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How to Save Money on Airfare

Don't let high prices prevent you from taking to the skies. These travel tips will help you land the lowest airfares.


  • Step 1: To save money on airfare when planning your next vacation, explore a region of the world where air travel is less expensive, like Central America and Southeast Asia.
  • Step 2: If you're travel plans are flexible, sign up for e-mail alerts about last-minute deals and promotions. Airlines are more likely to list these on their own sites than give them to travel aggregators and online travel agencies. Bon voyage!
  • FACT: The average domestic airfare in the United States dropped nearly 20 percent from 1995 to 2010, after adjusting for inflation.
  • Step 3: When searching for flights, consider flying on a smaller airline, their fares are sometimes lower than the large airlines.
  • Step 4: Try to fly into smaller airports; those flights are often cheaper. Or consider whether it makes sense to fly into a less popular city in the state or country you're visiting: it's sometimes cheaper to fly to an airport near your target destination and take land transportation from there.
  • TIP: Book international travel 3 to 6 months in advance.
  • Step 5: Fly when fares are typically lowest -- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. If that's not possible, book an early-morning flight, which tends to be cheaper. And sign up for e-mail alerts from websites that notify you when fares to your desired destination are low.
  • Step 6: Save money on airfare by booking early if possible. The longer you wait to book, the higher the fare is likely to be, since airline tickets typically go up 21 days, 14 days, 7 days, and 3 days before flying.

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