With the holidays closing in on us, many people will be looking to spend time with family and friends. Holidays are typically a time when people do a lot of air travel. Looking for the cheapest airfare can be a daunting task.Which resource should we trust? There are many websites that claim to offer comparative rates and help you find the cheapest airfare. However, most of them make money when you buy a ticket. It may not be in their best interest to find you the best deal.Before clicking that “buy” button, make sure you’ve exhausted all resources. The difference in airfare prices can be hundreds of dollars even on the same flight.
One of the resources that you should look at is the average airfare over a period of time. If expenses one of your concerns, perhaps it would be better to visit that family member over Easter instead of over Christmas. While the historical averages will not guarantee you a lower fare at a particular time during the year, it can give you a good feel for what may overall proved to be your best economic decision.Be sure to look closely at the fine print. The flight that’s $30 cheaper, but does not include free baggage will probably not be your best deal. You need to add up all costs including baggage, meals, taxes before making a decision on which flight is going to be the best for you.Also, don’t forget convenience and timing. A flight out of Baltimore that requires you to drive around the beltway during morning rush hour in order to get there may not be the best deal. In many major metropolitan areas getting a roundabout way during rush hour can mean as much as 2 hours extra travel time, extra gas expense and possible headaches.Play around with the arrival and departure dates. Occasionally leaving a day earlier or getting back a day later could be a several hundred dollar difference in ticket price. Even having to pay an extra hotel night might still be a savings, plus you get to spend extra time with your friends or family (assuming, of course, that you’re not sick of each other by then).
There are many factors involved in being able to get the cheapest airfare. Do your due diligence and take the time to learn all of the different variables that come into play, and you might wind up with enough extra cash to buy great presents for everyone you’re visiting.