The moment you figure out that you really can book $200 round-trip tickets to Europe, your life changes forever. The idea of travel becomes less a question of "how" and more a matter of "Where to?" Start spreading the news—it's never been cheaper to fly, and with a minimal amount of work, you can cash in. It's a matter of decoding airline jargon, doing some pre-planning, and getting acquainted with OTAs. Here, we answer all your questions about how to find cheap flights.
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“I always set alarms on Skyscanner to places where I need or want to visit in the near future. It lets me know when prices go down, so I can take advantage of great deals and save money on flights. It also lets me know when prices go up, so I can either catch them before they increase any further or put that trip on the back-burner for now.” —Inma Gregario, 34, a travel blogger who takes at least one trip a month
In a world filled with more options than ever, it's your job as a consumer to stay informed. Luckily, the businesses that want you to choose them have made it easier than ever to stay up to date. Whether you have a trip coming up soon, or simply know that you'll be planning a vacation sometime next year, take some time to prepare. When the time comes, you'll have all the information you need to get the best deal.
And the third sort of interesting thing is that demand comes in waves. So when tickets go on sale, there’s a lot of demand initially, but there’s also more demand over time. So, for instance, in the music market, the sort of rule of thumb is whatever you sell in the first five days, you double that, and that’s going to be your total attendance. So there’s this disconnect between selling and when the demand arrives. So a lot of times people just speculate and buy tickets, and they buy it up when tickets go on sale and later sell them to people who want tickets at a later date.
The cheapest flights are often basic economy fares, especially on domestic carriers. They offer travelers the chance to skip out on things usually included in a traditional fare, like access to the overhead bins, the cost to carry on, seat assignments, and even printing your boarding pass at the airport; each of those counts as an add-on, and comes with a fee attached. Each airline has a very different system, so read the fine print (or our guide to basic economy before booking. Google Flights will let you know whether or not you flight is basic economy, but not until you're right about to book, so keep an eye out for the gray label when you get to the pricing page.
For many of us, airfare can be a struggle, both in terms of cost and availability. But when it comes to planning your river cruise vacation, there are some simple research precautions you can take early on in the process to ensure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the airfare game. The first step starts with doing some research on your hometown airport.