Kinsey Love, marketing manager, Lewiston State Bank
The holidays are a time for family, which in many cases, can mean a time for travel. Or maybe, instead of spending money on things, you want to spend it on an experience for your family. But finding cheap airfare, for a whole family no less, can become quite pricey.
If you plan to travel during the holiday season, here are some ideas to keep in mind when trying to find cheaper airfare:
- Use services that send notifications of good deals on flights. There are great resources already doing a lot of the legwork when it comes to finding good deals. The Instagram account @flightsfromhome posts current deals on flights out of Salt Lake City. There are other similar Instagram accounts with deals and email services. ScottsCheapFlights.com sends emails notifying subscribers of current deals.
- Know what you’re looking for, but be flexible. When looking for a flight, you can use Instagram’s notification feature to make sure you don’t miss the deal you want since they sometimes sell out within hours. Be flexible with your dates to get the best deal. Sometimes you may have to buy tickets on a short notice to get the best deal. Some airlines allow you to cancel within 24 hours, but do your research ahead of time.
- Research typical costs for flights to your desired destination. Google Flights is a great resource for preparing to book a trip. You can use Google Flights to look up the lowest-cost flight per day on a certain route. Look at a couple months out on Google Flights to get an idea of what tickets are going for in the near future to a certain destination. Then, if you select a date, you can see the carrier, times, total travel times, and cost.
- Look everywhere. Even though you may prefer specific airlines, look at sites like Travelocity or Booking.com, which are great for finding possible flights. There might be a carrier that has a new non-stop route for the destination you’re looking for. Use multiple sites to compare deals.
- Know your airline’s policies. If you know you’re traveling with luggage, maybe the slightly cheaper deal on an airline that charges fees for bags is actually going to cost you more in the end. Some airlines allow passengers to check two bags free. You could even use a travel credit card with an airline to check a bag for free. You may have to bring a whole suitcase of Christmas gifts home, so watch for the checked bag fees. Some airlines allow you to cancel flights without any fee, so if you are not sure of your holiday work schedule, you can save money by booking two trips ahead of time and canceling one when you know your schedule. Make sure you know all the rules regarding cancellation policies before you book this way. Most airlines have strict cancellation policies and others may only allow you a refund in the form of credit with the airline.