When I look to buy plane tickets, I am always in search of a good tip to save me money.
Anywhere from looking for the best time to buy airline tickets, to the best day, or even looking for flights and hotels last minute deals.
After many years of traveling I have picked up quiet a few tips that have helped me to save money.
As time goes on, I plan to keep adding to this post, but for now I wanted to introduce you to some of the best tips I have so far.
First Things First, Sites You NEED To Know About
Ebates: When I am buying anything online, like airline tickets, I will always go to a site that gets me cash back. I mean why not?
I have used Ebates for years and I have loved it! Not only do I get money back, but I can also save money because it has a list of coupon codes you can use to go with your purchase. It’s simple, all I do is go to Ebates.com and search for the site I am going to be buying from. For this example, lets use Priceline.com.
I click on the name in the dropdown box and it takes me to a page that shows me any deals and coupon codes I can use and how much cash back I will get. I click the link to the site and make my purchase. It is as simple as that!
I get a check in the mail with whatever percentage I get back. No catch.
Another site I use is MyPoints.com. I don’t get cash back with this site, but I do get points. The points add up to gift certificates I can use anywhere. Visit both sites and choose which one works for you. Either way you save.
Fare Compare: I love this site, not just for comparing multiple travel sites but also because there is so much valuable information on their site about buying plane tickets. If you are on social media follow, Fare Compare on Twitter, they are a great way to keep posted on the steals and deals going on with airlines. They have a pretty handy app as well, if you have an Iphone.
Orbitz: One way I have saved money on airline tickets is by comparing travel days. Sometimes picking a different day to travel can mean the difference of $50 to $100 off your ticket price. For a great way to compare prices by days I head to Orbitz.com. When you put in your flight information, simply check the Search 3 days before and after box under the information. This little tool will tell you which day of the month is the lowest priced day to travel (I have included a photo because it can be hard to find.
When Is The Best Time To Buy Airline Tickets
Here is where domestic flights and international flights vary. The cheapest day to buy airline tickets for domestic flights is (and I’ve tried this myself) Tuesdays.
According to Fare Compare, the cheapest time to buy airline tickets is around 3 on Tuesday.
Why? Because airlines will typically put their new sales out on Monday evening or early Tuesday morning, leaving other airlines scrambling to meet these new discounts in order to stay competitive.
This back and forth is usually complete by 3 pm on Tuesday.
When is the cheapest day to fly? That would be Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays (with Wednesday being the best day of the three).
To find cheap international flights, try looking for your ticket Monday through Wednesday. Friday and Sunday’s tend to be the most expensive days to fly (and I have found that to be true also).
One thing I have learned is that if you leave on a Tuesday and come back on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday the price is also discounted. Try it out for yourself and see how it works.
The cheapest time to fly? Well, that would be the red eye. But if you can’t get that, the next best time is the first flight out, ie 4 in the morning. Then there are the hours of lunch and dinner time.
How Far In Advance To Buy Airline Tickets
For the most part you don’t want to book your flight too early, they tend to cost more.
Why is that? Well, according to fare compare, airlines don’t actively start to manage their prices until about 3 and a half to four months before scheduled departure.
So anytime before that you are paying too much.
Also, don’t book to late either. Prices start to go up dramatically about 14 days before departure (most of us have experienced that) this number drops to 7 to 10 days for discounted or lower cost airlines.
So buy before this two week window and save. As you might know it’s hard to find cheap last minute flights, but you might get lucky with an airlines last minute deals, you can find some of these on sites such as Orbitz.com or Priceline.com.
Shop For One Passenger Instead Of Grouping
Now this is a newer tip to me, so I haven’t tried it myself I’ll have to admit, but this might work for you. Airlines have to charge a higher rate for group parties even if there are cheaper seats around.
Just by shopping for one passenger individually at a time you can save yourself hundreds.
For more tips and tricks like these read Rick Seaney’s article Cheapest Days to Fly and Best Time to
Get Friendly With Technology
Now I mentioned before that Fare Compare has a pretty awesome app, and you can learn more about it in the video below. But check with other airlines too to find more apps that might work for you.