Back to Basics: Cheap Airfare

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Everyone needs a vacation now and then – holidays give us time to relax, reflect, and reenergize ourselves.  Otherwise, we suffer from burnout and stress which impacts our overall health.  Thus its important, even in tough times, to make room for a holiday.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot – in fact, but sticking to the basics of airline airfare, it is easy to find a cheap fare to your favorite destination.

Tip 1:  Low Cost Carriers Aren’t Always the Cheapest

Low Cost Carrier means overall they have a cheaper cost model; it does not mean that you’ll pay less for the ticket.  Make sure you do some research to investigate the carriers that service a route.  When a low cost carrier has nearly sold all their seats, they will price the remaining seats accordingly, whereas a competitor with much more availability might still be offering a discount.  Do your homework.

Tip 2:  Use Technology to your Advantage

There are hundreds of websites out there that can help you look for good airfare.  Things to look for in a price comparison website:

–      Does the site allow you to indicate if you’re flexible on your arrival/departure date?

–      Does the site search both legacy and low cost carriers?

–      Does the site charge you booking fees or credit card fees to book? (This isn’t always a bad thing – if they have a great deal, this might make up for the cost).

 Find a website that you feel comfortable using, that consistently finds prices you are happy with; this might require some time to compare different sites.

Tip 3:  Be Flexible

The rules for airfare pricing have changed little over the years.  Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays have the skies full of business travellers, so if you can depart on a Tuesday or if you can stay overnight on a Saturday, you will make big savings. 

Tip 4:  You don’t always have to fly. 

Depending on where you are going (i.e. Australia), yes you might have to fly.  But check out other options.  Do the rental car companies have a discount rate for locals?  Can you take an express bus service?  What about trains or ferries?  Carpool via Craigslist?   All these options might take more time or might be more inconvenient, but the savings might be all worth it. 

These 4 tips are just a few ways you can try to limit your spending on airfare.  Use them all to maximise your success of a cheap airfare.

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