Tips for Cheaper Flights and Airfare

I'm a sporadic person when it comes to travel. Many of my road trips have been spurt of the moment ideas. I'd overhear that someone was traveling across the country, or someone wanted to go visit someone so I'd chime in and say, "Yup! We're doing it!" Now, I have planned them before and made sure we had all of our stops lined up, but something about being sporadic is just plain fun. I was talking to Margaux the other day about wanting to go to an airport someday with a random sum of money to spend. The goal would be to fly without any specific destination but to fly once or twice and end up in a random state. Maybe it's crazy, and I'm sure it would be relatively expensive, but to me it sounds like loads of fun! Instead of talking about spontaneity in flying, I figured I talk about some tips for finding cheaper flights when you're traveling. Here's a few tips!

Book ahead of time

Seems like an easy concept, right? I guess that completely goes against my plan to be spontaneous. Typically, the earlier you book a flight, the better your rate will be. If you know that you are going to be taking a trip in the future, start looking now. Chances are, you'll get a better rate than if you wait. Prices go way up if you wait, and if you wait until two weeks before you need to fly out, chances are you'll be paying a pretty penny.

Sign up for alerts

Many airline sites offer tool bars or notification dingers (not the actual term) if a cheap flight comes along. It will ding and pop up on your screen letting you know that there's a good rate for travel. Some sites will even inform you if a rate has dropped even after you have booked so you can take advantage of the price cut.

Be flexible about flying

Typically, Tuesday is the cheapest day to catch a flight. Find off days of travel and you'll most likely catch a big break on how much you are paying per flight. I know that in comparing flight dates, I've saved as much as 100 dollars just by changing my flights by a day. It may not always be the most convenient flight to take, but if it saves you a chunk of change, it will be worth it in the end. The extra money you save could mean more spending money on your trip!

For a list of more great tips, check out this article by Smart Money!

What are your travel tips?

Seth P.