Booking a flight is the first, and often the most tedious aspect of planning a trip. Timing, deals, and websites can all factor into the different prices travelers receive for airfare. With so many search engines and fluctuating prices, it can be overwhelming to book flights. Use the following tips when booking your next vacation to score the best deals.
Hide your searches
If you are making the same or similar searches repeatedly, search engines will use a tracking tool, referred to as cookies in your web browser, to save your search history. While it may seem convenient that your history is saved, travel websites may use this to their advantage by showing you higher prices each time you search, scaring you into booking immediately. To avoid higher rates, use a private or “incognito” window each time you search for deals, and you may find lower priced flight options.
Compare prices across sites
Take advantage of the tons of mobile apps and websites that will scan airfare prices to provide the best options for you. Many sites will inflate airfare prices from airlines to take their share of the cut, so it’s crucial to compare prices. Here are a few search engines worth checking out:
Identify the best day to book and depart
Ticket prices can fluctuate depending on the day you search and the dates of your trip. If you can be flexible about your departure dates, you will almost always have better luck obtaining a lower priced flight. A recent travel report published by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation determined that flights departing on Thursdays or Fridays in 2019 will have the lowest rates, while Sunday will be the most expensive. The report also shows that weekends are the best times to book your trip.
Use points and miles
Using airline miles or credit card points is a great way to save money on flights or even fly for free. If you tend to stick with the same airline when traveling, there is a good chance you have earned points. If not, there are several programs airlines offer worth joining. Similarly, many major credit cards offer rewards that can be redeemed for travel.