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Step 8: Airfare Booking Tips

Read SmarterTravel's best tips before you buy:

  1. The lowest fares are usually for midweek travel: Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays for domestic fares, and Mondays through Thursdays for international travel.
  2. A seven-, 14-, or 21-day advance purchase, as well as a Saturday-night stay, are usually required to get the best deals.
  3. Routes that include a flight connection are often cheaper than nonstop flights.
  4. When shopping around, experiment with different travel times. Early-morning or red-eye flights may provide a better deal.
  5. Remember that an airline's sale fares aren't necessarily the lowest available fares.
  6. Plan your travel to avoid your destination's peak season, when fares tend to be the highest.
  7. Consider alternate airports. You may be able to get a much lower fare if you're willing to drive an hour or two to a nearby departure or destination city.
  8. Sometimes flying isn't the cheapest travel option. Consider taking the train, bus, or driving if it's feasible.
  9. Don't forget to earn frequent flyer miles every time you fly.
  10. When you find a deal you're happy with, book the ticket right away. If you wait too long, the deal may disappear.
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