Happy Wednesday Accomplices!!! Thanks for coming back for my 3rd post in my 4-week series on how to purchase travel inexpensively. Last week I talked about how to use mileage reward programs to book travel. If you missed that post, you can catch up here. This week I talk about how both patience and impulse can help you save money when buying tickets. Still interested?
If any of you are like me, you are planners at heart. Those of us that are meticulous with detail are usually also very impatient. We want everything done yesterday, correctly, and without a hitch of course. Now you and I know that the way God is set up, the thought of plans going exactly the way we want is purely comical.
When it comes to booking travel on a budget one cannot afford to be impatient. One of the main ways I save money on plane tickets is by planning my trips far in advance and booking everything little by little. What I mean by that is: I RARELY buy roundtrip tickets. I will usually book 2 one-way tickets separately in order to save a coin. To take it a step further, I also mix-match airlines. By doing this, you can take advantage of flight specials from multiple airlines at different times. I may buy a $59 fare with Southwest today and a return ticket through another airline for $99 a few months later. Sometimes I’ll use my reward miles to book one way and buy my the other ticket on sale. This is how to get a round-trip ticket for the price of a one-way.
Now, I know some of you probably read the intro and thought “How can being impulsive save me money, HOW?!”.
Well friends, here’s how: BOOK NOW… and worry about the rest later. I briefly touched on this in the first post of this series. When you find a flight special or a ticket that is well within your budget, book it right then and there. Chances are you may not see that price for that type of destination and time period again. Destination, season, and holidays are all major factors that contribute to the price of plane tickets. This requires that you be flexible to get the very best price. You might have a beach vacay to Miami for Labor Day weekend in mind. Those tickets will not be cheap. Think about your real reason for choosing this trip. If the beach is your only motivation, consider another location that is less frequented during that time.
Things to Consider
- I get the best financial results when I book my plane tickets 6-9 months out. For some people, 9 months is too early so stick 6 to be on the safe side. This allows you time to find others to accompany you on your trip as well as time to get best pricing for your hotel accommodations.
- Sort out the basics before buying an impulse ticket. At the very minimum, you should have your desired dates of travel picked. Chances are, your vacation time at work is limited and your employer may also have black-out dates. Knowing this info ahead of time will help you better take advantage of any spur of the moment sales you find.
I know that most of this post was common sense, but as I always say: Common sense ain’t so common. Next Wednesday will be my last post in this series and it’s one that you won’t want to miss. I’ll be writing about buddy passes/standby travel. ;)
Thanks for reading!