If you are wondering how to find cheap summer flights, we’ve got you covered. It may be peak season when prices are generally higher, but deals are out there if you know where to look.
When looking for exceptional summer deals, know that you may have to give a little. Flight times might be early in the morning, in the middle of the week, or you may be with a discount airline. If your main objective is to save money, you’ve got to be prepared.
The first rule of how to find cheap summer flights is to first resign yourself to be flexible with your plans. Flexibility can mean agreeing to a connecting flight and a longer travel day instead of the nonstop you really want. It can also mean agreeing to get up in the middle of the night to catch a flight at dawn instead of the much more desired mid-morning departure.
1. Be Flexible with Dates – The more flexible you are regarding travel dates, the more likely you are to find a great deal. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are usually the cheapest days to fly within the U.S. As for the cheapest times, try flying at dawn, overnight, or during meal times.
2. Be Flexible with Destinations – You can also find cheap summer flights if you are open to a wider variety of destinations. This doesn’t mean giving up your dream of, say, going to the beach, but some beach cities have better deals than others. Compare fares to different destinations and you might save a bundle.
3. Be Flexible with Airports – Are you lucky enough to have multiple airports near you? Or maybe your destination has multiple airports? Compare fares to and from different airports (it’s easy on FareCompare) and you could see significant savings.
4. Be Flexible with Routes – Sometimes, but not always, connecting flights are cheaper than nonstops. This is especially true on longer routes. Don’t say ‘no’ to a connecting flight until you see what you might save. A longer travel day might be worth it.
Other Ways to Save
You can save money (as well as time) while traveling.
1. Baggage Fees – Large airlines usually give you a carry-on bag for free while discount airlines generally charge for all bags. Be sure to research baggage fees and add them to your airfare to get a better idea of the total ticket price.
2. Food and Drinks – Some airlines charge for snacks and drinks, including water and soft drinks. You can save money by packing a lunch from home. Throw in an empty water bottle, too; just fill up at an airport water-filling station once you get past security.
3. PreCheck – This will cost you $85 initially but the fee is good for five years and we think it’s worth it. The TSA’s PreCheck program provides a much speedier airport security experience and members get a dedicated line just for them (and also get to keep their shoes on). Ask yourself, how much is my time worth? Then learn how to get TSA Precheck. Tip: A number of countries outside the U.S. also have faster security programs, which are detailed on government websites.
You can also cut the costs of your entire trip, including hotel costs and dining prices, with a few easy tricks.
Be Ready to Buy
When you find a great deal for summer travel, be ready to buy. Hot summer deals move fast because summer is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Plus, airline prices change frequently so when you find a great deal, grab it. Remember, everyone else is looking to find cheap summer flights, too!
How to Find a Great Deal
The FareCompare Getaway Map is a fun tool designed to help everyone find deals in the month or season they’d like to fly. It’s also a great tool to use when browsing for inexpensive travel opportunities for activities. Best of all, it’s easy to use with this handy guide and it’s fun to find deals.
When using the map and you see a deal you like, click it. You’ll then see four different itineraries with prices pop-up. Click all four, even the ones with higher fares! Airlines change prices quickly, and if you don’t click all four itineraries you might miss out on a hidden deal that’s just become available.
Still not sure where you want to go? Worldwide deals can always be found on the Getaway Map! And be sure to check out all the information on baggage fees in FareCompare’s Baggage Fee Chart to see associated costs for traveling this spring break. Safe travels!