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4 ways to reduce your costs when traveling by plane

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Here’s how to save money on your next flights.

Key points

  • Air travel can be expensive, no matter your destination.
  • By booking your plans strategically and using the right credit card, you can lower your costs.

You’ll often hear that getting in the car and taking a road trip is less expensive than getting on a plane to get to your destination. And in some cases, that may be true, like if you’re traveling in a group and can split the cost of gas with a group of people.

But sometimes air travel is unavoidable. If you’re short on time, you may not have hours to navigate the highways to get to the city of your choice. And of course, some destinations can only be reached by plane (driving from California to Hawaii just isn’t going to work).

The good news is that there are steps you can take to dramatically reduce your airfare and related costs. Here are four tips worth employing.

1. Book your flights in advance

Sometimes you’ll get a deal when you book a flight at the last minute. But often, waiting until you’re within weeks of your trip will result in a higher airfare.

If you know when and where you’ll be traveling many months in advance, consider booking your flights then. Some airlines publish their flight schedules up to a year in advance, so you should have plenty of options when it comes to securing your plans well in advance.

2. Avoid bank holiday weekends

It can be tempting to travel on bank holiday weekends to take advantage of the extra day off. But you’ll almost always see higher airfare prices on holiday weekends than on normal weekends. If you can avoid traveling during those times, you could spend less to get to your destination.

3. Travel in the middle of the week

In general, there is more demand for flights on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday than on Tuesday and Wednesday. If your work schedule is flexible and you can travel in the middle of the week, you could save a good amount on your airfare costs.

These days, many people work remotely and can get their work done from anywhere. It’s possible to fly to your destination on a Wednesday, work remotely for a day or two, and then just take vacation days over a long weekend.

4. Use a travel rewards credit card

Booking a flight with a travel rewards credit card won’t necessarily make the flight cheaper. But your credit card may come with built-in benefits that end up saving you a lot of money.

Many travel rewards cards offer benefits like free checked bags on flights. These days, it’s common for airlines to charge $30 or more for each bag, so it’s a good way to cut your costs, especially on multiple flights. You can also benefit from discounts on purchases on board. And if your travel rewards card makes it easier to earn extra airline miles, you may also end up getting a free flight at some point.

Air travel has become quite expensive and it is getting harder and harder to get deals on flights. But if you follow these tips, you may be able to save big when you fly.

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