5 tips for flying on a budget
One amazing trip is all it takes to make traveling all you can think about. Whether it’s a long list of dream destinations or a checklist of cultural experiences that drives you, there’s one big logistical challenge that must be considered for any trip—cost.
While expenses vary depending on location, transportation costs are often the biggest drawback to jet-setting the way you want to. With these five tips, traveling can be a little bit easier on your bank account.
Choose The Right Rewards Credit Card
First and foremost, do what you can to rack up points which can be used to buy flights or cover other transportation costs.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a credit card that rewards you for traveling. Most of them will give you enough miles for a free flight just by simply signing up and spending a certain amount in the first month.
The Capital One Venture card is great for travelers looking to save money. This card allows you to put your points toward any airline, which allows you to pick the flight that works best with your budget instead of having to stick with one airline that might not travel everywhere you want to go. In addition, if you don’t have enough points to pay for a flight, you can put them toward baggage fees or other expenses that can help you save.
Choose A Frequent Flier Program
Make sure you know the different frequent flier groups and which airlines they cover. For example, if you are a member of the One World program, you can get perks for flying American, British, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LAN or Qatar.
Sticking to one airline will save you more in the long run, even if it’s a little bit more expensive up front. If you can get a credit card that aligns with your frequent flier program, you’ll save even more.
Book During The Most Affordable Day Of The Week
Numerous studies have shown that flights are cheaper when bought during the middle of the week from Tuesday to Thursday. Recent research has shown that more specifically, Wednesdays around 3 p.m., Eastern Time, is the cheapest a flight will be during the week.
You can track the costs by day using different websites such as farecompare.com.
Be Flexible With Days And Times Of Flights
If your schedule allows, try to fly on off-peak days and at less desirable times. Flying on a Saturday afternoon or on a red-eye flight Thursday evening will likely save you some cash when booking a trip.
Most websites have the option to search three days before and after the desired dates of your trip to show you the cost difference of booking the exact day and time you wanted versus a day early or day later.
Certain apps like Hopper will allow you to track a certain trip and tell you when it is cheapest to buy a flight. They give you an idea of what day is cheapest, what airline is most affordable and will notify you when prices are going to rise or drop.
Look For Alternative Connections Or Destinations
Do some more in-depth research and see what different flights fly into your ultimate destination. If your vacation spot isn’t a major city, try finding a major hub close by and then look for regional connecting flights.
If you end up with a connection somewhere you didn’t originally consider, you can even choose a longer layover and add a leg to your trip for relatively the same cost as flying direct.