9 Insider Tips for Cheaper Flights

by Vincent King · 8 comments

Do you love the freedom of traveling, but hate the cost?

Do you stay home because you think you don’t have the money to purchase plane tickets?

It doesn’t have to be like that.

With these tips from travel insider John Kamal, of iplantravelcanada.com, you’ll be able to hit the skies without blowing your budget.

How to Find Cheaper Flights

1. For weddings, groups, or complicated itineraries, use a travel agent

You should consult with a travel agent even if it’s for a family, high school, or college reunion. You miss out on a lot of money-saving opportunities if you choose to do it yourself online. Travel agents have access to special group rates with different travel suppliers, and they can usually negotiate a better deal on your behalf.

2. Experiment with alternative airports

Every situation is different, but you’d be surprised by the money you could save simply by flying out of a nearby airport. For example, here in Toronto, we’ve found that it’s sometimes worth it to book flights from Buffalo and make the short drive down.

3. Be flexible with your dates

Just checking the “flexible dates” box on any travel website will show you the savings you could get if you travel a couple of days earlier or later. You never know what you might find — it could be well worth it!

4. Plan ahead

Many people fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to book their travel, thinking they’ll get a better deal. This is a myth. While this might have been true 6 or 7 years ago, current trends show that prices rise the longer you wait, as seats become scarce.

5. Always ask for a better rate

Say you’re already at a hotel or car rental company, and you want to extend your stay or add on a car rental. When you’re at the reservation desk and given a certain rate, ask for a better one. Many hotels and car rental companies won’t tell you about the better rate unless you ask. Surprising, but true!

6. Try adding in layovers

When doing your research, decide if it’s worth it to you to pick a less convenient flight for a better price.

7. Use local agencies (either online or in person)

If you’re already at your destination and have a change of plans, visit a website or agency that’s local to where you are. Local travel agencies sometimes have access to better consolidated rates for departures from their country.

8. Consider the extras

Account for all the extra costs when booking a specific ticket, as the cheapest option isn’t always the cheapest for you. For example, if you know that you need to travel with excess luggage, or that you might need to change your return date later, booking the cheapest tickets with less flexible rules wouldn’t be the best option. Going for the more expensive option could actually be a better deal once you pay for excess baggage and change fees.

9. Carry it on

If you can skip heavy baggage, do so. Most airlines charge for baggage, and extra if it’s overweight. If you can get all you need into a carry on, you’ll save a lot on the fees associated with checked luggage.

Flying doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Follow this advice from John at iplantravelcanada.com, and you’ll be traveling before you know it.

What’s your favorite tip for finding cheap flights?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

John S @ Frugal Rules October 14, 2013 at 5:07 am

I think using an alternative airport can be a great way to save some money, especially if you’re going to a city that has quite a few airports. Another good one is to book your flights between Tuesday – Thursday as that is generally when they’re the cheapest to buy.

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Michelle October 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

I’ve never used a travel agent, but my friend always does and manages to save a decent amount of money each time.

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MoneyNing October 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Another way to save that I love is to only go on vacations when there’s a deal. Obviously, you need to have the flexibility to get up and go on short notice, but airlines, and hotels will often send out incredible discounts for marketing purposes.

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Joel @ SaveOutsideTheBox October 15, 2013 at 5:31 am

Airlines make SO much of their profit now on the “extras.” So carrying on, and avoiding extra silly fees by educating yourself beforehand are great ways to save money when flying. Thanks for the tips!

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MoneyNing October 15, 2013 at 8:19 am

Speaking of these fees, I actually don’t find them annoying at all. I rather have the airlines nickel and dime us than to just wrap everything in the airfare. At least this way, I get to choose what I pay for.

I only wish airlines would have the fees listed out when we book the flight so they are clear up front. That way I can make an informed choice.

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Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life October 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

I carry on as much as possible. If I have to check a bag I pack all my heavy things in the carry on so I don’t have to pay for overweight luggage.

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Contrarian Craig October 20, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Great article. I fly a lot and it’s so true about needing to book ahead of time as much as possible. Last minute flights plans are brutally expensive.

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Kelly Rogers March 2, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Very true. I don’t like to check in baggage so that I won’t pay extra fees when flying. I learned this when my husband boarded an international flight.

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