Flights can often be the biggest expense when travelling. If you’re planning to jet off somewhere and want to save money on your flight, here are a few tricks that could help to lower the cost.
Take advantage of early bird deals
Many airlines offer early bird deals to travellers that book flights more than six months ahead. Booking far ahead also gives you the option to spread out the cost in instalments, which could make your flight easier to budget for. You can use flight comparison sites to shop for deals.
Book last minute
Alternatively, you can book your flight a couple weeks before to take advantage of last minute deals. Some airlines will slash their prices by as much as 50% the last couple weeks before, in order to fill up empty seats. Flights can sometimes get fully-booked in advance, so this may not be a good option if you have a specific arrival date in mind.
Avoid peak times
Flying is more popular in summer and around Christmas. Many people also prefer to depart on the weekend. These peak times to travel are often more expensive – by planning your trip for Fall or Spring and booking a weekday flight, you could save a lot of money.
Break up long haul flights
When it comes to long haul flights, you’re often better off taking multiple flights rather than a single direct flight. For example, if you’re travelling from Chicago to London, consider stopping off at New York or Reykjavik – it could half the cost in some cases. Ideally you want to stay in the airport during your stopover as booking an overnight hotel could add to the costs (although sometimes you can still save money even by doing this).
Watch your baggage weight
Many airlines charge a fee if you go over your baggage allowance. Weigh your suitcase before you get to the airport, so that you know you’re not over the weight allowance. Some budget airlines charge you for any baggage you take in the hold – if you’re only going on a short break, you may be able to save costs by putting all your belongings in your hand luggage (some items may be restricted, so research into this beforehand).
Shop around for airport parking options
Airport parking can be an overlooked fee when flying. You can usually save money on airport parking by booking ahead. There are sites that can compare parking options for you - as is the case with this BWI parking. By exploring all your options, you can find the cheapest parking rates. Another option of course could be to get dropped off by a friend or family member and simply pay them some money towards fuel.
Bring your own food
On-flight meals - plus snacks and refreshments – can all add up. You could be better off bringing your own packed lunch with you. Just make sure to look up airline restriction as to which food you can bring.