Finding cheap airfares
Most people today are looking for ways to save on their everyday expenses. With the price of gas getter higher by the day, a lot of travelers are choosing to travel by air because in many cases it is actually cheaper than driving! Well, at least it's cheaper if you can find airline tickets that are bargains.
To save you the hassle of going to various airlines' websites and tediously searching for cheap flights, numerous sites that offer to find you the "cheapest airline tickets" have popped up in the last few years. However, don't be fooled into thinking that one site is the answer to all of your questions. Here are a few suggestions for finding cheap airfares:
- Shop around Go to multiple clearinghouse sites: Not every discount travel site works the same, nor does every site use the same search features to find you the cheapest airfare. Before you actually make your ticket purchase, try visiting several popular travel sites and comparing the offers they find you.
- Read the fine print Never buy a ticket without understanding all of the details: Some sites will make you agree to the purchase of the ticket before you see who the carrier is, when the flight leaves, or how many layovers you may have. Beware of this practice! You may be agreeing to a purchase that, in the end, is unfavorable to you or your travel plans. Always get all of the details before actually making the purchase.
- All in one may not be the best way to go Beware of airfares that have prices attached to "package deals": You may find that you can purchase your tickets—and your hotels, car rentals, etc.—at a cheaper price by purchasing each separately. Do a bit of homework before you agree to these package deals.
- Call a travel agent or tour company If your plans call for last minute travel, call a few local travel agencies or tour companies. They will often have open seats on charters, and may be willing to let you fill that space for far less than the commercial rate.
- Let the deals come to you Sign up for notification from the travel sites and airlines. They will e-mail you with their current specials and discounted destinations. Be sure to check your e-mail frequently if you want the best deals - many of these e-mail specials are only good if you book within 24 hours, and may sell out quickly.
Flying is still a bargain
In today's struggling economy, you may be tempted to forgo airline travel due to perceived prohibitive costs—but don't be so quick to judge the costs! Airlines are always offering deals on off-season travel, or on tickets purchased well in advanced. Finally, don't forget to use your free air miles that are a benefit of many major credit cards. These miles really add up, and you've earned 'em, so use 'em! Many sites will ask you if you have any air miles, but if they don't ask you, then ask them! Finding cheap airfares should be seen as a challenge for money-conscious travelers; just make sure it is you who is the winner by the time you step on the plane.