Why flexibility is so important for finding low airfare
How can I save money on airfare? It’s one of the number one things travelers are desperate to know. Everyone is looking for a hack when it comes to finding low airfare. But the truth is that many of the “airfare discount hacks” you’ll find when you when search simply aren’t true. Some of these myths have been circulating for so long it’s hard to know how or when they originated. But, much to the frustration of travel consultants, travelers insist on trying these hacks anyway.
The more open-minded you can be about your itinerary, the more likely you are to save on your airfare.
One of the biggest factors in finding low airfare rates is your flexibility. Yes, it’s hard. Our overloaded calendars rule our lives. It’s challenging enough to carve out an afternoon to get your oil changed or your teeth cleaned. So I know being flexible with your vacation plans isn’t easy. But airlines know this too and price their fares accordingly. Everyone wants to travel during the summer. No one wants to fly in the middle of the week or at an awkward time of the day. But would a price difference of a few hundred dollars be enough for you to adjust? The more open-minded you can be about your itinerary, the more likely you are to save on your airfare.
4 Ways to Be Flexible With Your Airfare
Whether they’re trying to accrue points, or simply comfortable with familiarity, most travelers like to stick to a preferred airline. While loyalty does pay off in the travel industry, it never hurts to accrue points with more than one loyalty program. Thanks to airline alliances, you might still be able to accrue partial or full mileage on a loyalty program you already have while flying with a new carrier.
This is one of the hardest things to budge on, especially when you’re coordinating ground transportation. But flying into an alternative, nearby airport can make a huge price difference. Would you be willing to take a taxi, bus, or train to your final destination if the price was right? Compare prices at a few nearby airports and see what your options are. You might even welcome the opportunity to see more of your destination by traveling this way.
Can you find some wiggle room with your dates? It might make the most sense to book from one weekend to another, but if you can make it work, look at flights in the middle of the week. Or even better, consider booking your trip during the off-season. Booking during shoulder seasons of spring and fall, or winter’s low season will help you save money on airfare and avoid huge crowds.
Related: Best Springtime Destinations
This is easy to figure out as long as you ignore the option to specify a time when searching for your airfare. The best times for getting a low price vary. But typically, the more inconvenient the time, the more likely you are to find a deal.