How to Save Money When Flying: 10 Tips to Lower Your Travel Costs on Flights, Airport Parking & More by 30Seconds Travel
Anyone who flies often or is planning a vacation knows that flying can take a big chunk out of your travel budget. If you're about to be one of the 2.7 million plus people who fly every day and don't have money to burn, here are 10 travel tips to help you save money on the flight, on parking and even a couple of secrets when booking online.
1. Book Airport Parking in Advance
When considering how to get to the airport, parking at the airport is usually the most cost-effective way. When you drive yourself and park, you never have to worry about your ride being late, getting lost or not showing up at all. If you do plan to park at the airport, make sure to reserve an airport parking space in advance. Try a website like TravelCar.com that says the general rule of thumb is the further in advance you book, the better rate you will get. The closer you get to your departure date, especially during holiday weekends, the rates will go up.
2. Shop Midweek and in Incognito Mode
Looking for the best flight deals? Do your initial searching and comparison shopping during the week and in an incognito browser. Flights are generally cheaper during the week than they are on the weekend for the same flight. And always ensure you’re browsing in an incognito window. Airlines set cookies and know that when you’re repeating a search, it means you’re more likely to buy, so they up the prices. If you shop in incognito, they won’t recognize you.
3: Set Up Flight Alerts
If you don’t have time to do your own comparison shopping or just want someone else to help you search, signing up for flight alerts from Hopper can be a big help. Hopper is an app that analyzes flight prices and predicts when is the best time to buy. Simply enter in departure and arrival location as well as dates and wait for the notifications. Even better, you can also mark that you’re flexible and get notifications for dates within a certain window as well as nearby airports.
4. Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
Plain and simple, flying mid-week is just cheaper.
5. Take Advantage of Layovers
Nobody likes a long layover, but many times flights with long layovers can be a lot cheaper. If you do end up with a long layover, check out Sanctifly, which can help find wellness activities at various airports.
6. Book a Hidden City Ticket
While airlines frown upon this, check out the website Skiplagged to help you find discounts on one-way flights by searching for “hidden city” tickets. This mean you purchase a ticket that has your destination as a stop-over instead of being the arriving location. But know that you won’t be able to check luggage as it will go to the final destination.
7. Use a VPN to Visit Sites You’ve Already Visited
If you’ve got a virtual private network (VPN), this is even better for shopping than incognito mode. As mentioned above, websites track your cookies along with your location and IP address. By using a VPN, you can hide your location and even search using a different city or country. Try searching for airfares using a different city or country to see the difference in flight prices. Keep in mind, you will need to search on that country’s version of the website. So if you mark yourself as being in Spain, you’ll want to find the Spain version of that airline’s website.
8. Sign Up for a Credit Card Just for the Points
If you’ve got the credit and can afford to get a credit card, consider applying for one from an airline. These usually come with a minimum spend in the first few months, but can reward you with enough points to earn free flights.
9. Consider Bundling Hotel and Air
While you may not get the hotel of your choice, if you’re looking for a way to save, check out bundles or packages offered by the airline or try websites like Priceline or Expedia.
10. Book a Private Room or Hostel
If you’re planning to spend a small amount of time in your accommodations, try booking a private room at a house or even consider staying at a hostel. While a hostel stay may scare some travelers, check out HostelWorld.com, which has a ton of options as well as reviews to help you feel better about your pick.
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