While many of us would rather cuddle up on our own couch, in our own home, watching sports this holiday season, the majority of us will be traveling at some point over the holidays. It’s always a good idea to plan early for flights but it’s not too late to try and save on airfares. Here’s a few tips to save on travel this holiday season.
Be flexible. Because demand for flights during the holiday season skyrockets, travelers can’t be choosy when it comes to their flight details, especially if you’re looking for a cheap flight during this peak travel season. The more flexible you can be with your travel details, including when you fly and which airline you fly, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to score a cheap flight for your holiday travel.
Consider alternative airports. Flying in or out of an alternative airport can save money when it comes to holiday travel. While you may always fly out of the closest airport to you, compare fares between your preferred airport and nearby airports. Other airports in the area may offer cheaper fares. They may also have flights operated by low-cost carriers that don’t service your preferred airport. Depending on the fare difference, you might end up saving money even if you need to rent a car to get to and from the alternative airport. Flying into or out of alternative airports near your destination (for example, Long Beach instead of Los Angeles) could be a potentially money-saving move.
Work with the airline. When it comes to cheap holiday travel, it pays to work with the airline directly. Do your research online to see what flights and fares are available, and then go to the airline directly to book. Flights booked directly with an airline can be cancelled (for a fee), so you can rebook at a lower fare in case the price of the ticket drops.
Travel on the actual holiday. While sitting in the airport on Christmas Day may not sound glamorous, it can help you score a cheaper ticket. Since demand for flight tickets on the actual holiday is lower than the days before and after, tickets may be offered for less. Another bonus? You’ll find smaller crowds, too.
Consider alternative airlines. Cast your search net far and wide to include every airline that flies your route. Sticking to one airline, even if it’s one you use frequently to earn miles and status, limits your ability to find cheaper flights.
Minimize your fees. Airlines are charging more and more fees these days, for everything from legroom upgrades to checked bags. If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, avoid common fees by traveling with a carry-on only, booking your seat in the main cabin and bringing your own snacks. Make sure to keep these tips in mind when traveling this season to get the best bang for your buck! Stay Wise! (References: CheapFlights.com, Marissa Willman)