If you just bought that dream vacation home among the real estate for sale in Whistler and are hoping to book a cheap flight to enjoy, head out to the tropics or anywhere else, use these tips to find the most inexpensive options.
One of the keys to cheaper flights is the ability to be as flexible as possible with your travel dates. If you have the option, going during the shoulder season or off-season will get you better deals. Of course, if you plan to ski in Whistler, that won’t be an option, but if you’re going to the Mediterranean, for example, planning a trip in April or October can mean the best of both worlds with cheaper airfare, fewer crowds, and pleasant weather. There can be a significant difference when it comes to tropical destinations like the Caribbean – as practically everyone visits in the winter to escape the snow, summer can bring some significant discounts.
Even the day of the week can make a difference. The lowest fares can usually be found by flying out and returning on a Tuesday or Sunday; Saturday to Saturday flights are another good option.
CheapAir.com conducted a study in 2015, analyzing ticket purchases to show how far out you should book for the least expensive airfares. You’ll generally pay the most if you book within two weeks of the day you plan to fly, but if you’re looking for a domestic flight, booking around 54 days in advance is the average time for the lowest airfares. International flights can vary significantly – around four months ahead for flights to Europe or Asia; 75 days for Canada and travel to Mexico. Going to the South Pacific? 10 months is optimal.
The bottom line is that airfare rarely gets cheaper as your departure date approaches. Budget airlines usually offer their lowest rates as a baseline price but when they sell out, the cost of any remaining seats increases in price.
Search for Airfare After Going Incognito
Have you ever noticed that while searching to check airfare on specific flights more than a few times that the price just keeps going out?
That’s because, due to browser cookies, if you search the same route, the site is smart enough to know what you’re doing. It tries to trigger you into booking now before those fares go even higher.
Eliminate this problem by enabling the incognito option every time you search. You can do that by hitting “control,” “shift” and “P” in Internet Explorer or Firefox, or “control,” “shift” and “N” in Google Chrome.
Search Airline Websites Directly + Multiple Flight Search Engines
Be aware that there isn’t one flight search engine that will always bring up the lowest airfares. That means you need to check several of them, like Google Flights, Kayak, and Expedia, every day, which will also provide a good idea as to what the average airfare is for your destination.
Next, check the same flight on the airline websites – some guarantee the lowest fares by booking this way and you might find some promotional deals for your travel dates as well.