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When you want to travel to a destination far away from home, flying is the most convenient and efficient method of transportation. Unfortunately, traveling by plane isn't cheap, and the cost takes a considerable chunk out of your spending money. The expense of flying causes some people to avoid going places they can visit by car, train, or boat. In fact, some people have never been on an airplane due to their limited budget.
Of course, that's no way to vacation. When you work hard and save money, you should be able to go wherever you want. If the cost of flying has caused financial strain or altered your travel plans, perhaps these money-saving tips can work to your advantage.
Go Beyond Ticket Rates When Comparing Flights
Some consumers get looped into what they believe is a great deal, only to find that there are other expenses they've overlooked. It's important to note that airlines charge additional fees to travel. While this varies by airline, some charges include baggage, Wi-Fi, reservation, cancellation, in-person booking, seat selection, alcoholic drinks, pillows, blankets, and frequent flyer point redemption fees.
As you compare tickets, include the additional fees to ensure you get the best deal.
Book During Off-Peak Times
Timing is everything when it comes to reserving airline tickets. Weekends and holidays are the most popular travel time, causing ticket prices to increase. Therefore, if you can book a flight between Monday and Thursday, you can save more money.
Another timing consideration is to wait to reserve your flight until two months before your travel date. As ticket prices fluctuate throughout the year, booking too soon could cause you to miss out on money-saving opportunities.
Select A Less-Popular Airport
Most travelers aren't aware that ticket prices vary by destination. If you select a popular airport, chances are you'll pay more. You can save money by choosing a nearby city with a more affordable airport.
Consider Travel Bundles
Many travel booking sites offer bundling options for consumers that need a flight, hotel, and rental car. As a way of thanking you for booking all of your travel needs through the site, you could receive a discount.
While you'd think it would be cheaper to book a round-trip flight, this isn't always the case. Sometimes you may find that it's more affordable to book a one-way flight on one airline and return on another. When using flight comparison sites, play around with different options like one-way or round-trip to determine the best deal.
Limit Your Luggage
Luggage fees can significantly impact your overall costs to fly. While most airlines allow travelers to take one carry-on for free, additional luggage must be checked in, and a fee is charged based on weight. You can always select an airline with the lowest bag charges, but your best option is to pack light.
Try to get all of your belongings into one bag. You can use packing cubes to help you organize and free up space for more items. Leave valuables home, pack neutral clothing and shoes, and opt for travel-size toiletries to conserve space.
If you want to avoid being charged for internet, movies, and other entertainment services during your flight, it's best to prepare in advance. Download a music playlist to listen to your favorite jams without the internet. You can also download movies and games in advance on your smartphone or tablet to keep you occupied for hours. The same applies to other items like pillows, headphones, or blankets. Bringing these with you will prevent the need to pay for them during your flight.
There's no denying that air travel is expensive. However, it's the fastest and most convenient way to get to destinations around the world. Don't let the expense keep you from traveling the way you desire. Simply use the money-saving tips above to get the best deals on tickets. That way you have more money in your pocket to invest in other travel essentials like hotels, food, and entertainment.
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