The Real Trick to Scoring Super Cheap Airfare (Video)
If you really want a good deal, here's what you have to do.
Although there are lots of tips and tricks for saving on airfare, there is no money-saver quite like flexibility.
Travelers who are locked into rigid plans will almost always have to shell out more money than their freewheeling counterparts.
As you consider your next destination, here are five ways that being flexibility can help you travel on a budget.
Time of year
Don’t take vacation when everybody else is taking vacation. The day before Thanksgiving, the days before Christmas, and spring break around Easter are often the most expensive times of year to book a flight.
Flexible travelers should try to book flights in early November or early December, and January or February to save on airfare. Those looking to save on a getaway in the summer should aim to travel in early June or the middle of August.
Day of the week
When searching for flights, you can also see which days are cheaper using tools like the fare calendar in Google Flights.
Time of day
Passengers who don’t mind sacrificing a few hours of sleep can often find the lowest prices of the day on red-eye flights. (Bonus: Airports are generally less crowded in the mornings, so security lines are faster.)
Making a detour instead of taking a direct route is often the cheapest option for passengers traveling through smaller airports. Because airlines operate on a spoke-and-hub model, flying to an out-of-the-way hub (and sacrificing a few hours) can result in less expensive airfare.
Price is a deciding factor for most airline passengers — except those with brand loyalty. Even though you may be trying to rack up frequent flier miles with a particular airline, shopping around may reveal that fares are low enough on another airline that the rewards for a single flight aren't worth the price difference.