20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Booking cheap flights today is almost like a science. You may see a good rate in the morning, and within a few hours it can quickly double in price. In fact, airlines often fluctuate their prices throughout the day to help fill empty seats.

As a frequent traveler and having handled the corporate travel bookings at my previous job, I’ve picked up a few travel tricks and money-saving hacks along the way.

Here are 23 secrets to booking cheap flights.

 

1. Plan ahead and be patient

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Planning ahead is the first step in finding cheap flights. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find last minute discounts, but you’ll have more options and flexibility to score cheap flights when you plan ahead.

This means that if you wish to travel in spring, you should start checking prices in the fall or winter season.

Tips for planning ahead:

  • Check travel websites for prices first thing every morning (around 9:00am) and in the evening (after 6:00pm).
  • Sign up for email alerts. I like using Skyscanner for this tool as this allows me to see how the price fluctuates (up or down) and know when the cheapest fight is available.
  • Start your search three months before your trip. As a general guideline, the cheapest flights can be found at least 47 days before the departure date.

 

2. Search incognito

Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to get the lowest price.

Sometimes there is no difference in price when searching in incognito mode, however I always recommend comparing rates before booking your flight.

 

3. Search tickets one at a time

Even if you’re traveling with a group, sometimes airlines can sell multiple airfare classes at different prices.

For example, if you’re traveling as a pair and there is only one seat left in the lowest fare class, the website will usually show the highest fare class for both tickets.

However if you search each ticket separately, the website may show a cheaper rate. This can help at least one person – if not both of you – save money on your flights.

 

4. Delete your browser history and cookies

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

You’re not crazy if you’ve seen the price of a flight change after searching it a few times. Travel websites and airlines will remember your search, and this might cause prices to actually increase.

Always delete your browser history and cookies before searching for flights. Your best bet is to search in incognito or private browsing mode (as mentioned in tip #2).

 

5. Check the airline’s direct website

While third party travel websites can be great, sometimes the best unadvertised deals are found directly on the airline’s website.

 

6. Join the email list of your favorite airline and third party travel website

I recommend signing up for email promotions offered through your preferred airline and third party travel website. This allows you to receive special offers as soon as they go live online or exclusive offers for email subscribers.

 

7. Check departures/ arrivals from alternative airports

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Some major cities have multiple airports within close proximity. For example, New York City has three main airports which visitors can choose from: LGA, JFK and EWR.

Prices can vary significantly based on which airport you choose, so it’s important to always compare rates.

One thing to keep in mind though is to determine if flying into an alternative airport is worth the savings.

For example, if you’re traveling to New York City and fly into EWR, you will have to pay for New Jersey transit (or taxi) to get to Manhattan.

The savings that you got from flying into EWR may quickly disappear by the time you factor in the ground transportation costs to get into Manhattan.

 

8. Follow airlines and third party travel websites on Social Media

One of the great features about social media is that airlines can use these platforms to share special travel promotions with their followers.

Sometimes an airline will offer a special promotion code through their Twitter or Facebook page, so it’s important to follow along with them online.

 

9. Bundle your flights, hotel and car rental

Bundling your trip on websites like Expedia can help you save up to $300. These savings can provide more room in your travel budget for sightseeing, entertainment, dining out and shopping.

 

10. Or don’t bundle your flights, hotel and car rental

While great deals can be found when you bundle your trip, sometimes this is not always the case. Always compare prices to determine if bundling or booking separately is more cost effective.

 

11. Mix and match airlines

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Sometimes booking a round trip or multi-city trip with the same airlines can save you money, however this is not always the rule.

Always compare prices to determine if you’re getting the cheapest flight when you book with one airlines vs. multiple airlines.

The easiest method to compare prices is using a third party website, such as Skyscanner, which will list the cheapest flight combination for your chosen dates.

 

12. Fly on the cheapest day of the week

Traveling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually the cheapest days of the week. Also, searching mid-week for flights produces the best deals too.

From my personal experience, I also find that Thursday can sometimes offer a good price as well.

Days that tend to be the most expensive are Mondays, Fridays and sometimes Sundays. Airlines know that most business trips take place between Monday and Friday, which is why it tends to be more expensive to depart Monday and return on Friday.

However, business travelers have started to recently fly out on Sunday, rather than Monday to try and get a better rate on airfare, but this isn’t always the case.

13. Fly during off-peak hours

Sure you may already know that flying after 8:00pm is usually cheaper than flying during the day. But you can also score a deal by taking an early morning flight as well (between 5:00am and 7:00am).

 

14. Fly indirect

While nonstop flights are usually preferred, sometimes you can save a significant amount by choosing a 1-stop flight.

A 1-stop flight may also give you more options.

For example, I just recently booked flights to Victoria, BC and the only direct flight from Toronto arrives late at night. Instead, I picked a 1-stop flight that arrives in Victoria by noon, which also saved me over $100.

You may also decide to choose a flight with a long layover, which can allow you to explore the city as an added bonus.

 

15. Fly during the shoulder or off-season

Flying during the shoulder or off-season can lead to significant savings.

I was able to score a great 7-day vacation package to Paris in February for only $1,000 CAD (which included flights, hotel and taxes).

This was a lot more affordable than traveling during the summer months and traveling during the off-season tends to be less busy too—which is a win-win for me.

The take-home point is to be flexible with your travel dates, as prices can fluctuate significantly throughout the seasons.

 

16. Save money on checked baggage

Most airlines now charge you $25 each way to check your luggage, and they will also charge you extra if it’s over the weight limit.

You can avoid this by packing lightly and wearing your heavier items on the plane.

If you’re traveling with a close friend or significant other, consider sharing a suitcase with them. This can save you $50 together on baggage costs ($25 each way).

Another option is to bring carry-on luggage only if you’re going on a short trip, such as a weekend getaway. Most hotels offer basic toiletries, and you can bring travel-sized items with you on the plane (provided they meet the TSA liquid guidelines).

 

17. Bring your own food

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Many airlines now charge for food on board. Save money by bringing your own snacks from home instead of buying them on the plane. I promise that your own food will taste a lot better too.

 

18. Shop around for travel & health insurance

I always recommend having travel or (extra) health insurance for your trip, however the one offered when you book your flights isn’t always the best rate.

Sometimes your work place might offer travel or health coverage, which is included in your benefits package.

You can also purchase insurance through your bank for the year — which is what I currently do.

Since I travel multiple times per year, an annual insurance plan is more cost effective for me (instead of having to pay separately for each trip).

If you are over 40 years old (or have a history of health issues), I recommend purchasing extra health coverage (even if you’re already covered through work).

Unfortunately we can never predict what might happen while we’re traveling, which is why it’s always important to be prepared.

 

19. Avoid paying for seat selection (if possible)

While advanced seat selection is sometimes included in your airfare, some airlines charge a fee to select your seats.

Unless you’re particular about where you sit on the plane, I recommend skipping this step when booking your flights.

Instead, check-in 24 hours before your flight, which allows you to make your seat selection for free.

 

20. Sign up for a frequent flier program

Frequent flier programs are great for scoring free flights and upgrades.

Even if you’re not a frequent flier I recommend signing up for an airline rewards program. You can earn points by shopping at partner stores, taking advantage of special email offers (sign up for their newsletter) and by flying of course.

3 Considerations for Buying Real Estate – Local Records Office

Local Records Office – PEKIN, IL: Buying your first home can be a challenging job. In fact, it could be so much daunting a task that most people simply fall for the first affordable house that comes their way or find it better to remain at the rented home says, Local Records Office. However, if you know a few basic rules to buying real estate, the difficulty in finding a house would soon vanish.

READ MORE: Local Records Office Highlights Considerations Homebuyers Should Make Before Starting a House Hunt

Here are three most important things to consider when buying a home, whether you are purchasing for the first time or not.

  1. Affordability

Local Records Office says, “Almost every homebuyer has affordability as the number one consideration when choosing real estate”. If you don’t have a larger budget, avoid checking newer developments. Relatively, they are going to be far more expensive.

When considering the overall budget, there are a number of things that need to be added up. This includes the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. If the location is in a city where your house is not serviced for garbage, water and sewer, it would again be your own expense.

READ MORE: How To Reduce Home-Buying Stress

In addition, you must also include the future costs, especially any repairs or new additions that could be required in the next five years says, Local Records Office. This could include repainting, siding, roof repair, electrical system update, heating system update, basement refinishing, reworking or re-carpeting the floors, updating cabinetry and appliances in the kitchen, or the bathroom.

  1. Location

Local Records Office says, “Once you have determined the amount of money you can spend on the real estate, the next factor is location”. Usually, buyers would already know which city or town they want to live in with their family. Choose a location, based on the features of a place and your own knowledge. Some of the most important factors that need to be considered when choosing a location include the schools, health care facilities, parks, markets or malls and most notably crime statistics. The place must offer quality living standards for your family.

Commuting distance is also a major factor. The distance to the work place shouldn’t be beyond an hour away. There are many advantages of choosing an urban location. Mostly, you would be closer to your work place. Schools, restaurants and stores are within walking distance. However, such a location is going to be expensive and could have higher road traffic and noise says, Local Records Office.

If you consider buying real estate on the streets, most likely the property is going to be cheaper by thousands of dollars. However, before making a decision for such a location, drive by a few times at different times of the day and week. Choose a location that is less noisy.

  1. Home Type

The third most important consideration is the type of home itself. Single-family homes appreciate well over time says, Local Records Office. They offer more privacy, they are quieter and you could work out a splendid garden. However, such property is costlier than condos and townhouses.

A condo is a cheaper real estate compared to a single-family home. Because they are usually newer, there is no need to spend much on repairs. There is no exterior, which would again mean lesser maintenance.

To learn more about real estate and Local Records Office go to www.LocalRecordsOffices.com

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