Video:Save Money When You Flywith Chris Chmura
Are you in need of a vacation but don't want to spend a lot on getting there? With a little bit of flexibility and patience, you can find affordable airfare.See Transcript
Transcript:Save Money When You FlyJoining the jet set shouldn't cost you and arm and a leg. I'm Chris Chmura for About.com with some tips for saving money when you fly.
Consider Flying in Off-Peak TimesFlexibility is the key to an inexpensive getaway. If you say I'm going such and such a place and nowhere else on such and such a day, you limit your options.
Discounts can be found during off-peak times and seasons. For example, everyone wants to see Europe during spring or summer. But, if you choose autumn or winter, you'll cut your costs big time.
Try Flying Into Nearby AirportsOnce you pick a city, consider flying into nearby airports. Instead of San Francisco, check prices for Oakland, San Jose, even Sacramento. Sometimes you can save a bundle arriving into one airport and leaving from another.
Be Flexible With Travel DatesResearch is essential to saving money. There are gobs of great online tools to help find you find the lowest fare. Some even send you alerts when prices drop between you favorite places.
Always direct these search engines to find fares for a few days before and after your date. A day earlier or later can save you hundreds.
Buy Direct From the AirlineAlthough these travel sites are great, they charge a service fee of at least $5 when it's time to book.
So, I do my research with them and buy direct from the airline, where there's no fee and I sometimes get bonus miles for booking with them online.
Don't even think about calling an airline to buy a ticket unless you absolutely have to. They all charge fees to talk with someone, in hopes you'll complete your purchase on the Internet.
Know When to Book Your FlightThe best time to book your tickets may be mid-week. Airlines usually announce fare sales around Wednesday or Thursday, and hike fares a bit on the weekend.
If you need to book at the last second, forget this - and snag the best price you can find ASAP.
You may want to sites that let you name your own price, but sometimes they're the same price as the airlines themselves.
Sign Up for E-mail AlertsSpeaking of last minute tickets, you can find impressive bargains when booking just before take-off. The airlines offer e-mail blasts once a week letting you know where you can go on the cheap.
As long as you don't get your heart set on a particular destination, you'll be on your way to frugal flying. And every penny you save getting there is one you can spend once you arrive.
Thanks for watching, I'm Chris Chmura for About.com.
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