How To Find Cheap Flights
Cheap Airfare Image

Whether you're headed on a trip for pleasure with a spouse, family, friends or business, there's a good chance you're going to be flying. Despite the rigmarole with checking baggage, parking your car and going through security, it's still faster and more convenient for long distances than any other type of transportation.

Finding airfare that fits into your budget can be a challenge. You might find two seats on the same plane that vary up to hundreds of dollars in price. No one wants to overpay for a flight. I'm sure you'd much rather have the extra money for your business or to go on exciting excursions on your vacation. Deals are out there, you just have to know how and where to find them as making the wrong choices while you shop for your vacation can cost you big time.

Here are our top tips for finding cheap airfares.

1. Research Using the Right Websites

Many travelers head straight to the airline’s site when preparing to book their flight. If you’re looking at prices on an airline’s site, you’re missing the bigger picture. You could save more money flying a different date, and typical airline sites don’t make it easy to compare. You might save more with another airline entirely, too.

Instead of a small window of options, try Google Flights which allows you to search for tickets on multiple departure and arrival days to see what day has the best deal. You can also see a calendar of the lowest fares, search for a general region and see a map of specific flight prices, or go with “I’m feeling lucky” and let Google plan your dream trip. The site also includes a whole host of features that beat out any human travel agent. Other high ranking booking sites include Skyscanner, Airfare Watchdog, and Hipmunk.

2. Buy On the Right Day

There are so many theories as to what day and time of the week you should buy tickets. Of course, no one can seem to agree on the day or time. That’s why sites like Kayak and Yapta can help. Kayak is useful as it allows you to see a price trend box in the left-hand column. It tells you whether to buy or wait on Kayak’s confidence level. If you become curious as to how it made its decision, you can click the box with the lowercase “i.” Remember that just because you got a low ticket price doesn’t mean it won’t go lower. The good news is many airlines will refund you the difference if the price drops a certain amount after you buy.

If you don’t have time to scour ticket prices every day, Yapta can be your best friend. Yapta keeps an eye on your tickets and alerts you when the price drops. With annual savings on Yapta being $334 per user on average, that means you can put your savings toward a better hotel, a few nice dinners, or just keep it in your bank account.

3. Be Flexible

While seats usually get more expensive the later you book, the deals actually get better. If you're self-employed, retired, have a really understanding boss or simply don’t care when you depart, then you can get some amazing rates if you cruise enough deal sites. Last-minute deals are usually advertised through third parties and built entirely to fill the seats that might lose the airline money.

Be aware that it’s getting harder to search airfares based on flexible travel dates now that many sites (Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity and Expedia among them) have eliminated their flexible-date calendars. But, again, Kayak ranks high among offering a flexible date search. You must register as a user to see it under "more search options,” though. Another site to keep on your radar is Adioso, a flexible travel site that you should be using but probably aren’t because of its
“under the radar” approach.

4. Sign Up for Airfare Alerts

One of the easiest ways to track airfares is to sign up for airfare alerts. Many travel websites offer e-mailed airfare alerts that let you know when fares go down, and they all have some sort of offer. Try doing a browser search as well, for "airfare alerts" and you'll see what's available. They all work a bit differently, so sign up for more than one.

One thing to note: These sites use essentially the same airfare data provided by the airlines' computer systems or ITA Software [what does ITA stand for?] (which is now owned by Google), so they won't include discounted promo-code fares, and they don't include Southwest Airlines. Airfarewatchdog, however, includes handpicked fares from Southwest in its Fare Alerts. Using social media, like Twitter is also an immediate way to be alerted of great deals. @Airfarewatchdog’s Twitter account posts unusual airfare deals every day of the week and alerts followers to promo codes and other airfare deals.

5. Consider Making a Stop

Sometimes booking a flight that has a connection as opposed to flying nonstop can save you money. But you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. If it’s hundreds of dollars then yes, but if it’s just $20 do you really want to increase your chances of getting delayed or stuck? And be sure to avoid making connections in airports that have a terrible on-time track record like San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare or all of New York’s airports.

As you can see, bargain hunting can be a time-consuming process but it can certainly payoff in the long run. 

Happy and safe travels! 


 

How to survive an international flight

If you fly often, you know how it is. You’re surrounded by thousands of people trying to get where they need to go in the airport, then you’re stuck with another couple hundred people when you actually get on your plane.

While some of you may find this routine, a lot of us cringe and bite our lip at the thought of being in close proximity to so many strangers on a plane all day or night.

Whether you’re traveling for business or exploration, reaching your destination is worth the long, uncomfortable flight. And luckily, there are five ways you can make your entire traveling experience more enjoyable, including the dreaded plane ride:

Continue reading "5 Ways To Survive That Dreaded International Flight" »


 

Shutterstock_carry on

Your 3 Carry-On Essentials Guide When Flying

If you were on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

Hopefully you won’t ever have to answer this seriously, but the question applies to your carry-on bag, especially if your luggage gets lost. If your carry-on isn’t your sole piece of luggage for your flight, you’ll need to pick what items you want with you on the plane. 

But how do you decide what you should or should not pack in your carry-on? Here’s how you can break up your packing into absolute needs, basic needs, and comforts to help you put together the perfect carry-on.

Absolute Needs:

• Prescription medications and medical supplies for each day you’ll be away from home
• All forms of identification, including money and credit cards
• Jewelry and other fragile belongings
• Electronics

Basic Needs:

• A change of clothing if your luggage is lost
• A travel-sized tube of toothpaste, makeup, and other toiletries
o Make sure your carry-on toiletries are approved within the 3.4 ounce or less, per container policy. To review other items that you can and cannot bring in your carry-on, visit the TSA.gov website for further information.

Comforts:

• Music and books to help you pass the time on the flight
• Your laptop or tablet to watch movies or shows
• Snacks, especially if your flight doesn’t offer full meals
• A sweater or jacket to keep you warm during the flight

By following these packing tips, you’ll be prepared to pack your carry-on bag the next time you travel. Having items like toiletries, a change of clothes, and entertainment will help you have an enjoyable flight and give you the peace of mind you need if your luggage goes missing.

Note: Before you fly, check the airline’s carry-on size restrictions and pack your bag accordingly.


 

Nervous flyer

Does getting on an airplane make you nervous? If so, you’re not alone. According to Budget Travel, more than 25 million Americans suffer from flight anxiety, making aerophobia (fear of flying) the second largest fear in the U.S. after public speaking. 

You might be thinking your fear is warranted after nearly 1000 people died from plane accidents in 2014. But if your fear is so bad you’re thinking about skipping your next vacation, hold that thought. Here are five tips to help you combat flight anxiety and get you to that well-needed trip.

1) Flying is now safer now than it’s ever been before

Since the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 and most recently the devastating crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board, the thought of stepping onto a plane might make you cringe. Despite what you hear in the news reports, flying is actually one of the safest ways to travel with less than one accident occurring for every 1 million flights. You’re more likely to get into a car accident on the way to the airport than wind up in a plane crash.

2) Share your feelings

Don’t conceal your fear. Many times if you share your apprehension with the gate agent when you check in and the flight attendant when you board, you’ll receive assurance and support. Often times, flight attendants will go out of their way to check in with fearful flyers several times during the duration of the flight, so don’t feel embarrassed to admit that you’re nervous about flying.

3) Avoid a hyper state of mind

Many nervous flyers drink caffeine or alcohol products while flying. This is a costly mistake that is important for travelers to understand and avoid. By pumping your blood stream with coffee for example, the caffeine actually intensifies your anxiety and can make you dehydrated. When you travel, make sure to drink planet of water and non-caffeinated liquids.

4) Treat turbulence like a pot hole

For many flyers, encountering turbulence is the most challenging and terrifying aspect of any flight. Pilots are thoroughly trained on air turbulence and typically receive general warnings from air traffic control or other pilots in the area flying near the same altitude. When air turbulence occurs, picture yourself in a car driving over a pothole instead of thinking about being in the air. It’s also important to keep your seatbelt fastened and allow your body to flow with the air movement instead of tensing up.

5) Choose the front of the cabin

At check-in or when selecting your seat at time of purchase, nervous flyers should ask for a seat at the very front of the cabin when at all possible. If air turbulence occurs during the flight, the effects are often less noticeable in the front of the aircraft than in the rear. If you have an extreme dread of flying, don’t try to overcome your fears on a long flight. Take the shortest flight you can and preferably in the biggest plane possible.

It’s important to keep these few tips in mind before you step into the airport. Visualizing your destination and imaging yourself there can be a powerful antidote to stress-and can help keep you focused. Close your eyes, relax, and focus on the positive aspects of your journey.