In addition to lodging costs, one of the more expensive parts of vacation travel is the cost of flights. With all the fees and charges, finding an affordable flight has become a science of its own. I have very few relatives in Florida, where I live, so I have to hop a flight to visit my family. Please leave your tips in comment section!
The Frugalista’s Five Affordable Travel Tips
1) Travel Days: Plan your vacation right after a major holiday because flights will be much lower. For instance, travel to your destination the weekend after the Fourth of July. I use this trick when I visit my family. Try to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Those days are often less traveled and offer more inventory and better prices. Also, a travel agent can help you with timing. They don’t cost you anything because hotels, car companies, resorts and cruise lines pay the travel agents. The travel agents often have access to unpublished fares. The best way to find a good one is to go through a referral of a friend.
2) Affordable Websites: Shop for airfare on Bing.com. The site lets you know the probability of flights going up. Use kayak.com to get daily alerts on the price of your ticket-this site searches all the sites out there. Use travel compilation flight sites such as expedia.com, orbitz.com and travelocity.com find out the lowest flight rates of several carriers. After searching those sites,go to the corporate site of the lowest fare and double check to see if you are getting the best deal.
3) Purchase Times: Your flight ticket in the early mornings on Wednesdays for in the evening on Tuesday for the best savings. Most of the airlines would have released their sales for the week and are competing with each other for the best rates. Purchase your flight six weeks in advance, if you can. The closer it gets to your travel date, the higher the prices tend to rise.
4) Baggage: Try not to check your luggage. Many airlines offer pricey fees for checking your baggage, running up the costs of your flights. Southwest allows two free baggage checks. Jet Blue allows one. If you must carry large bags and you are a planner, shipping your bags early using UPS or Fed Ex ground can be more affordable than paying the $25-$30 per bag check in fees of some airlines. If you must check a bag on the flight, sign up on-line, which may save you $2-3.
5) Food: Airline/Airport food can be pricey and unhealthy. Pack your own snacks-dried fruit and nuts They travel easy and will keep the munchies away!