“It’s no secret that airfares are up and added fees for everything from checked bags to exit-row seats are pushing the cost of flying higher,” writes Michelle Higgins in a recent New York Times article, 11 Tricks to Cutting Travel Costs in 2011. And how. With most major carriers charging $25 for your first checked bag, it makes you wonder what the airlines will think to charge for next (oxygen during your flight?).
But don’t despair, because travel deals are still to be had. It just takes some resourcefulness to uncover them. Here are our favorite tips from Higgins:
1. For the lowest fares, shop on Tuesday.
“Most airlines begin sales on Monday evenings, and by the following day other airlines have usually matched the lowered fares on the same routes,” writes Higgins. To further your chance at getting a bargain, start your search three to four months before you plan to fly. That’s how far in advance airlines usually decide which routes they’ll discount to fill seats.
2. Ask for a refund.
Higgins reports that if the cost of your ticket drops after you buy it, many airlines will refund the price difference (though they will charge you a change fee). How do you know if the ticket starts selling for less? The website Yapta.com will monitor the price of your ticket and send you an email or a tweet if the price drops.
4. Travel off peak.
It may sound obvious, but if you can avoid traveling over major holidays, you’ll save big. One example from Higgins: “A five-night ski vacation in Breckenridge, Colo., during the last week of December was priced at $1,988 a person, including airfare from Chicago, at Orbitz.com. For the following week, the same trip was listed at $1,037 a person.”
For tips on avoiding roaming charges, and getting the best hotel deals, read 11 Tricks to Cutting Travel Costs in 2011.
Source: New York Times