1. Have patience. It does take effort to get a good price on flights. Now, don't let that deter you, since saving $ 100 + on flights can mean you have more money to spend on sightseeing, hotel, entertainment, tours, etc. & # 39 ;. This means that if you want to hike in the spring, you should start checking prices in late fall or winter. Sometimes there are last minute deals, but most often you will not find the best deals at least 21 days before your departure date.
First thing in the morning (around 9:00 am, and in the evening, after 6:00 pm) I like to browse travel sites to see if there are any offers on offer that day. I also want to delete my browser and cookie history, because sometimes travel sites and airlines will remember your search and this can actually increase prices.
My favorite site is Skyscanner. One of the great features of this site is that you can check what the best price per day for international travel from the airport is for you. For example, I live in Toronto, so I will go on flights from Toronto (YYZ) everywhere. This is a great feature because it tells me where that day, what date, month, etc. is the cheapest for me to fly anywhere in the world. (I used this site recently to help me get tickets for my trip to Seoul, South Korea in April. Other airlines charged $ 1,000- $ 1,500 for flights to Seoul, but Delta made a deal and managed to get round-trip flights. For only $ 850 CAD / $ 770 dollars With the exchange rate.)
Another great feature of Skyscanner is that you can enter your destination and travel dates and sign up for "Price Alerts" so they'll email you if the price goes up or down to the travel dates you specified. (My sister just used this feature to help her get to the flight In Edmonton, Alberta for a trip in May, the one-way ticket prices were around $ 300- $ 400 and she managed to get it for $ 269 CAD.)
Another site I like is Expedia. Every day they will present deals for trips that meet the leading local and international tourism destinations. They will also include promotional packages for "Flight + Hotel". It helps me feel what the average cost is, for example, a 4 night trip to Las Vegas. Assuming the cost of a Vegas flight and hotel for 4 nights in the Strip is $ 500-600 per person from Toronto, I want to try to keep an eye out for deals that are equal to or below this price – this is how I know I'm saving money and getting the best price.
However, one thing about Expedia is that the advertised price is not always available. If I'm looking for their last minute flight deals, I may see round-trip tickets to Miami for $ 250 (departing Toronto), but once I clicked on the deal, the price may have risen to $ 350 instead . This is not always the case, but it does happen sometimes and it is something to keep in mind.
Other sites I like to use are: Kayak, Redtag, Sunwing, Bing Flight Predictor and Airfarewatchdog.
2. Check the airline's direct website. While these third-party travel sites can be great, sometimes the best unrealized deals are found directly through the airline website. I recommend signing up for email promotions offered by your preferred airline. For example, because I live in Canada, I signed up for Air Canada travel promotions. It seems to me that special offers are available as soon as they launch on the Air Canada website.
I really wanted to make a weekend trip to New York with my sister last February to celebrate her 21st birthday. In addition to checking third-party sites, I would play with dates by going on a trip to Bayer Canada. They did not advertise this deal, but I managed to find direct flights back and forth from YYZ to LGA for $ 199 CAD. It was a lot that I was happy to find through Air Canada. Sometimes the airline's website will also offer promotional codes, so take a look.
3. Check ports / arrivals from alternative airports. This is not always convenient, but sometimes in many major cities there are more than one airport or there is another airport near them in another city. Toronto residents have Pearson airports offering international flights and Billy Bishop airports offering select flights within Canada and the US. There is also the option of traveling across the border and flying from Buffalo Airport. Almost always cheaper to fly from Buffalo airport than Pearson or Billy Bishop But the downside is (if not all flights) is not direct and you will have to pay for parking as most people leave their car at the airport while they are traveling. A plane trip is always a last resort for me because it is a 90 minute drive from Toronto (need Taking fuel costs into account) and depending on how long your trip is, parking costs may Bringing this discounted flight to or around the same cost as flying if you were leaving YYZ or YTZ, however, sometimes there are significant savings to flying out of Buffalo, which will surely make it worth your while. , Last-minute trips often occurred and if a group of 2 or more had to travel to the United States, a booby-trapped flight saved the company upwards of $ 300- $ 600 + per airline ticket.)
This can also be said not only for the airport of your choice, but also for the airport of arrival. For example, when flying to New York, there are actually three airports you can choose to reach: LGA, JFK or EWR. Sometimes you can get a better price when arriving at one airport over the other. One thing to keep in mind is the airport transfers to your hotel. If you take public transportation, you can get to Manhattan from LGA for less than $ 2.50 when you take the bus and subway. However, it is a little more expensive when you arrive in Manhattan from EWR because you have to travel through New Jersey, then move to Manhattan's traffic system. If you take a taxi, the prices to get from any Manhattan airport can vary. This is an important point to keep in mind, and I encourage you to do your own research before traveling.
4. Follow third-party airlines and travel sites on Twitter (social media) and subscribe to their mailing list. One of the great features of social media is that airlines can use it to advertise special travel offers through certain social media tools. Sometimes an airline will offer a special promotion code through their Twitter or Facebook page that is not posted on other websites. West Jet is offering a Blue Badge Thursdays, which is a special offer only offered on Thursday afternoons (unless they have another special run during this time). You can find it on their site, or watch the one posted on their Twitter or Facebook page. When you sign up for a third-party mailing list or an airline website, they will sometimes send private promotions to their customs promotions that give you secret access to sell them.
5. Don't be afraid to book your flight and hotel separately. Sometimes you can get a lot on sites like Expedia when you bundle your vacation and book flights and hotels at the same time, but that's not always the case. If you see an exceptional flight deal, book it now, don't wait! You may be able to find a better price on the hotel below. I also recommend that if you really see a lot in the flight, please book it now, rather than wait until later in the day. Suppose you see a lot of flying to San Francisco in the morning, but wait until you get to work to purchase your tickets, it may not work in your favor.
I'll give you an example: I grew up in San Francisco looking for flights to return and visit (it came back in October 2012), but they were around $ 600 and wanted to wait for a better price. A few weeks later, Delta was on sale and offered flights from Toronto to San Francisco for $ 437 CAD. It was an unbelievable price, considering all I saw was $ 600 + in the previous weeks, so I didn't wait and buy the tickets right away. I checked later that afternoon to see if the deal was still in progress and the price went back to $ 600. I highly recommend booking when you see a price that you feel is a lot, as it may disappear sooner than you think.
Sometimes if you book multi-city flights, it may be cheaper to book them separately than to travel to the same airline. For example, last summer (June 2013) I wanted to fly from Toronto to Las Vegas, then from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and finally from Los Angeles back home to Toronto. I spent about a month and a half checking prices daily to get the best deal. Eventually, I managed to get a sale through Air Canada for the flights from Toronto to Las Vegas and Los Angeles back to Toronto. I waited when I booked the US domestic flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles because Air Canada obviously didn't offer it and prices were about $ 100 for this one-way flight at that time. About a week later I was at Southwest.com and saw that they had a deal "Getaway" for $ 49 a flight I needed from LAS to LAX. It was a great deal, so of course I booked right away. All my multi-city fare ended up costing $ 515 total. (YYZ to LAS and LAX to – YYZ cost me $ 466 CAD and Southwest flights from LAS to LAX cost $ 49 USD).
6. Know what time of year and which days are the cheapest to fly. Traveling Tuesday and Wednesday is usually cheaper than any other day of the week. (In general, midweek searches for flights also produce the best deals). From experience, I also find that Thursdays and Saturdays can offer the best price sometimes as well. Of course that doesn't happen all the time and you have to experiment on dates, which is why Skyscanner is great for deciding which is the cheapest day to go back and forth. Days that tend to be the most expensive are Monday, Friday and sometimes Sunday. Airlines know that most business trips take place Monday – Friday, which is why it's more expensive to leave on Monday and return on Friday. However, business travelers started flying on Sunday instead of Monday hoping to get a cheaper price, but that doesn't always work. Getting the cheapest departure date per week of course depends on the flexibility of your travel dates.
This time of year also helps. It is usually cheaper to fly to Europe during the off and shoulder seasons (late fall, winter and early spring). Last year (2013), my parents traveled to Paris in April with direct round-trip flights with Air Transat from Toronto for $ 671 each. It's not the best price I've seen, but it was definitely the best deal of its time for nonstop flights. Traveling during the wash or shoulder season is not always negative. Sometimes due to bad weather, you will not want to travel during the free season, but usually the season is less crowded and offers better prices.
I find that at the moment (early spring) it is a little more expensive to fly to Las Vegas (around $ 400- $ 500 CAD) because most people like to go there during the springtime before the weather gets too hot in the summer months. (I compare this to flight deals I saw last winter for around $ 350.) Always wise to check what events occur during the dates you want to travel to a particular destination. Sometimes a holiday or a large sitting may raise prices. I always suggest setting the average price for your preferred destination flights and then keep an eye on how the price fluctuations are.
7. Save money in your honor. Most airlines charge you $ 25 each way to check your luggage. And they'll charge you extra if your luggage exceeds the airline's weight limit. You can avoid this by packing light and making sure that your luggage does not cross the border (check with the airline to confirm the weight limit and prices on the embedded luggage). Also, if you're on a short trip, consider sharing one checkered pair with your spouse for your trip. This can save you $ 50 in travel costs, as it costs $ 25 each way to check your luggage.
If you're on an even shorter trip (weekend trip), consider just bringing suitcases and forgetting about the embedded bag. Most airlines will allow you to bring a small amount of liquid on the plane. If you're just out for a quick weekend getaway, you might only be able to get away with carrying a bag. I did this during my trip to New York last month. I went to my local dollar store and bought a small travel bag of clear plastic containers. It allowed me to bring shampoo, conditioner, face wash, night / day cream, base etc & # 39 ;. It also included sticker labels so I knew what it was all about. I do understand that this is impractical for everyone, but for a two-night trip, I prefer to spend $ 1 for a travel bag in Dollarama and then $ 50 for a checkered bag. It also saves me the hassle of waiting to get my embedded bag in the suitcase claim.
8. Buy travel / health insurance. I always recommend getting travel insurance or (extra) health for your trip, but sometimes you don't get the best price when choosing the insurance package offered by the airline when you book your flights. Usually your work insurance will offer some type of travel or health coverage when traveling. Talk to HR about this if you are unsure. You can also buy insurance through your bank – where I tend to find the best prices. It will also be cost effective in the long-term you plan to travel many times throughout the year. (Instead of paying for insurance every time you book a flight, you can cover your bank or alternate place for a year for a set fee.) If you're 40 years old (or have a history of health problems), I recommend purchasing additional health coverage (even if you Already covered at work). Unfortunately, we will never be able to predict what might happen while traveling, and if anything does happen, you'll be glad you purchased the extra health insurance. It's something that's unique to every person, so I can't tell you what is the best option, it's something you need to discuss with your HR, bank and family to see what is the best choice for you.
9. Avoid paying for a seat choice (if you can). Some airlines are asking for an extra fee to make pre-seat choices, sometimes it's included in the price – if that's the case then great, but if you have to pay $ 20 for a pre-seat pick, I'd go. You can usually check-in early (24 hours before departure) and make a seat choice for free. You may be able to get the seats you wanted, or you may not. It's a hit or miss. If you do not have a preference for your seat, or are willing to take a risk, avoid paying the extra fee for choosing a seat in advance.
10. Take advantage of travel rewards programs. There is so much competition between airlines and credit cards, so sign up for their travel rewards programs. Talk to your bank and see which credit card with travel rewards best suits your needs. Many of them allow you to collect points on your daily expenses so you can redeem them for free flights. Some of these credit cards have terms, such as you can only book your flights through your bank, or there are black dates for travel. However, because of the huge amount of credit cards currently offered for travel, they are improving and you can find one that does not contain any of these conditions. This means you can use your points to exercise flights anytime, anywhere. Sometimes these cards come with a slight annual dues, but the payoff alone is worth it.
The same goes for the airlines frequent flyer programs. The more you fly with one airline, the more frequent flyer points you can collect. This works great for business travelers because while their company pays for their travel, they can collect frequent flyers so they can redeem for their personal vacation journeys. Some companies even allow employees to book their own flights and then submit the receipts for a refund. This allows the employee to receive credit card points for his travel rewards in addition to the frequent traveler points.
I hope these tips help you when booking your next vacation or trip. Notice that these tips worked in my experience, but they may not work for everyone. The key thing to remember is that the key to getting the best deal on your flights is to be patient and be flexible with your travel dates.