Holiday Travel on the Cheap - The Best Airfare Prices
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Holiday Travel on the Cheap – The Best Airfare Prices

Posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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Global Holiday TravelingAh, the holiday season has finally arrived. Whether you plan on going across the country, or maybe just over to the next town, traveling is likely going to be a part of your holiday activities. Not only can it be a pain to do, but traveling can get expensive! is here to make sure that seeing your loved ones doesn’t break the bank or ruin your holiday budget. For the month of November we’ll be discussing how to get the best prices on the places you need to go, and today we’ll be covering airfare!

1. Book Early

It pays to think ahead…literally. When booking your flights it’s always a great idea to book them far in advance. However, there is a caveat to this piece of advice. If you do book your tickets too far in advance they can cost just as much as if you booked them late. A solid rule to go by is to book your airfare about 7 weeks ahead of time (for domestic travel) to ensure the lowest prices. If you’re planning on traveling during a time period of heavy airfare travel (such as Christmas), it’s best to book farther in advance. If your family is flexible on when it can travel during the holiday season we recommend you checking out Bing’s Price Predictor. With this resource you can see the price history of a particular flight and Bing will give you a recommendation, which is based on whether the price of the fare is rising, declining, etc., on whether or not to buy the fare.

2. Shop Sales and Comparison Sites

Airlines are constantly having sales on tickets, but the real challenge is keeping an eye out for them. One of our favorite tools to use to find out the best sales is Signing up with Airfare Watchdog will allow you to research dozens of airlines with a single website. Airfare Watchdog will send you multiple airfare deals and find sales that aren’t necessarily listed on regular fare searches directly to your inbox. And if you have a particular fare or destination in mind you can sign up for an alert so you won’t miss a sale!

Another way to get a great deal on airfare is to do your homework. This means checking numerous price comparison sites to see where the best deal is offered. Sites like Kayak, Priceline, Travelocity, FareCompare, etc. are a great place to start. Keep in mind some of the discount airlines (such as Allegiant Air or Southwest) aren’t listed on these price comparison sites so you’ll have to check them  on your own.

3. Random Tips for Airfare Shopping

The cheapest days to fly domestically are Wednesday, Tuesday, and Saturday, whereas the most expensive days to fly are Friday and Sunday. When you are booking your tickets the least expensive time to fly, unfortunately, is bright and early in the morning especially if the route you’ll be flying has a red-eye option. The best time to buy your airfare tickets, if you’ll be flying domestic, is on Tuesday at 3 pm Eastern time. Keep in mind that most of the airfare  sale prices will be posted on Tuesday and discontinued on Thursday, so try not to purchase your airfare tickets on the weekends! Also, ideally you’ll be flexible in your travel plans. One of the biggest determinants of the price of your airfare tickets is your flexibility in departure and arrival times and locations. If you’re struggling to find an affordable airline ticket try flying into a nearby town or city for cheaper fare.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.