Air travel can be tricky when trying to manage getting a direct flight, a fair round trip ticket price, and traveling on the cheapest day travel date. But, scoring a cheap flight to an amazing destination is one of the best excuses to take a vacation. It makes the trip ten times more fun! But have you ever wondered how to get this lucky all the time? Finding domestic and international flights for a fraction of the average price is not as hard as you may think.
With a few tips and tricks, it’s possible to book the flights you want on a budget your bank account will love. Knowing when to book, where to compare flights, and how to get coupons and rebates are some of the best ways to save on airline tickets. To stop spending and start traveling, read on for how to save money on flights every time!
Which Day is the Cheapest to Book a Flight?
One of the best ways to save on airline tickets is knowing when to book.
When it comes to booking flights, many people follow the two month rule for purchasing their tickets. This rule suggests that the best time to book a flight is two months prior to your desired date of departure. If you’ve heard of this rule, you may be wondering: Is this truly the golden rule for getting the cheapest deal on a flight?
The answer is a bit complicated.
Studies have shown that airline prices are their highest around six months prior to departure. The same experts also report that these rates begin to fall approximately three months in advance. These figures certainly support the two-month rule as being the safest way to get a cheap flight, but sometimes, if you’re vigilant, you’ll catch the lowest prices outside the rules.
Check Rates Often
The best way to know when you’re getting the best rate is by starting your research early, and frequently checking the cost of your ticket online. Don’t rush this process by booking a flight exactly two months in advance, just because you’re following the rule of thumb.
Keep an eye on airline prices, take note of any fluctuations, and stay updated on deals and limited time offers. You never know when the price might drop, and you don’t want to regret buying your ticket too early. Sometimes waiting just a little longer can save you some extra cash (this doesn’t mean you should wait too long, but more on that later).
One smart way to grab great airline prices? Set up a Google Flight Alert! This feature allows you to input your destination and ideal travel dates. Then, you’ll get an email when the prices dip across any airlines going to your destination. This money-saving flight hack passes our budget-savvy assessment with flying colors!
In the case of international travel, you’re better off booking your international flight a little earlier. The two month rule generally applies better to domestic flights, which are usually lower in price.
Experts advise travelers to book international flights at least three months in advance. This allows you to browse within the lowered price window, without waiting too long and running into scheduling and preparation issues. International travel can be particularly expensive due to passport and visa costs, currency exchanges, layovers, and more—making the extra time vital when booking these flights.
To help ease the cost of international travel even more, use a Vayama coupon or cashback rebate with RebateKey. Vayama is a site that specializes in comparing the prices of international flights, and with RebateKey you can get discounted prices on flights all across the globe. Right now you can receive up to $10.00 cashback on flights to these destinations:
- Delhi, India
- Rome, Italy
- Berlin, Germany
- Istanbul, Turkey
- And many more!
So, while the two month window can be helpful, it’s not a hard and fast rule you need to follow. The best way to find cheap airline tickets is by staying up to date and doing your research consistently prior to booking.
Is it Cheaper to Buy a Plane Ticket at the Last Minute?
Some people believe buying a plane ticket last minute is the best way to get an affordable rate, but this isn’t exactly the truth. If the flight you’re interested in has empty seats, there is a small possibility that ticket prices could fall right before departure.
However, this technique is not very reliable, and counting on it can cost you more in money (and vacation fun) the long run.
The issue is that, in most cases, airline prices actually increase about 25% during the week leading up to departure. When this occurs, it can trick you into thinking you’re saving money when you really aren’t. Even if you notice the price of a ticket has dropped the day before departure, it’s probably not any lower than it was in the months prior due to the increase in the last week.
In this case, you’re better off purchasing your ticket ahead of time than waiting for the slight chance that you’ll get a deal at the last minute.
How Can I Save Money on a Plane Ticket?
Take the work out of rate comparisons by using a travel planning service. CheapAir is a website that compares the prices of flights, hotels, and car rentals to make sure you’re getting the best deals on all your necessary travel expenses.
CheapAir helps you get cheap air tickets, fast. By comparing all possible airlines and rates, the website carefully calculates the best rate for you. In addition to flight prices, CheapAir also provides information such as:
Baggage check – CheapAir offers a helpful chart that compares the cost of checking a bag with popular airlines, for both domestic and international flights.
Multiple destinations – Add different stops to your trip and get a customized flight plan with the lowest rates for every part of your journey.
Price drop payback – If you book a flight with CheapAir, and the price of the ticket you purchased drops, CheapAir will credit you back the difference!
It’s important to browse all your options before booking a flight, to ensure you’re getting the most affordable deal. Leave the work to a travel site, and get more results fast.
Break Up Flights Among Airlines
Though it may be convenient, booking a direct flight with one airline is not always the cheapest option. Whether you’re comparing flights on your own, or using a travel booking website, keep in mind that layovers can be your friend (budget-wise).
Book one portion of your journey through the cheapest airline you can find, then search different airlines for the next leg. The same principle can be applied to round trip flights, as well. Booking a round trip flight through the same airline can sometimes provide a better deal, but it’s not always a guarantee. Sometimes, booking an airline ticket with a different airline for a connecting flight may result in the cheapest flight possible. Explore all your options and don’t be afraid to fly several airlines within the same journey if you really want to save money.
Try Being Flexible with Your Travel Dates
Sometimes, prices can change drastically depending on your desired departure and arrival dates. One of the best ways to get cheap flights is by remaining flexible about dates, and comparing several different options before committing to a certain time frame.
Booking a flight around holidays, weekends, and big events can cause major price increases, and it may be worth it to avoid booking around these times if possible. Different destinations also have different peak travel months.
For the best deals, avoiding flying within North America and Europe during these months:
- Mid to late December
- Early January
The most affordable times to book flights within these continents are:
- Between mid-January and mid-May
- November (excluding Thanksgiving)
- Early December
Flight Times are Important Too
The time your flight departs can make just as big of a difference as the date you choose. If you’re not opposed to red eye flights or early morning departures, you can potentially save a ton of money. These flights are typically not sold out, causing the seat prices to drop substantially. Plus, you can use some of the money you saved for an early morning airport mimosa!
Flying in the late morning, afternoon, and early evening is going to be the most expensive, because everyone else wants to leave at a comfortable time. It’s up to you what’s more important: sleeping in or cheap flights!
Get Cheap Flights with RebateKey
RebateKey is here to help you take the vacation you deserve, on a budget you can afford. Using our direct relationships with travel sites, RebateKey can offer coupons, promo codes, and cashback rebates on the flights you book.
Our site makes saving money easy. No coupon clipping is required to get these deals. All you have to do is search for the products and services you want on our website. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just claim it and make your purchase. Just like that, and you’re done! From there, all you need to do is wait for your check in the mail, and wait to board your flight.
Get the most bang for your buck and check back frequently for all the best travel deals. Happy saving, and safe travels!