3 Ways to fly more and pay less
Airfare is often one of the biggest parts of your travel budget. Booking flights to and from your dream destination can leave you with less money to spend on food, entertainment and fun while you’re away from home.
If that’s putting a damper on your travel plans, what you need is a strategy for saving on flights. Flying on the cheap is definitely doable, if you know how to approach it.
1. Start with the right credit card
If you’re not using a rewards card to cover travel purchases, you could be costing yourself savings on flights. With the right card, you can earn miles or points every time you spend that you can turn into discounts on airfare, hotels or other travel expenses.
Some credit cards let you earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, unlimited. You can then redeem those miles as a travel statement credit. The card also features an introductory miles bonus for eligible cardmembers who meet the minimum spending requirement. If you qualify for the bonus, that can put you closer to free flights in less time.
As you compare cards, remember to check out your credit profile to make sure they’re a good fit.
2. Get the timing right
Knowing when to book is a big part of scoring cheap flights. Book too soon and the price may go down before your travel date. Wait until the last minute and you might miss out on a flight altogether.
A good rule of thumb if you want to fly on the cheap is to be flexible with your travel plans. If you can wait until later to book and you’ve got a wider window for departing and returning, you may have a better shot at catching a flight on sale. If you’re booking directly with the airline, ask if they offer any price guarantees. Some airlines will refund the difference you pay for a flight if the ticket price goes down before your departure.
TIP: Check how much I spent in 4 weeks traveling around Maldives :) You will be surprised, I bet!
3. Try a discount airline
Discount airlines tend to fly under the radar but they’re worth a look if you want to maximize airfare savings. These airlines tend to go low-budget on things like in-flight extras and perks but you get to keep more money in your pocket when booking tickets. Just remember to check out thinks like baggage fees beforehand, since some discount airlines may charge higher fees to compensate for cheaper airfare.
Another tip for flying budget airlines: don’t assume round-trip is always your least expensive bet. If you can be flexible with your travels, consider booking departure and return flights individually for added savings.
Do your homework
Paying less for flights isn’t rocket science but you will need to do a little digging to find the best deals. Remember to compare ticket prices across airlines and travel dates and do your research on travel credit cards to find the very best deals.