Finding ways to save on flights when we go away is always my top priority in regards to travel. As a family of five, we could be paying anywhere from $1000-5000 on just our airfare. That’s a huge chunk of cash that’d I’d rather save for another vacation!
Driving is an option in some circumstances, but because time is money (or in my husbands case, lost days of work) we usually try to find cheap flights or alter our plans. However, there are some tricks I’ve come across and I want to share them with you!
How To Save On Flights For Your Dream Vacation
My first piece of advice is one I’ve shared often: Get a travel credit card! Companies like West Jet, Alaska Airlines, and Air Canada, all offer points or dollar for dollar systems. You’ll often be gifted with a signing bonus and many will also provide you with a $99 yearly companion fare. In our case, these cards have allowed us to to get two flights for free or $99 each year. That saves us almost a grand right there.
My next tip is to fly midweek. Most people will book a vacation from one weekend to the next, but a good way to save on flights is by flying in or out midweek. It’s also a good idea to book flights midweek, often Tuesdays or Thursdays. Added bonus: hotels are usually cheaper midweek too.
Third, shop around! Use flight comparison websites and apps like Hopper, Kayak, and Skyscanner. Some of these apps will allow you to put in a departure and arrival airport and then they’ll alert you when prices drop. Before booking, read all of the fine print so that you know the restrictions of your purchase.
Another suggestion is do not to lock yourself into a specific airport. We live in the suburbs of Vancouver, but will fly out of not only Vancouver International, but also Abbotsford, Bellingham, and Seattle. All of these cities are within three hours of home but the price differences can be drastic! The same can be said about your destination. You may find flights into New York City are expensive, but only 40 minutes away is Newark, New Jersey, and it can save you hundreds.
If possible, book your travels for off season. Flying during peak travel times can double the cost of your flight. Times that by five people and you’ve just spent an extra $2000. Peak times are holidays, Spring Break, and Summer holidays. Count on paying more to go away between Christmas and New Years, the months of March/April, and July/August. We were looking at booking some flights to Mombasa and depending which season we chose, the prices changed a lot!
Start tracking prices as soon as you know when you want to travel. Watch the ups and downs and get a feel for when a good time to book a specific location may be. Generally speaking, the best time to book is 4-6 months out, but you can find some great deals earlier or last minute.
My last tip, is be flexible about your destination. This won’t work if you’re really set on traveling somewhere specific, but if you’re only criteria is ‘somewhere hot’ or ‘a city in Western Europe’ then your options really open up! You let the prices dictate where your next travels will take you. That’s kind of exciting!
I hope these tips will help you save on flights for you and your family. Be sure to check out my post on how to Bring Down the Costs of Your Family Vacation for more ideas!
Happy travels! Where are you off to next?