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 [[Connecting flight | flight connection]] are often cheaper than [[Nonstop flight | nonstop flights]].
  4. When shopping around, experiment with different travel times. Early-morning or [[Red-eye flight | 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 | 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 | 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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