With gasoline prices ever fluctuating, more and more people choose flying as a mode of transportation. A little bit of planning and preparation go a long way in finding an air fare that will best suit your budget. Here are some tips that you may find useful.
Things You'll Need
- A computer with internet access
- Pen and paper
- A telephone
- An origination and destination
- Tentative dates
You will first need to determine where it is you need to go, and where you would like to depart from. It is often cheaper to leave and fly into a smaller airport or a co-terminal. If you are an inexperienced traveler, it may be better for you to travel on a direct flight, or through a smaller connection city. Keep in mind though that it is usually cheaper to connect that to fly direct.
Determine at least tentatively when you would like to leave and when you would like to arrive. This includes not only the actual day, but also the time of day you would like to arrive or leave. If possible, consider taking the earliest flight possible. Weather delays occur more often in the afternoons, when thunderstorms have had a chance to develop. You will also need to consider the fact that many of the cheaper air fares involve a weekend stay. Read all conditions before booking anything.
Once you have your dates and destinations hammered out, book as soon as possible to secure the cheapest fare. The farther in advance that you can book, the cheaper your fare will be. A good rule of thumb is that the cheapest fares require at least 3 weeks of notice. Never try to buy a ticket on the same day of departure, as all of the cheaper economy fares will have been booked already by others.
It is usually cheaper to go through an internet travel site than to book with either the airline directly or through a travel agent. Hit all of the main travel sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline, etc. Then, visit the websites of the airline as well to compare prices. Try to book online to avoid airline ticketing fees. Airline ticketing fees are charged for booking by phone as well as booking at the airport, and they typically run between $15 and $20. Be sure to print out receipts and try to reserve seats before you leave the site.