5 Ways to Save Money on Air Travel
If your vacation plans involve traveling by air, it can easily end up being very expensive. Besides comparing prices on sites like Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity, there are things you can do to save money on air fare. Based on my own experiences as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve pulled together a list of some favorite money-saving tips.
1. Be Flexible
If you’re flexible about your departure and return dates, you can save a lot of money. Flights are generally less expensive during the week than on weekends. Consider taking the kids out of school a day or two before the school vacation starts, if that helps you find a lower air fare.
2. Book Early, Last Minute, And Sign Up for Deals
You can also save money by reserving your tickets months in advance; the ideal is 2-3 months before your departure date. Grab last-minute bargains, or sign up for deals that include air fare, hotel and/or car rental.
3. Pack Carry-On Luggage
Airlines can charge a steep fee for each extra suitcase you bring on board (typically $50-75), and they generally only allow one suitcase per passenger. To avoid those extra fees, have each family member over the age of 8 bring a carry-on bag (bags are too difficult to maneuver for younger kids). That’ll also make the kids think carefully about what to carry on the trip.
4. Pack Your Favorite Movies and Snacks
International flights usually offer complimentary entertainment like movies and games. But that’s not always the case on domestic flights. To avoid spending money on entertainment, have the kids load their favorite movies and games on cell phones and/or tablets. The same goes for snacks; kids get hungry and on-board snacks can be very expensive, so bring their favorites with you.
5. Use Credit Cards with Air Miles
If you have credit cards, sign up for rewards programs that let you collect points every time you pay for air fare or shop online. Many rewards programs don’t require you to use a credit card – you just need to use their card when you shop.
Bio: Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.