In this article, I’m going to walk you through how to book flights for cheap. As an adult, I find that traveling helps me to reignite my creativity. I love to travel. Growing up I never traveled often. Seeing new things around me has helped me to change the way I think about myself and the world around me. It has given me an appreciation for different cultures, foods, and languages.
But traveling wasn’t always possible with my income as a teacher and so I had to make a conscious effort to afford the things I enjoyed without breaking the bank.
Let’s talk about tactics on how to book flights for cheap.
The first thing you need to do when it comes to booking flights for cheap is to plan ahead. Booking your trip between 3-6 months in advance is the best way to save money. The closer in time that you book your flight to your vacation or trip, the higher the prices of plane flights and hotels will be.
Travel on the off season
The second thing you need to consider is to book tickets on the shoulder season or the offseason. My husband and I find amazing deals online for trips during February and March which are not peak season for traveling abroad. Often times flights are cheaper as well as hotels. One of our most recent trips was in Athens Greece. We found an amazing deal on Groupon for a 5 night stay in Athens, Greece with a 4 star hotel for $649. Take into consideration that during the summer, prices like these can be double!
Avoid peak travel season
Avoid the peak traveling times such as holidays and summer. Obviously, everyone typically takes their vacations in the summertime or needs to visit family during the holidays, so you may notice that airports and tickets will rise around this time. It’s best to book these tickets in advance to save some money, although you still won’t get the best deals around this time.
review the Median Flight cost
Once you determine where you want to go, use search engines like kayak and google flights allow you to compare airfaire tickets to determine the median price of the tickets that are being sold around the time of your travel. You can actually set a price alert using kayak and even see a forecast of Kayak’s historical data to determine if you should buy or wait to purchase tickets.
Scan for deals
Once you determine the median prices of the airline flights, you’ll want to scan for prices of the flights that are less than the average flight cost. Danielle Desier, a travel finance strategist recommends using a few resources like secret flying, thrifty traveler, and dollar flight club to see if you can book cheaper flights.
Save for travel
Of course, booking up a ticket means that you need cash on hand to purchase your ticket. You’ll want to make sure that you save up for these kinds of deals and having a separate bank account to save for your travel will help you avoid getting into a cycle of getting into debt. I have a separate checking account that’s used for our goals and many times I’ve actually put money into that account from each paycheck to save towards an upcoming flight. That way once I know that I’m going to travel, I can pay towards that flight at any time.
Use credit card points
The last recommendation I would say is to use credit card points. I recommend that this is something you should try only if you have historically made on time payments on your credit cards, your credit card balance is low, and you have a full emergency fund funded. If you fit all of those categories, using credit card points might be for you.
I would just start off with Chase’s Sapphire Preferred Card. There is a $99 annual fee, however, there is a signup bonus and if you qualify for this bonus, you can get thousands of extra points that can save you from having to spend more money on travel. These points can be used for things like booking flights or hotels or get discounts on Airbnb. A caveat is that by redeeming points, you may not get the exact dollar for dollar exchange rate of a flight because you have to book through Chase’s online portal, but if you want to use this method to save yourself from having to spend extra money on flights, this is definitely one way to go.
It’s important to know that traveling often takes extra planning time and consideration. You’ll want a clear way to determine how much you need to save, the time you need it saved by, and create a spending and savings goal each month to reach your goal. Even if you use a credit card to earn points to redeem a flight, I always recommend having a buffer of money you can spend in case of additional fees, charges, and other experiences that you want to enjoy.
That’s it for this article, and thank you again for watching! Don’t forget to head on over to my free facebook group for more tips on saving and earning more money. I post a weekly video every single week and also share these episodes on my podcast Earn, Save, Thrive.