It seems as though every time you hop online to book a flight, the prices have jumped significantly. However, with gas prices soaring, oftentimes flying is cheaper than driving. Here are a few things to check out when booking flights to get the most for your money.
To get a better rate, make your reservations as soon as you have concrete travel plans. Airlines will often give discounts for early bookings at least 21 days in advance. The best rates are often those that include a Saturday night stay and have travel days during the week. Try shopping the internet to find quickly and easily the rates of several different airlines. If you have traveling flexibility, look for several different days or times of departure. Some websites will offer to give you flight possibilities for two or three days within your original choice date to show you cheaper flights. Often early morning or late night flights will have lower rates.
Check into splitting your trip into two roundtrip sections. A stopover at a midpoint could save you over flying a direct route. However, make sure the savings is significant enough to warrant the extra hassle.
Try booking your travel in a package including flights, car rentals, and hotels, which will often merit more savings. Check out sites such as cheaptickets.com, Travelocity.com, and priceline.com for these deals.
There are several discount programs available to frequent travelers. Apply for memberships in premium or loyalty clubs and frequent flyer programs. Some credit cards also have special discount agreements with certain airlines. Oftentimes a credit card will partner with an airline to offer rewards in the form of flight tickets. When you make your first purchase you receive for example, 10,000 miles, then as you use your credit card, you accumulate more miles, and over time, free or discounted flights. Additionally, discounts may be available for government, military or corporate employees. Some airlines will extend these discounts to leisure travel.