Airline tickets have become so expensive that it’s beginning to limit where many of us can travel. Of course you can find cheap flights if you search hard enough or get lucky, but we can’t all gamble on that. Let’s look at ways you can definitely save money off airfare and have the vacation of your dreams.

Book early

This is the tried and true method to saving big bucks on airfare and will always be the way. Book early and you will be happy in the wallet region. It’s a fact that airlines like their planes booked early so they don’t have empty flights. It’s an advantage to both parties to book early. The airlines like it for obvious reasons and you like it because the rates are so affordable.

Its best practice to book at least 2 months in advance for domestic and 3-4 months for international travel. According to Airlines Reporting Corporation passengers on average saved up to 20 percent by booking 2 months in advance. That’s a nice chunk of change. They also reported a staggering 28 percent savings when booking international flights with at least 24 weeks advance notice.

Obviously we all can’t book that early, who are we…planners?

For the rest of us who aren’t super planners and like to live by the seat of our pants, here are some other saving options.  

 

Off-peak and cheap days

First you have to figure out when exactly the cheapest days to fly are and which times a year are cheapest.

Simple, search for your flight but check the entire month you want to travel, this will show you the price highs and lows.

On average Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays are cheapest days of the weak to fly. The times of the month vary depending on time of year and season.

Its good to travel during the shoulder seasons, these are the times in between the high and low seasons. So early spring and late fall are great and cheaper times to fly.

 

Know the baggage rules

Saving bucks on your baggage is crucial to flying for cheap. A select few airlines will allow one or two checked bags for free but most charge for all bags. Some “discount” airlines actually charge for carry on bags as well. These “discount” carriers usually end up being the same price as other airlines after all the hidden fees.

Make sure your checked bag isn’t over the allowed weight restrictions, because that can add a hefty penalty fee. Many times a heavy bag fee can be up to $675 per bag, so check before you leave home or leave some extra room I your carry on in case you have to repack at the airport.

 

Fare alerts

Sign up for fare alerts form a certain airline or ticketing service like Kayak.com. These fare alerts may seem like an annoyance but in reality they can save you major bucks. Once you buy the tickets at an awesome price make sure you end the alert or you will continue to receive emails on a loop forever!

 

Off airports

You favorite airport is awesome, it’s close and convenient to get to, that’s why it’s usually more expensive to fly out of. Instead choose a secondary airport, maybe one that is farther out or smaller, often these have great deals on flights.

 

Hopefully you save some money on your flights so you can do many more fun activities on your upcoming vacation. Send pictures and let us know how much fun you had.