We’re going to Disney! So, my wife’s on a mission to find the best airfare for our family of 5 to go in a few months. I had told her I don’t have time to go through and comparison shop and since she’s home and our youngest still naps, etc., so she can spend a few hours on this and probably save us a few hundred bucks for a great ROI on time. But she didn’t know where to start. So, I did a little preliminary research, put it all in a list for her and then I figured why not just do a post on it? I found some great tips and resources, so I figured I’d pass it on.
Key Tips for Saving Money on Airfare:
- Flexible Dates – A huge savings tip I’ve seen is that when you select “flexible dates” as opposed to exact dates, the pricing differences can be enormous – even if it ends up giving you a flight on the same day you would have selected anyway. In our case, we could be somewhat flexible on whether we leave on a Saturday, a Sunday or a Monday. I’m taking off the whole week either way. So, we’ll save some money there.
- Tuesdays are cheap! – I’ve seen various explanations for why this is, but both on the web and also from talking to co-workers who routinely travel and book their own flights, Tuesdays are the cheapest day of the week to book a flight. Give it a shot!
- Double Check – After you find what seems to be the best price, go to the website of whatever airline you end up on and see if it’s actually cheaper through them. Probably not, but worth checking.
- Smaller Airports – Check out smaller airports in your area. We have one near us that’s not a huge international airport, but it does fly to a few spots in the country at a cheaper rate than a Newark or Philadelphia International.
- Pick the Best Seats – You can pick your seat by finding the best and worst seats via diagram at Seatguru.com.
Sites You Should Use
When comparison shopping, I like to use multiple tabs in a browser (or multiple windows if you’re old-school) and flip between sites. So, here are several actual price sites. You’ll find often times that the prices match since there’s a race to the bottom in flight deal sites. But occasionally, you’ll be able to find one that’s lower:
Fare Compare – This site actually compares across various other sites and seems to be a bit different than the others. But also check out the ones below. They’re the typical larger sites you’ve probably heard of already, so they’re legit – and all in one place now.
Bonus! Watch Prices in Real Time
I found this site Yapta that actually lets you compare prices on various flights BEFORE you book and receive notifications as pricing drops (like on Tuesdays! :>). If you plan ahead, that’s a surefire way to skim a few extra bucks off your pricing rather than just buying tickets the same day you actually get around to comparison shopping. Since ticket pricing change by the second, when the move up, you’re not interested, but when they drift back down, an instant alert is great. For us, we’re flying with 5, so even a $10 price drop means $50 saved just for staying on top of price changes.