major airport you are looking to fly into). Sometimes the smaller airports offer biggest discounts on their flights. While this isn’t always easiest if someone has to drive hours away to get you, occasionally the airports will only be 20-30 minutes apart so the stretch isn’t that big of a deal especially if you save a ton of cash doing it that way.
#9: Even if you don’t have a credit card with a specific airline, it still pays to have their rewards card. Many major airlines have free rewards cards (Southwest included and they’re the BOMB), so every time you book with them, you earn points towards your next flight. You can get significantly reduced rates and sometimes your trip is even FREE. HOLLA.
#10: Don’t be scared of off-season.
Even though it’s totally ideal to do Europe in the summer, sometimes if you REALLY want to travel somewhere, you need to be flexible. Think less crowds, more time to visit the beautiful museums (without feeling guilty about missing the gorgeous weather), and is anything honestly more picturesque than a little christmas market with tiny little snowflakes falling down? Plus you can wear cute jackets and rainboots and it’ll be completely adorable. And your pocket book will thank you.
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I really hope these tips help you find your next super cheap flight to anywhere! I am SO EXCITED to go to NY, and I hope your next vacation makes you squeal with excitement, too!!
Let me know what you thought of these tips and which ones are your favorites in the comments below!!