Tips for Air Travel: How to Save Money
Traveling can be a real headache. From lost luggage to long waiting periods, it can be a hassle no matter what method of transportation you take. Flying presents its own set of unique obstacles, some of which can be tough on your bank account. That’s why we want to give you some of the best tips for air travel when it comes to money. There are few things in life that are free, but we think we can help you save a few bucks at least. Here are some of our tips for air travel and watching your wallet.
Honestly, this is the best advice we could give you concerning most things in life. When you’re in a hurry, you’re bound to make a mistake here and there. Not every travel situation can be planned out months in advance, but when you have the ability to think ahead, you can save money and avoid heartache. Don’t put off your travel plans until the last minute. There’s nothing worse than paying exorbitant fees and/or having to rearrange your trip.
Know How to Pack
One way you can plan ahead and save some money is by knowing how to pack. This is easily one of the most important tips for air travel because it affects everyone. Each bag you check on a flight has to be under a certain weight restriction (50 pounds). If your bag weighs more than that, get ready for some expensive fees. The airline may double the price of your checked bag or even add hundreds of dollars if you are flying internationally. For those taking a short weekend trip out of town, you may want to try and pack everything in a piece of carry-on luggage for free. The key here is to make sure your bag fits the dimensions required so that it may be classified as a carry-on (Check with your airline for exact requirements.). We’ve all seen that guy trying to pass off a Houdini-sized trunk as a carry-on and it’s not pretty.
Look Into Rewards Programs and Credit Card Perks
A great way to save money and enjoy special privileges is by signing up for rewards programs through airlines. While you may have never used such a program before, you are undoubtedly familiar with the concept. Think of the special barcode you scan at the grocery store or when you buy a TV at Best Buy. There are a number of retailers who reward loyalty and airlines are no different. If you’re planning to fly pretty often, you may want to sign up with your favorite company so that you can begin racking up points that can go towards free miles or special amenities like seat upgrades. Assuming Dave Ramsey hasn’t come after your credit cards yet, you may also use purchases made with said card on other products and services toward free travel. Check with the company you use to find out more.
Search for the Best Deal - Tips for Air Travel
This is where planning ahead and your own knowledge of the internet can help you save serious money. By using sites like Expedia, Kayak, and Hotwire, you can become a travel expert who knows how to find the good deals. You can also go directly to the source by visiting the websites of popular airlines in your area to see if they have a price listed lower than the comparison sites or if any special deals are ongoing. Never settle for the first search results. Check with at least one or two other sites to see if there’s a better or cheaper flight.
Bring Snacks and Activities to Tide You Over
One of the best tips for air travel is to avoid spending money on food and amenities at the airport if at all possible. Not because it’s poor quality (though that may be true depending on the airport), but because vendors at airports often charge high prices. Like a ballpark or a movie theater, the airport is a place where you as a customer are limited in options, resulting in the overpricing of goods. If possible, bring some of your own snacks to eat along the way and don’t forget to make sure you have important entertainment accessories like headphones and charging cables.
Know What Each Variety of Ticket Offers
When you are searching for a seat on your plane, try to figure out what is offered for the type of ticket you are buying. Depending on where you are sitting on the plane, you may be able to board faster, bring along more free luggage, or be eligible for premium entertainment and meals. That’s on top of the usual perks like extended legroom, a lovely add-on for those of us with long legs. You may decide paying an extra $35 for your ticket is worthwhile or be reassured you only require the bare minimum in service.
Get Travel Insurance
It may seem counterintuitive to save money by purchasing an add-on, but we’ve seen more than a few travelers who desperately wish they had checked the little box at the end of their transaction. Travel insurance protects you from simple headaches that could cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Among the incidents typically covered by travel insurance are lost luggage, emergency medical situations on foreign soil, and trip cancellations. Aside from the obvious benefits, travel insurance also doesn’t cost very much compared to what you are paying for the trip. In most cases, you should expect to pay around 5-10% of your total trip cost for insurance.
Be Flexible with Your Flight Preferences
You’ll find that flexibility is a great character quality to have while traveling. Not only will it help you stay calm and clear-headed during the journey, but it might even save you some money. One of the best tips for air travel we can give you is to be flexible with your flight preferences if at all possible. Although you may wish to fly to your destination on Friday and come back on Sunday with non-stop flights in both directions, you’re probably costing yourself hundreds of dollars you don’t need to pay. By picking flights with layovers or traveling on Tuesday or Wednesday, you might find some great deals.
Prioritize What is Important to You
At the end of the day, you know what are your most pressing needs as a traveler. Maybe you prefer comfort or simplicity to price. Whatever is most important to you, think about these priorities during the planning process for your trip. Our tips for air travel are designed to save you money, but not all will be perfectly aligned with your situation or interests. Decide what is important to you and what is worth cutting in the name of saving your hard-earned money.
These tips for air travel can help you avoid rookie mistakes and plan trips like a pro. Wherever you’re going, we hope this list helps you get there in an improved manner.
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