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Fly Smart: Top Tips for Saving Money on Flights

From booking your flight in advance to using a travel rewards credit card or VPN: here are the best tips for saving money on flights
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

If you're planning a trip, airfare can be one of the biggest expenses you'll face. But with a little bit of strategy and know-how, you can save money on flights and keep more cash in your pocket for the fun parts of your vacation. In this article, we'll share some tips and tricks for finding cheap flights, booking at the right time, and making the most of rewards programs and other discounts. 

How To Save Money On Flights?

Whether you're a budget traveler or just looking to save a little extra cash, these tips will help you get the best possible deal on your next flight:

Booking your flight in advance is a great way to save money on flights because airlines typically offer lower fares for passengers who book their tickets well in advance of their travel date. This is because airlines use a pricing strategy called yield management, which involves adjusting ticket prices based on supply and demand. As the travel date approaches, demand for tickets increases and so do the prices.

For example, if you're planning a trip for the summer and you book your flight in January, you're likely to find lower fares compared to someone who waits until May to book the same flight. Similarly, if you're planning a trip during peak travel season or holidays, booking in advance can help you find better deals.

The amount of savings you can achieve by booking in advance varies depending on factors such as the airline, destination, and travel dates. However, as a general rule, the earlier you book, the better your chances of finding a good deal.

Using a travel rewards credit card is a great way to save money on flights because it allows you to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for free or discounted airfare. Travel rewards credit cards typically offer sign-up bonuses, ongoing rewards for spending, and other perks such as airport lounge access and free checked bags.

For example, if you use a travel rewards credit card to purchase your flight, you can earn points or miles that can be redeemed for future flights. Some cards also offer bonus points for purchases made with airlines, hotels, or rental car companies, which can help you earn rewards faster. Additionally, some travel rewards credit cards offer travel insurance, which can help protect you from unexpected travel-related expenses such as trip cancellations or lost luggage.

The amount of savings you can achieve by using a travel rewards credit card depends on the card's rewards program, your spending habits, and how often you travel. However, if you use the card responsibly and pay off your balance in full each month, you can earn rewards without accruing interest charges. This can help offset the cost of airfare and other travel expenses, making travel more affordable and accessible.

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

Venture X Rewards

1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
$395

1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$550
united explorer
1X – 2X 2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases
50,000 miles 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
$95 ($0 first year)

amex platinum

1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

chase_sapphire_preffered

2X – 5X 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and online grocery purchases and 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$95

Using budget airlines is a great way to save money on flights because these airlines offer cheaper ticket prices compared to full-service carriers. Budget airlines typically operate on a no-frills model, where passengers pay for only the essential services they need, such as the ticket, baggage, and seat selection. This allows them to keep their operating costs low and pass on the savings to their customers.

For example, airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, and Southwest Airlines offer affordable fares and have become popular among budget-conscious travelers. By choosing a budget airline, you can often find cheaper flights to your desired destination, especially if you are flexible with your travel dates.

However, it's important to note that budget airlines may have additional fees for services that are included in the ticket price of full-service carriers, such as meals and drinks onboard or checked baggage

Being flexible with your travel dates is a great way to save money on flights because airline ticket prices fluctuate based on demand and supply. If you're willing to travel during off-peak times or on weekdays, you can often find cheaper flights compared to peak travel times like weekends or holidays.

For example, if you're planning a trip to Europe and your travel dates are flexible, you can save money by traveling in the shoulder season (April to May or September to October) instead of during the peak summer months. Similarly, if you're planning a trip during the holiday season, you can save money by flying on Christmas Day or New Year's Day when fewer people are traveling.

By being flexible with your travel dates, you can also take advantage of airline sales and promotions that are typically offered on certain days of the week or at specific times of the year. For instance, many airlines offer lower fares on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, which are considered low-traffic travel days.

Flexibility in dates can help save money
Being flexible with your travel dates is a great way to save money (Photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

Using price comparison sites is a great way to save money on flights because these sites allow you to compare the prices of flights from different airlines and travel agencies. This can help you find the cheapest possible fare for your desired travel dates and destination.

Price comparison sites collect data from various airlines and travel agencies, and they present the information in a user-friendly format, making it easy to compare prices and make informed decisions. These sites often offer additional features such as fare alerts and flexible date search options, which can help you find the best deals.

Some popular price comparison sites for flights include Kayak, Skyscanner, Google Flights, Expedia, CheapOair, Orbitz, and Priceline.

Booking connecting flights is a great way to save money on flights because it often results in lower overall fares than booking a direct flight. When you book a connecting flight, you're essentially breaking up your journey into two or more flights with a layover in between.

The reason this can save you money is that airlines often offer lower prices for connecting flights as they may have empty seats on one of the legs of the journey. By booking a connecting flight, you're also opening up more options for airlines and routes, which can help you find better deals.

For example, if you're traveling from New York to Bangkok, booking a direct flight may be expensive. However, booking a connecting flight from New York to Hong Kong, and then another flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok, may result in significant savings.

However, it's important to note that booking connecting flights can also have drawbacks, such as longer travel times, potential for missed connections, and added stress.

Booking connecting flights is a great way to save money on flights
Booking connecting flights is a great way to save money on flights (Photo by Day Of Victory Studio/Shutterstock)

Using a VPN, or virtual private network, is a great way to save money on flights because airlines often offer different prices to customers based on their location. By using a VPN, you can change your IP address to make it appear as if you're in a different location and access lower fares that may be offered to customers in that location.

For example, if you're in the United States and planning a trip to Europe, you might find that airfare prices are significantly higher than what is offered to customers in Europe. By using a VPN to change your location to a European country, you may be able to access those lower fares.

FAQs

The general rule is to book your flight at least 6 weeks in advance to get the best price. However, prices can fluctuate depending on various factors, so it's best to keep an eye on prices and book when you find a good deal.

Flights on weekdays tend to be cheaper than flights on weekends. If you have flexibility with your travel dates, consider flying on weekdays to save money.

It depends on the airline's policies. Some airlines offer a price match guarantee or allow you to cancel and rebook at the lower price, while others do not. Check with the airline before booking.

Use price comparison sites, sign up for airline newsletters, and follow airlines on social media to stay informed about sales and promotions.

Rewards programs can be worth it if you travel frequently and can earn enough points or miles to redeem for free flights or upgrades. Consider your travel habits before signing up for a rewards program.

Sometimes you can find good deals on last-minute flights, but prices can also be much higher. It's best to book in advance if possible.

Use sites like StudentUniverse to find discounted flights for students. You may need to provide proof of enrollment to qualify for the discount.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.