Tips

5 tips for snagging the cheapest flights possible

Travel for hundreds of dollars less

Almost everyone enjoys traveling. Taking some time away from your day-to-day life sounds fantastic, but flights are often very expensive. Combine that with a hotel booking and it's quite a big price tag. Luckily, you can still find deals and steals on booking flights. Here are a few tips to try out.

1. Use an incognito or private browsing mode

It's not you. Those flight prices are actually increasing the more you look at them. Using your browser's cookies, many travel sites will use algorithms that will increase the flight prices every time you check them. This is to persuade you into booking before the price gets any higher. To avoid this, enable your browser's private mode. Your browser won't save cookies from the websites you visit so they can't be used to jack up the prices.

2. Aggregation sites are your best friend

Sites like Kayak and Orbitz check flights from many airlines and show you the price comparison side by side. After examining your options, you can easily book the cheapest option for your destination. Kayak is completely free to use, but Orbitz is a more traditional travel site and will charge you a small fee (around $6) to book your flight. But that's better than being cheated out of $100, right?

3. Check out the combo deals

Unfortunately, popular budget airlines like Southwest don't provide their prices to aggregation sites. You'll have to check these websites separately. But, the good news is these airlines also often offer great deals on your flight when you also book a hotel. So if you're not planning to use Airbnb or crash with a friend, this a good opportunity to save on your plane ticket.

4. Don't wait to buy your tickets

If you know for sure exactly where and when you're going, don't wait to book your flight. More often than not, flight prices will increase the closer to the departure date. The farther out you purchase your ticket, the less you're likely to pay. The ideal window for booking is two to three months out from your departure. This is great for planning a vacation and business trips that are scheduled well in advance.

5. Consider a last-minute weekend trip

On the other hand, if you're feeling more spontaneous, many airlines will offer tickets for a weekend trip at a steeply discounted price. This is because the airline is trying to fill empty seats on outgoing flights. On Tuesday, the airline will send you alerts for a cheap weekend trip. You can usually leave Friday night or anytime Saturday and can return on the next Monday or Tuesday. You can sign up for travel alerts through each individual airline's website.


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