TripIt is teaming up with our friends at TripT Traveler, a site that helps you travel more at a lower cost, to share ideas for booking budget-friendly air travel.
You’ve probably heard a lot about how summer travel is heating up — and we’ve been predicting that level since the epidemic started. While we are thrilled to see travelers return to the skies, we also know that they are facing some challenges, including rising fares and demand.
There is no question that flights have been more expensive for many years now. That’s why we’ve created five ways to book budget-friendly air travel জন্য to help you plan a trip right now (or down the road) that also saves you some travel funds for your next adventure.
1. Follow the flight-first rule
The flight-first rule sounds exactly like this: search for flights, book a hotel, reserve a rental car or plan before you close your calendar, well, anything. If you give yourself the flexibility to change plans in a day or two, you can often find great savings by pointing the price to your booking dates. This is the key to finding the biggest savings in travel, especially if you multiply across multiple tickets for family members or friends.
Tip: Book at least 30 days in advance for domestic flights and 45 to 60 days in advance for international travel. Once you get inside these windows, airlines are more likely to charge more.
2. Book a flight agreement
While you’re at it, forget all the travel myths. There is no better day to book a flight. It’s all about flexibility and time. The more flexible and fast you can jump into a good deal, the more you can save.
Related reading: 6 Tips To Expand Your Travel Budget
Yes, the price of flights is increasing with the demand for new travel, but this does not mean that the price of flights is skyrocketing everywhere. At Thrifty Traveler, we find some great flight deals this spring, summer and autumn. So why not plan your trip somewhere that is going to be cheaper to go? Alaska major airlines like Belize, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Portugal differ with some regular discounted fares. Also, some of these destinations get cheaper once you get there!
Tip: No matter where you decide to go, be sure to add your flights to TripIt, and TripIt Pro’s Fair Tracker feature will let you know if you qualify for a refund or credit if your airfare is reduced after you book.
3. Lean on your points and miles
Now is a great time to rely on your balance points and miles for flights — and travelers seem to be more than ever after swiping their cards constantly while at home during an epidemic. Even if the rent is higher, the cash reward rate on your mile may be more stable. This makes it a good time to use your miles now.
Tip: TripIt Pro’s Point Tracker lets you monitor your Rewards accounts and receive notifications when points or miles expire.
4. Plan a trip with only carry-on bags
This may sound scary, but the reality is that you’re probably packing too much in your checked bag. Also, packing a carry-on bag will not only save money on your checked bag straps, it will also save you the stress of losing bags and time at the airport, where bag drop and recovery lines never seem as long.
Traveling with just a carry-on bag takes up less space in your rental car or hotel room.
Tip: Looking for another way to speed up the airport experience? Be sure to check out TripIt Pro’s four-month free trial and discount membership at CLEAR আরেক another way to save money by becoming a Pro member.
5. Learn to avoid checking bag fees
If you need to check a bag, consider airlines that offer you free check bags, or fly with an airline that also has a co-branded credit card — and thus, a first-checked-bag -Free benefits.
No cards? No problem. The advantage of the above travel credit card can extend travelers a lot more with the card in their wallet, as most airlines offer at least two (but like eight!) Free bags to other passengers booked on the same reservation.
Tip: If you check a bag, make sure you also have TripIt Pro, which will send you a baggage claim warning with carousel information when you land.
By following these five tips, you’ll be better off planning more trips with less hiccups, and more room for your travel budget.