6 Tips for Saving on Air Travel
Trips would be so much simpler, and cheaper, if scientists could just figure out teleportation. Yet, as it stands, there’s still only one viable way to get across a long distance in a short amount of time – air travel.
For the frugal-minded, there’s nothing that causes more anxiety than the prospect of booking a flight. Are you getting the best deal? Will there be hidden fees? Will the cost of a cup of coffee at the airport finally bankrupt you? They are all reasonable questions to ask.
But there are ways you can mitigate the sticker shock of a flight abroad. This list will outline the top six ways to cut costs on your next trip across the skies.
Book in the Off-Season
The single greatest way to save money on air travel is to be flexible with your dates. Understandably, this isn’t a tip everyone can use; if you need to get home for Christmas, you need to get home for Christmas, and there’s nothing you can do about it. In all other cases, booking in the off-season (generally October to April, excluding December) and booking on off-days of the week (i.e. not weekends) will get you a reduced rate.
Airlines will nickel and dime you on luggage, which is why it’s best, if possible, to contain your packing to a carry on. In order to this, be smart about what you pack. A merino wool travel tshirt will last far longer than a cotton one, for instance, so you’ll need to pack far fewer of them. A single pair of good, dark jeans should suffice in the place of, say, 3 or 4 light-coloured khakis, which will show dirt a lot easier.
Use Incognito Mode
Airlines and ticket distributors track your searches, and may increase the cost of a flight if they think it’s in demand. To hide your searches from the powers that be – and you may need to search multiple times, to get the best deal – use Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode, a simple way to keep your searches private.
Sign Up for a Flight Deal Newsletter
Mistake fares, reduced fairs and one-time deals are hard to spot on your own. They require lots of scouring and sifting through myriad airline data. That’s where flight deal newsletters come in. These companies are professionals at spotting those reduced fares, and then disseminate them to their followers.
Bring Your Own Snacks
The airport seems to have its own ideas about what things are worth. Don’t end up spending $5 on a bottle of water, or $12 on a sandwich. Pack a few snacks, hydrate before you get through security, and you should be good to go. If you need coffee on the other side of security, consider bringing a packet of instant coffee, and asking a restaurant for free hot water.
Look Up Transit in Advance
When you get off the flight at your destination, you will be tired and disoriented. In short, you will be nearly incapable of making wise, frugal decisions. You’ll end up flagging a cab for pure convenience. To avoid that, look up the local transit route before you take off, and save it to your maps app.
Air travel may still be the priciest way to travel, but at least there are tips you can use along the way to avoid really overspending.