Planning a trip on a budget can require a lot of effort if you want to get everything just right, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Airline ticket aggregators and booking engines like on CheapFlights.ca provide easy ways to find good prices, and you can also look for great deals directly from airline websites. Knowing the best times of year to travel will also help you stretch your budget, and there are a few tricks to booking tickets that can expand your purchasing power even more.
The Right Time to Purchase Airline Tickets
When it comes to buying airline tickets, the general rule of thumb is that earlier is better. However, that isn’t always the case. While last-minute flights do cost significantly more than tickets booked well in advance, buying tickets too early will also hurt your budget. The best prices for domestic flights are usually available about three weeks prior to the departure date, and you’ll typically get the best deal on international airfare by booking about a month before your flight. If you book too early or too late, you’ll often be stuck with a higher price than you really need to pay.
In addition to booking your flight at the right time, traveling at specific times during the year can also save you a lot of money. Every destination has a high season and a low season, and you’ll typically find better prices on airline tickets and hotel accommodations during the low season. Deals are also available during shoulder season, which is good news if bad weather during the low season is a deal breaker for you.
The Best Way to Book
The sheer number of places that allow you to buy airline ticket can be overwhelming, but they can all be broken down into three basic categories:
- booking engines
- airline websites
Aggregators pull ticket information from various sources and provide it to you free of charge. This is the best way to get good deals because you won’t have to pay a convenience fee on top of the price of your ticket. However, booking engines sometimes have access to deals that you can’t find on aggregators. Even though these sites charge convenience fees, you may pay too much if you overlook them.
Many airlines provide their best deals to aggregators and booking engines, but some of them hold back their lowest priced tickets. If you want to find the best possible deal, then it’s a good idea to check an airline’s website before you buy tickets through a booking engine.
Airfare and Accommodation Packages
Booking your airline tickets and hotel at the same time will usually provide you with the lowest prices. That isn’t always the best way to save, but it does offer an easy way to stay within your budget. If you book separately, you’ll typically have to spend a lot more time scouring various sites for good deals. That will provide you with more flexibility than you get from package deals, but the time investment can be significant.