5 Steps to Your Best Airfare Deals

Shopping Savings
on June 7, 2012

Getting away and taking a trip can be a wonderful experience that will provide you with memories that last a lifetime. When you decide to take a trip, booking the travel accommodations can be very expensive. One of the most expensive parts of the trip is often the airfare that comes with it. If you are trying to book airfare for your trip, you don’t have to agree to pay an arm and a leg. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to saving money on airfare and finding the best deals.

Sign Up for Fare AlertsOne of the best things that you can do when you need to find airfare deals is to sign up for airfare alerts. There are a number of services out there that regularly monitor all of the airfares from a particular airport or airline. You can sign up for an alert system that is offered by a particular airline. Another option is to sign up with a third-party service that keeps track of airfares for you. They will track all of the airfares going to a particular destination from another city or keep track of all of the deals going out of a city that you specify. This can be a very valuable service to use when you are interested in booking a trip for some point in the future, without having a specific date in mind.

Check Airline Websites

Although many people use online travel search sites like Orbitz or Travelocity, consider checking with individual airline websites. Many airlines offer their best deals exclusively on their sites and do not make them available to the other travel sites. For example, if you go to Delta or Southwest’s website, you may be able to find a better deal on fares than what you could find from Orbitz. Companies do this because they want to keep you only on their flights instead of mixing and matching fares from different airlines, like travel websites often do.

Consider Last Minute Deals

If you are willing to book last-minute trips, you can often save quite a bit of money overall. Many sites like Priceline make it possible for you to bid on last-minute trips on airlines that have extra seats to fill. Even going directly to the airline’s website can make it possible for you to save money on your airfare. Many times, airlines will cut the prices on their tickets substantially so that they can fill up the planes before they take off. You can sometimes secure some great deals simply by going out to the airport and checking with individual airlines about last minute fares. They don’t want to send empty planes back and forth because it isn’t really cost-effective. If you are flexible about where you’re going and what you’re going to do when you get there, this is one of the best ways to save money on airfare.

Buy in Bundles

When you want to save money on airfare, consider buying multiple aspects of your trip at the same time. For example, if you will book your hotel and your airfare at the same time, you can save quite a bit of money. Companies in the travel industry work together to be able to increase business. They may be willing to offer a discount on a hotel room in order to get you to buy a plane ticket. This makes it possible for you to get everything that you need in one place, which can also save you time and money. Instead of having to take the time to shop around and make purchases from multiple websites or different parts of your trip, you can buy everything as a package deal.

Rewards Programs

Participating in rewards programs can be another good way to cut down the amount of money that you have to pay for airfare. If you plan on flying often, sign up for a frequent fliers program with an airline. This way, every time you go on a trip, you’ll be earning airline miles that you can use to buy a free ticket at some point in the future. Another option to consider is signing up for a rewards credit card program. With a credit card rewards program, you can get one or two points for each dollar that you spend on the card. This way, every time you make a purchase, you will be contributing to the airfare for your vacation.

If you use this approach, it is important to make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the rewards program. Some programs have blackout dates and other restrictions that make it possible to go where you want at the time that you want to go. Make sure that you don’t accumulate too much debt on your cards just so that you can get a free airline ticket.

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