Dara Continenza - Tue Apr 21 2015
Looking for a last-minute flight to Europe? Heading to a tropical beach? Destination wedding to attend?
Travel costs can add up, so before you even book your flight, you may want to think about ways to save on your plane ticket. Here are seven simple methods that can help you through the booking process and save you significant money, which can be better spent on cappuccino, bikinis, or whatever your travels bring you!
Airline fees can come as quite a shock if you wait until the day of your flight to include them in your travel expenses. Planes charge for everything from snacks to seat selection to checked bags -- and now carry-on bags, too (looking at you, Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit). Hopper found The 10 Worst Airline Fees to consider before booking to help you research which airlines to book ahead of time.
The days that you decide to fly can affect the cost of a flight considerably, so it's important to be flexible with your arrival and departure dates. Hopper research shows that the cheapest day to fly domestic is on a Wednesday, and the cheapest day to return is on a Tuesday. The cheapest day to fly internationally is on a Wednesday, and the cheapest return date is also on a Wednesday.
The biggest or closest airport doesn't necessarily mean it's the cheapest airport for your travels. It's important to check all surrounding airports because different airlines offer different rates at different arrival points, especially if that airport is a hub for the airline! You also want to factor in travel expenses to and from the airport as well as parking rates. If you're paying more in transportation to get to a cheaper airport, you may want to consider if the distance is worth it.
Flights can be considerably less expensive during off-peak seasons. For instance, families often fly when kids are on school breaks during the spring and summer, and traveling during the holidays is always more expensive. If you have more flexibility in your schedule, you should research the best times to fly. Hopper's When to Fly and Buy search helps you find the lowest fares on the specific flight route you wish to travel. For example, flights from San Francisco to Miami are the cheapest in April!
When you buy your flight can also affect the price of the ticket: Thursday is the cheapest day to buy both domestic and international tickets, while Saturday and Sunday tend to be the worst. Travelers typically save an average of $10 on domestic flights and about $25 on international flights depending on when they book (but this could be much more, depending on your route). Being flexible on the day you buy and fly can save you 30% on your airline ticket, according to Hopper research.
Hopper updates its Facebook page many, many times per day with the latest deals on flights! Plus, we offer helpful tips and hints on how to find the best flight rates, featuring articles such as which airline fees are to be avoided and how to save $600 on a flight to Europe this summer! Followers can also ask questions and get helpful advice from Hopper staff. Trust us on this one!
If you are looking for a specific fare deal, you can set up fare alerts in the Hopper app and save up to 40% on your next flight! Our data scientists analyze billions of flight prices daily to predict how prices will change; then our app notifies you of the best time to buy your tickets and which airports are cheapest. You can visually track flight prices and trends throughout the year to help you get a better overall understanding of when to travel.