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The average cost for a domestic round-trip flight was $359 in 2019. This doesn’t include all the hidden fees that airlines tack one, such as checked luggage fees and the cost to choose your seat.
If you have a few trips planned out for 2020, don’t think you’ll have to cancel due to the high price. Instead, look for ways you can save on travel costs.
Keep reading to discover the best tips for buying plane tickets online.
Be Flexible With Dates
The first trick to try when you go to purchase plane tickets is to be flexible with your dates.
Most people choose to fly on Fridays or Sundays, making these in-demand flights more expensive. If you have the availability to be flexible, choose the cheapest days to fly, like Tuesdays or Wednesdays. You’ll want to play around with changing your dates around to see which combinations allow for the cheapest fares.
Also, try to avoid heavily-traveled times of the year. The week of a holiday or a popular vacation time like Spring Break can cause prices to skyrocket.
In addition to being flexible with dates, you should also be flexible with departure and arrival times. Early morning or late at night flights can be significantly cheaper because they are less desirable to the average traveler.
Consider Switching Airports
You should also be willing to switch airports in favor of a cheaper price.
If you always opt for your local, smaller airport for convenience, you may also be paying a higher price. Larger airports accommodate more travelers, allowing them to offer better deals. A two-hour drive to the larger airport near you could result in a much lower price for your tickets.
Make sure you weigh all aspects of the airport switch, such as how much extra in gas you’ll pay to go. You want to make sure your new choice is still cheaper after you factor in any other aspects that would increase the overall price of your trip.
Delete Your Cookies
Wondering how to buy plane tickets cheap? Does it seem like ticket prices keep increasing every time you search for them instead of decreasing?
Well, some people believe that airlines or travel agencies raise prices after frequent searches for the same flight. They do this by using cookies, the saved data in your internet browser.
So how do you prevent this? You can use a new device, such as your cell phone or a friend’s computer. Or, you can go through the process of clearing your cookies after each search.
Set a Low-Price Alert
To ensure you get the best plane ticket rates, consider setting up a low-price alert.
Many travel agencies allow you to set up a profile to track flight prices. These travel agencies gather flight information from all available airlines for all available dates. Based on the history associated with your preferred dates, they can predict if the price is a good one or not.
If the website is telling you might get a better deal by waiting, set up a low-price alert. The agency will send you an email or text when prices drop, helping you get the best deal.
Skip the Extras
If you’re looking to travel on a budget, make sure you skip the extra add-ons.
Start by checking the different airlines you’re considering for their baggage allowances. Some airlines allow you to check one piece of luggage in addition to having one carry-on for no added cost. Some budget airlines charge you if you check any luggage at all.
This means to save money, you should get in the habit of packing your stuff in a carry-on bag. There are many packing tricks to help ensure everything fits.
Other fees to watch out for are the airlines that charge you extra to choose your seat. While you may prefer a window or aisle seat, is it really worth the additional cost? Instead, leave your seating choice up to fate and use that saved money on something else.
Rack up Rewards
If you are a frequent traveler, you should be taking advantage of travel rewards through credit cards.
These rewards work by offering you cash-back or miles based on the amount of money you charge to your card. Different credit cards offer different deals, so you’ll want to check out the available options before signing up. Also, consider any benefits the card may carry, like access to a members-only lounge at the airport.
To make the most of your rewards, use the card for your everyday purchases. If you don’t like carrying a balance on your credit card, use the credit card to pay for an item and then immediately pay off your balance. While it takes an extra payment step, you’ll be grateful when you see how fast your rewards rack up.
Buy Your Tickets at the Counter
While not technically an online way to save, this last tip can still bring you significant savings.
This is especially true for budget airline Spirit Airlines. When you book online or over the phone with this airline, you’ll see a “passenger usage” fee. This is essentially a convenience fee added to the overall price of your ticket.
It’s best to always look at the fees and service charges that get tacked on near the end of your purchase confirmation. By waiting until the last-minute to display these, the airline might present a much better initial offer than what you actually end up paying.
Utilize These Tips for Buying Plane Tickets
The next time you start planning your trip, make sure to use these tips for buying plane tickets online.
By combining a few of these tips and being conscious of average ticket prices, you can really score some deals.
Wondering what to do with all that saved cash? Browse the rest of this site to discover inspirational travel content to fill up your trip itinerary and make the best use of your extra money.