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Finding the Cheapest Flight

By travelanswerman | August 28, 2009

The economy is down, but that doesn’t mean that our ability to travel should be. By using all the resources and information available to us as possible, we can find a ticket that’s affordable, or even better, astonishingly cheap.

As with most things, not only do we need the information to get the best possible result, it will also be your responsibility to put in a moderate amount of work to get the lowest price possible. Finding discounted airfare is moderately easy, but finding a ticket you can brag about will take a little knowledge and time.

If you use the tips below, cheap airline tickets won’t be far outside your grasp. From there, do the work, and you’re very close to having a very exciting and affordable trip.

1.       Utilize the internet. There are several travel resources on the internet you can use to find the lowest fare available. Many travel shoppers use one service, think it’s the best rate, and utilize it for their flight. Believe it or not, there are several options available to you to find the cheapest flight possible. Just because you’re using a travel consolidator doesn’t mean that they automatically will have the lowest price. Use another. And then another. Some airlines have deals on their own websites, outside these travel consolidation services. In example, Southwest sells fares on its’ own site exclusively.

2.       Be flexible with your departure and arrival times. Flying in at prime flying hours like 5PM or 10AM will most likely leave you with a moderately priced ticket. Leaving at extreme hours like at 6AM or the red eye will drop valuable dollars off your ticket. If you can be flexible at all, do so and you will be rewarded kindly by the airlines.

3.       Book far, far in advance.  If you’re considering a vacation at some point in the next year, it would pay off for you to book now, or as soon as possible. You can find extremely discounted tickets by buying early. The downside of this, of course, is scheduling problems and never knowing what life will throw at you – so make sure you make sound decisions. However, keeping this in the back of your mind gives you the option to save additional dollars.

4.       .. or buy late. For the impulsive traveler, several options exist for dirt-cheap airline tickets. The first is to find all your local airlines online and sign up for their newsletters. You’ll often get tips about last-second deals that can make a great trip affordable. There are also several specialized sites available online that will help you find a great last-second flight.

5.       Keep checking prices. If you’re person #3 and don’t want to commit to a flight, it would be in your benefit to continue checking flights for your prospective trip. You never know when a great price will show up, great enough to convince you to sign on the dotted link. Fares can fluctuate like the stock market, so it can be the most cost effective to continuously plug in your itinerary online until you find the best deal available.

6.       Utilize Air Passes. Many countries offer air passes at affordable prices for tourists to promote tourism and inter-country travel. If you have plans to see the breadth of Australia or Russia or any other large country, Air Passes can be a great option. These will often give you a certain number of inter-country flights cope of Asia or Australia or any other large body of land, looking into Air Passes can be the most cost-effective way to see the country or continent coast to coast.

7.       Fly on weekdays. Think about what most people do when they travel, and do the opposite. Doing this will save you the most amount of money, because airlines are always in the business of filling all of their seats. This means flying on weekdays is an attractive option, similar to flying early or extremely late at night.

The harder you work and the more time you put in, the more likely it becomes that you will find a fare low enough to brag about. Put these tips to work for you and leave your next destination with a smile on your face!

Ross Garnaut is a travel professional with Lowfares. He has years of travel experience and has expertise in budget travel. Ross’ writing is supported by Low Fares, where you can  find cheap flights and discount airfare.

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