Written by Stephanie Lynch
It's no secret that buying an airline ticket could set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. If you don't carefully plan your purchasing ahead of time, you could be spending close to 50 percent of your travel budget on airline tickets alone.
Since most of us don't mind saving a dollar or two, let's explore 13 ways you can save a lot of money on your next airline ticket.
13. Fare Alerts
Many airfare websites and airlines have fare alerts that you can sign up for free. With these alerts, you can simply insert your itinerary and you will be notified every time the fare prices drop. Fare alert websites include FareWaterPlus, Bing Travel and TripAdvisor.com/flights.
12. Buy a Package
Since there's a good chance that you're going to get a hotel and maybe even a rental car, consider buying everything in one package. In the travel industry, the more you purchase, the more you're likely to save.
11. Watch the Extra Fees
While that $200 airline ticket could look appealing, the price in the end may be a lot more than that. With airlines charging for checked in bags, assigned seating and other miscellaneous fees, make sure that you closely research the hidden fees before buying an airline ticket. If possible, try to stick to low fare airlines like Southwest.
10. Know the Seasons
If you're flexible with your travel, try to travel when the airline tickets are cheaper. If you don't know when the slower seasons are, consider using Kayak.com to find out which months are the cheapest time to travel.
9. Pick the Right Day
Did you know that it's the cheapest to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday? Since most families and businesses fly out on the weekends or a Monday, the airlines will often drop the prices on these days to make up for the demand. Like the seasons, choose a weekday to maximize your savings.
8. Nonstop vs. Multi-stop
While a nonstop flight may seem nice, they often tend to be the most expensive option. If you don't' mind stopping at another airport, consider this route because most of the time, it's going to be able to save you up to 20 percent or more.
The Internet is filled with hundreds of websites that can find you a killer airline ticket deal. Make sure you use at least five to 10 websites to find the best airline ticket. Remember, though, that some airlines won't show up on these search services like Southwest, for example.
6. Book Directly
Most of the time, if you book your airline ticket directly through the airline, you can often save more than booking through a middleman like Expedia. While third-party websites can save you money, it always isn't the case.
5. One-way Flights
Who says you have to book a round trip ticket? Consider comparing one-way ticket options to see if this option is cheaper than buying a round trip ticket.
4. Search for Coupons
Third-party websites and airlines often have coupon codes or promotions floating around on the Internet. Before you consider booking your flight, search the web for any sort of deal or coupon code that you can take advantage of.
3. Credit Cards
Credit cards aren't necessarily a bad thing if you use it the right way. Many travel reward credit cards can get you free points, cash back and even rewards when you book through a particular airline. If you don't have a credit card that rewards you for travel and you travel a bit, you may want to consider adding one to your wallet.
2. Last-minute Deals
If you want to fly out somewhere tomorrow, last-minute deals are an amazing way to save a lot of money. Last-minute deals can often be found on websites like BookIt or Travelzoo.com.
1. Buy Gift Cards
The last route you can take is by buying discounted travel gift cards online via eBay. Many travellers may get a gift card as a gift that they won't use. Instead of letting it collect dust, they will simply sell it for cash, meaning savings for you.