Wondering how frequent flyers save money on airfare? We’ve rounded up some of the best tips to get you a deal on your next vacation to spend less and go further.
Do your research and stay informed to save money on airfare
Figure out what the average prices are for your trip by using comparison sites like Kayak or Google Flights. Use the calendar view to see what prices are throughout different times of the year. Once you know what the regular prices are for your flights, you’ll know a deal when you see one. There are a lot of great deal sites like FlyTrippers, Airfare Watchdog, Thrifty Traveler and Secret Flying that update frequently with all kinds of flight deals, flash sales and error fares. A lot of the deals are time sensitive and require some flexibility in timing and routing, but if a deal works for you, book it immediate.
Book shoulder season or off-season flights
If you’re trying to go somewhere in March, April, July, August, or December, expect high airfares. These prices don’t reduce much because airlines know that these months are in high demand due to school breaks and holidays. If possible, book shoulder season flights in May, June, October, and November. Flights will be cheaper, the weather will be milder, and there will be less crowds to deal with wherever you go. And if you have flexibility to travel during off-season months in January, February, and September, you’ll normally be able to book even cheaper flights.
For example, a unique destination like Santa Fe, New Mexico is busiest in the summer because of the warm temperatures or the fall because of the great festivals. Instead, travel to New Mexico in the winter where the temperatures are a touch cooler (but still temperate), there are less lines at attractions and even skiing to enjoy.
Explore Low-Cost Airlines
One of the best ways to save money on airfare, is to fly an airline who’s base fare is low already. A low-cost airline though is different from standard airlines as you pay for just your seat and one personal item that can fit in the seat in-front of you. If this type of travel is right for you, just be aware of the ways you can keep your fares low and where it might add up.
Swoop became the first Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) to enter the U.S. market when it released its 2018/19 winter schedule with one-way sale fares starting as low as $99 CAD including taxes and fees, through to April 27 and offer flights throughout Canada for as low as $9. This is your gateway into the Rockies flying to Edmonton or heading to the coast of Canada to Halifax. The catch is, that your fare only includes a personal item like a backpack. Pre-buying your additional luggage will get you the lowest rates, or pack light for a weekend getaway if you really want to save.
The have also launched a new way to change your trip as you go. Purchased at the time of booking for $10.50-$11.25 CAD† per traveller, per direction, ModiFly allows a one-time change to flight dates and/or times up to 24 hours before departure. In addition, any other extras that have been purchased, such as checked baggage or seat selection, will transfer to the new flight‡.
Book early and try to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
Airfares are priced on supply and demand, so when supply is high and demand is low, airfares will be lowest. Most business travel happens on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and personal travel mainly occurs around the weekend on Fridays and Sundays. Thus, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays will usually be the cheapest days to fly. If your schedule is flexible enough, plan your trip on one of these days and reduce your costs. The sweet spot for the best pricing on airfares is somewhere around 45 to 90 days before departure. Booking too early or too late can lock you into an unfavorably high price for your airfare