Airfare option - wing of a plane in flight

In today’s world of internet search engines and metasearch travel websites, it is usually quick and easy to search for airfares and find the cheapest airfare options.  The metasearch sites search across a vast database of different airlines and also include other helpful tools for the traveler.  You can find price maps based on destinations, calendar-based pricing, price prediction, fare alerts, and even more valuable features. 

Check Out Options

So it is a good idea before you buy your tickets to check out multiple options via these internet search engine options.  You can often be surprised to find a variety of prices and you never know where you might find the best prices for your trip.  Often there are various itinerary options to get you to your destination and each can result in different pricing. 

Favorite Sites

While there are many different search sites, some of my favorite include Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights, and Kayak

Most often I will start my search for the best fares using Skyscanner.  Once I find an apparent good price I’ll open separate search windows and check on Momondo, Google Flights, and Kayak.  The last steps include checking the airline’s official website and also checking some of the websites of budget airlines that do not provide their fares to the metasearch travel websites.  Okay, this process involves doing several searches, but you never know if there are cheaper fare alternatives unless you check various sources.  It takes only a little extra time and you may save significant dollars.  Skyscanner often results in the best fares, but not always. 

Get Alerts

In addition to searching various sites, it is a good idea to sign up for email fare alerts with those sites that offer this option.  Once you input your range of travel dates and the cities involved, the website will then send you emails alerting you of price drops. 

There are also several websites that are dedicated solely to searching for the best airfare deals across the world and they post their findings regularly.  Getting on the mailing list with these sites may result in receiving notice of some spectacular travel fare deals.  Check out the Dollar Flight Club and Scott’s Cheap Flights websites.

Also, be sure to sign up for newsletters from airlines that you frequently fly.  That way you may be alerted to some of the best airfare deals directly from the airline.  Often these come in the form of a promotion code or a special offer.  You never know when these are offered if you are not receiving their newsletters.

Be Flexible

Generally, for your best airfare options, the best time to book your travel is from four to ten weeks in advance of your travel dates.  The best pricing seems to be for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.  These days normally have fewer passengers so the pricing is often less than the other peak travel days. 

If you have upcoming travel plans, be sure to check out the fares available for your trip if you were to purchase tickets in January or February.  You don’t need to travel during those months but airlines often offer some of their best fares during these months for ticket purchases.  Maybe they are just trying to increase demand after the holidays when many folks are recovering from holiday spending.  Anyway, it is worth checking out, even if your travel is not until the following summer months. 

Alternative Airports

Flying into alternative airports is another way to compare prices.  Although another airport may be further away from your destination, the airfare could be significantly less and, even with increased ground transportation cost, the total amount may provide for a less expensive trip.  You just have to compare the total cost of arriving at your final destination.

These are just a few concepts to consider when you are planning to book your upcoming travel and get your best airfare options.  The money you save by taking a little extra time searching through the various options may be just enough to cover the expense of extending your stay and prolonging your trip another day or two.  Or maybe it’s enough to provide a significant start to your next vacation fund.