Airline tickets are expensive- we’ve all been there, and most of us have come to accept this as a barrier when planning travel.
It seems like there’s never the right time to book a flight, and that regardless of when you bite the bullet and click “Confirm Purchase,” you won’t be getting the best deal.
Waiting until the last minute, however, is even more costly! When we plan travel within two weeks of our departure, ticket prices can skyrocket and the options for convenient flights go out the window. Although this can’t always be avoided (we have emergencies and embark on spontaneous weekend getaways, too!) it’s inconvenient and expensive to book last minute travel.
So, what’s the solution? There are a few schools of thought, but one piece of advice remains consistent- the more information you have in advance about your trip, the more flexibility you’ll have when it comes time to make your purchase.
For now, though, let’s check in with some of the web’s travel experts and see what they’ve got to offer as far as airfare tips are concerned.
Finding Cheap Airfare
- According to Kellie Pelletier, the airfare expert at Jetsetter, “When in doubt, booking earlier is safer. If you wait, fares could go up or down, and usually fares go up by more than they go down (read: going down $50 vs. going up by $300). Only bide your time if your flight isn’t too full and you know the price is a lot higher than it should be.”
- Rick Seany, from FareCompare.com, claims that studies shows the best time to shop for airfare is Tuesday at 3pm EST – most airlines have adjusted prices to match sales by this time. These sales are pulled before the weekend, which causes a rise in prices by Friday morning.
- Founder of AirfareWatchdog, George Hobica, suggests following airlines on social media for notifications of flash sales. “A low fare could pop up at any minute of the day or week, so shop around, follow tweets — because the best deals, even if they’re good for travel over a long period, last only a few hours.”
- Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com, suggests booking through websites that offer mix-and-match airline tickets, since they allow travelers to get the best deal on each leg of their itinerary. Websites like CheapAir, Expedia, and CheapTickets allow customers to “mix and match fares from multiple airlines in a single search to create a fully customized combination of flights. This way, customers can not only quickly find the best deal but the most convenient itinerary, and buy from different airlines in a single step.”
So, whether you’re booking a domestic family vacation or a solo ticket to travel on one of Global Leadership Adventures international high school service-learning volunteer programs, your best bet for cheap airfare is to shop around, plan in advance and be sure to check out the many avenues for sale prices! Scoring on airfare can make an already-amazing opportunity to experience a new culture even sweeter.
Gillian Gleizer says
Airfare is extremely costly and is always something to keep in mind when traveling. It is a huge expense and it feels as if it well never be “just right” or you will never get “the best deal.” But throughout my experience of traveling I have found early is always best. It leaves room for error and prices usually go up as dates come closer. When I went to Ecuador 2 years ago I managed to buy a round trip flight at almost 75% the price because I reserved in advance! Oppositely when I went to Thailand last summer I bought my airfare a month and a half in advance and found myself looking for empty spaces and finding the flights I wanted were already booked. Therefore in my experience the early bird gets the worm!