The end of the year is a trifecta of holidays with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve following one behind the other. You have family and friends to see and it can seem like prices for flights are through the roof. I know this is something many of you are interested in, so I wanted to get it out to you all before the holiday season. Don’t be alarmed, I’m here to help!
If you plan on booking domestic flights for the holiday season, you’re not too late. I suggest looking at fares between August and October and book around mid October for Thanksgiving. Start looking for fares between September and November and book no later than the beginning/before mid November for Christmas. Similarly, start checking what prices are looking like starting in October and book around mid November as well for New Years. The rule of thumb for domestic flights is booking about 6-8 weeks prior and 3 months prior for international flights. Like I said, holiday time is a different creature so looking early to be safe is always fine. Yes, sometimes you find amazing deals a year in advance but that’s definitely not always the case. There’s no harm in looking at fares early, just don’t book too early.
My Fly Delta App
Of course as a frequent flyer this is always my first go to. I’ve said it before, but I’m a big advocate for finding a company you like and staying loyal to them. This goes for airlines, hotels and even rental car companies. That way you gain benefits over time and you know you can depend on a certain level of service and perks. But let’s be honest, Delta flight prices be trippin’ some times. I’m not blind to it. So when it’s out of the price range I’m willing to pay or I don’t have enough miles to book, I switch to my next method.
I love Kayak because it does the work for you. They compare multiple airlines for you and give the option for flexible dates to see if they can find better fares for you. If you’re planning for a domestic flight, this is a great site to compare major United States airlines. It includes some international airlines but not as much as some other search engines. While it includes some great airlines that we don’t typically look at, it also doesn’t include some major airlines such as Southwest.
This is a new one for me but it came in so handy while in Peru! Similar to KAYAK, Google Flights does the work for you. After comparing multiple airlines, it gives you the results in a priced low to high type filter. If you’re searching for an international flight or already out the country and searching, results will include multiple airlines you’ve probably never heard. These are most likely local to the country you are in. It also gives you the option of currency, which can be helpful if you’re out the country and trying to watch your cash. It gives you multiple sites that you can book off of but you guessed it, I always book from the official site. The difference in price is typically no more than $10 once again.
All search engines are not the same so you might as well check them all, right? Skyscanner, like Google Flights, is great for searching international flights and might even find you lower fares than Google Flights. There will definitely be a wide variety of airlines listed on this site that you probably have never heard of but are still reliable and list fares at great prices! When booking on budget sites, make sure to check the airlines baggage policy before booking. Some budget airlines will charge you for baggage, printing out your boarding ticket, paying with a certain credit card and even the air you breath. Okay, I might be being a bit dramatic with the air, but you get my point. Make sure if that’s the case, you are still getting a deal after fare AND fees.
Periodically Southwest has “as low as $49 & $59” sales. Randomly when I’m feeling spontaneous I go onto their website and see if they have this deal running. They organize it by each city they have an airport in and there’s specific dates you have to book within. The dates are typically about a two month range and about two months away from when the sale starts. I love Southwest as a company because their planes are comfortable, they always allow 2 free checked bags and they have in cabin entertainment and service. Overall a great airline that also has dependable customer service. The draw back with Southwest is that they don’t go everywhere, but they are at most major airports in the United States and go to plenty of Caribbean islands.
Yes, there are countless amounts of discount flight sites and apps that claim to have $19 flights and other unbelievable fares ... because they’re not real. Don’t get caught in a compromising travel situation trying to save money. Make sure that whichever site you book off of is trustworthy. Also, don’t spend too much time looking for a lower fare. If you’ve spent more than an hour looking for your flight, you’ve spent too much time. Finding a cheap flight is all about being flexible and smart in when you go, where you go, and how you chose to get there. Follow the tips above and you’ll be trippin’ for cheap in no time!
Until next time, Stay Trippin‘!