- Step 1: Plan ahead Plan ahead. Airfares are usually lowest if you book at least 21 days in advance.
- Step 2: Be flexible Be flexible about departure and return dates. Fares are generally cheaper if you stay over a Saturday night.
- TIP: The best fares are often available on Wednesdays between midnight and 1 a.m.; that’s when most airlines readjust their prices for the week.
- Step 3: Consider alternate airports Consider alternate airports. Say you want to go to New Orleans. Flying into Baton Rouge may be cheaper, and it’s only an hour away.
- Step 4: Check online travel sites Search online travel sites like travelocity.com, cheapflights.com, expedia.com, hotwire.com, and bestfares.com. Check at least three before making your selection, since fares can vary by hundreds of dollars.
- Step 5: Check airline's website Before making a purchase on a travel site, head to the actual airline’s website. Sometimes, booking through the airline itself can snag you a cheaper seat.
- TIP: Discount carriers like Southwest and JetBlue don’t always show up on travel sites, so search their websites directly.
- Step 6: Call airline's 800 number Call the airline’s 800 number and ask for their lowest fare—without giving specific travel dates. Service representatives often don’t tell you about lower fares that are just a day or two before or after your target date.
- TIP: When calling airlines, always be polite and friendly. Studies show service people will go the extra mile for you if you’re nice to them.
- Step 7: Have a good trip Pack your suitcase and have a good trip!
- FACT: Americans between 18 and 34 take the most flights.
You Will Need
- Computer with internet access
- Some patience