I love reading your blog (I've commented a couple times under the name craftosaurus) and seeing how you stretch your pennies. I take the same approach, but I've found myself stumped as to, how to find a thrifty approach to air travel. Specifically, mid-summer, long-weekend-getaway, domestic air travel. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for scoring round trip air fare without breaking the bank?
Many thanks! Yours in thriftiness,
Don't we all wish we knew the big answer to this question?! I wish I could say that I had some secret site or insider's trick to share with you, but my thriftiest vacation strategy is that I don't really go on them all that often. Besides keeping my flying time down to one (or fewer) trips a year, I also:
*Plan ahead~ Not only are flights usually cheaper months in advance, but having the extra time means that I can comparison shop among the different airlines and bargain sites (Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak etc.). When I'm doing this, I always keep in mind the fees that might be charged in addition to the posted price.
Day of week- Mid-week or mid-weekend is usually cheaper (basically, the days that others don't want to travel).
Time of day- If possible, I always try to fly out as early as possible on the first day of my trip. This way, I have the entire day to enjoy my destination without having to pay additional hotel or car rental fees. Imagine knocking off $100+ on your plane ticket... that's what you're doing by skipping that first night's hotel fees. Instead of 11 pm the Friday night, fly in at 8 am on Saturday. Think the same way for your return flight and enjoy the afternoon in your destination before packing up and going home.
Time of year- Late August is just as hot and summery as July, but the fares go way down by that time.
Location of trip- This isn't possible for everyone, but I'll usually change my trip of choice based on the deals available. Nonstop and regional flights are almost always cheaper so I try to find one that sparks my interest. If nonstop isn't possible, I might drive over to one of the bigger cities in my state, visit with relatives, and fly out from there if the savings makes since.
*Get rewarded~ If traveling is your thing, I'd say to go for that rewards credit card! My mom actually got to the point where she earned a Companion Pass status with her Southwest Airlines card and gets to fly with a friend for free.
*Pack light~ I'd like to consider myself to be somewhat of a master packer. I love the ease of traveling with two simple carry-ons... and avoiding those pesky fees that most airlines are charging these days.
Okay, so that's all I've got on thrifty summer flying tips. Anyone have the secret to scoring super cheap airfare?! Please share!!
...and because blogs aren't fun without pictures, here are a few from my recent (Memorial Day weekend) trip to visit my sister in Buffalo/ Niagara/ Toronto:
Toronto sunset. What a (huge) fun city!
I just about died over the cuteness of Buffalo. Character and history seemed to ooze from everywhere.