If you’re planning a bucket list trip, but you’re still keen to save some dollars, there’s plenty you can do besides hunting down a great fare, paying well in advance for a flight or booking your trip last minute. This is especially true if you can be flexible with your travel arrangements. For one, the price of flights not only varies by the time of day, but also the day of the week, and even the month you intend to travel. Avoiding weekends can make a big difference, so compare prices of flights on a Tuesday or a Wednesday as well as a Saturday or Sunday to see what you can save. Also, with many airlines online you can check the fares for a flight the day before or after, or even a week before or after your ideal date of travel, so you can see if the prices are cheaper, enhancing your chances of bagging a better deal. If you want to travel somewhere but don’t mind where, check options for a number of destinations as you may find one place is considerably cheaper than another. If you can be really flexible with your travel dates, and aren’t travelling for a specific reason such as to visit family or friends, or for a big birthday or anniversary, avoid travelling in peak time and opt for low season instead. For example, don’t travel at Christmas or Easter, avoid major school holiday periods at home and overseas, and travel outside of the peak summer months in the Europe and North America if possible.
Another way you can sometimes save dollars is to take an indirect flight with a stopover. Some travel website search engines allow you to check options including direct, one-stop and two-stop flights for a destination. This offers you the bonus of having another place to enjoy or explore on your trip, making sure that the cost of accommodation needed doesn’t outweigh the savings you make on your fare. Mixing and matching flights, or flight classes is another way to save. Consider flying out with one airline and back with another, and using different airports, and if you mix your class of travel flying long haul, you can sometimes opt for a short leg or day flight in economy or premium economy, leaving the long or overnight flight for premium economy or business class. And finally, many destinations such as London, New York and Paris have multiple airports to choose from, some of which may offer flights with specific airlines and are cheaper. An example of this is flying from New York to Long Beach rather than Los Angeles, especially if you’re spending time in Orange County rather than the City of Angels.