We all know how much airfare pricing fluctuates. It can be frustrating while planning your family vacation. One day we see the deal of our dreams and next we see it fading away. We all want cheap flights, but it’s hard to know where to find them and when to buy. There is an upside to the unpredictable nature of airfare pricing – if we get a little bit savvy, we can take advantage of the system when the prices are down.
First things first: you’ll want to checkout bing.com/travel. The site has a great “price predictor” function that crunches all kinds of data from past fares to determine whether prices are likely to head up, go down, or hold steady. Once you have decided on the best timing to buy, visit sites like kayak.com, fly.com, or tripadvisor.com, to examine a great variety of fares. You’ll find that most of these sites report the same prices, but it’s important to check all of them – some airlines don’t participate in all of the fare-reporting sites, so you want to be sure you are finding all the fares available for your trip. You also want to check out certain airline’s direct websites; there are some instances in which they will beat fare-reporting sites. Other airlines (Southwest, Allegiant, Vision, and more) don’t ever advertise on the second party sites, so you’ll have to check their sites to find the best deals! Finding the best deal can be overwhelming, but in the end, the extra time spent is worth the savings.Airfares will almost always be cheaper during slow travel seasons, and hotels, too! You’ll save a ton of money in, say, October or early November, and then again in mid-January through early March. Yes, it’s tough to sneak the kids out of school, but consider these months for your shorter, weekend-getaway type of trips (or your parental-only!). Also, remember that if you travel often, it can be rewarding to stick with a single airline. You may not always get your perfect deal, but over time you can earn free flights and other perks that will even out your cost in the long run. With all the money you’re saving on airfare, you can do some serious souvenir shopping! Happy travels!