As air travel has become more commonplace, airlines are no longer struggling to fill seats on their airplanes, and cheaper fares are harder to come by. Because airlines changes their prices so regularly, the cost of tickets on the same flight can be dramatically different. Everyone has their own ideas about when and how to shop for the cheapest airfares. Some people swear that fares are cheapest on Tuesdays, while others suggest searching nearby airports for better deals. In the end, patience and persistence may be the best tools you can use to find a good deal on airfare.
Compare prices on discount travel sites and on airline sites three to four months before your trip. Keep in mind that some airlines don't do business with the discount sites, and you can often find the best deal on the airline's site. You can also set up fare alerts that will email you when fares are offered within your price range.
Compare prices for the destinations that you are considering. If you are flexible in terms of your destination, you may be able to find a very affordable fare.
Be flexible on your dates for even greater savings. Most sites allow you to look at fares for an entire month to see which dates have the cheapest airfares. Changing the length of your trip by a day or two may be the key to saving money on your flights.
Purchase non-refundable tickets, as they are usually the cheapest. Only buy refundable tickets if you think that your vacation may be canceled.
Check for package deals for even greater savings on airline tickets, hotels and car rentals. Package deals may help you to get lower rates for airfare, transportation, lodging, and activities at your destination.