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10 Ways to Land Cheaper Airfare

10 Ways to Land Cheaper Airfare

Driving across the country isn't really an option for most travelers when getting from point A to point B which is why airline travel has become so popular. With ticket prices ranging anywhere from $600-$800 for long-haul domestic flights, saving money has become more important than ever. Here are some ways to land cheaper airfares and save hundreds of dollars when traveling.

1. Book Early (...and Often)

Okay, maybe not often because that wouldn't make sense, but definitely early. Ticket prices tend to increase closer to a scheduled date since planes become full and consumers have fewer options. It is recommended to book flights 3 to 4 months out to get the best prices.

2. Compare Airports

Travel search engines like Kayak include a check box which allows you to "add nearby airports" when searching for flights. Airports with less traffic which are slightly out-of-the-way can easily knock hundred dollars off of an airline ticket. If you have to rent a car anyways consider flying into an airport a little further away.

3. Apply Frequent Flier Miles

Many major airline carriers offer frequent flyer mile programs for business and seasoned travelers as a reward for loyal customers. If you haven't already, sign up for one of these programs so you can apply discounts and get free tickets to destinations you otherwise would've had to pay for.

4. Use Discount Codes

If it can be bought online then it is going to have an associated promo or coupon code. It takes little effort to put in the name of an airline with the keywords "promo code" when conducting an online search. Conduct a similar search for hotels and rental cars to save even more money.

5. Avoid Baggage Fees

Most major carriers charge baggage fees of between 25$ and $35 starting with the first piece of luggage. There still are a few however which don't such as Southwest which has no charge for the first two bags and JetBlue which doesn't charge for the first bag.

6. Sign up for E-mail Alerts

To increase ticket sales and drive traffic during slow times many airlines will send e-mail alerts and text messages offering special prices for one-way tickets for certain destinations. Sign up for these notification to be made aware of limited time promotions.

7. Travel Off-Season

Many tourist destinations, especially those located overseas, are subject to seasonal travel. Vacationers tend to visit Europe during certain peak months while visiting the Caribbean in other months. If you purchase airline tickets to these destinations in off-peak travel months you can usually get significantly lower prices.

8. Name Your Price

The website Priceline.com has made a huge name for itself by offering cut-rate prices on airline tickets and hotel rooms. By naming your own price, you can stick within a budget and visit destinations that previously may have been too expensive. A major drawback however is that you won't know the airline, departure time or layovers until the time of purchase.

9. Fly on Less Popular Days

Many workers have jobs which are Monday to Friday so when they take a weeks vacation they normally purchase airline tickets from Saturday to the following Sunday. As a result, weekend travel tends to be the most expensive. If you have the option, try to book Tuesday to Wednesday of the following week when there are less travelers resulting in reduced prices.

10. Follow Airlines on Social Sites

Social media websites as a primary tool for large companies to interact with current and potential customers. Friend and follow your favorite airlines since they use these websites to offer special pricing and promotional deals with small windows of availability. If you can travel spur of the moment you may be able to take advantage of significantly lower prices on one-time offers.