Quick Tip + 3 Ways to Save Money When Booking Flights
Quick Tip: Be flexible and do your homework!
What to consider:
1) Have you checked the days before and after departure?
2) Have you considered reversing your arrival/departure cities?
3) Should you book an open-jaw ticket?
Breaking it down:
Yes, it sounds simple. It is simple, yet so many people spend way more than they should when planning vacations and booking airfare. This could be because they are too busy, or didn't think to try other options, or a number of reasons. This is not a new development, but a little extra work can save you hundreds of dollars. So for our first Quick Tip, I'd like to break down a real-life example of how we cut costs in our own travel planning.
Let's say you are flying from Houston to California for a long weekend trip from Thursday to Sunday. You want to fly into Los Angeles, go from LA to San Francisco, and then fly home from San Francisco. For 2 non-stop tickets this would cost $863 a person. BUT if you changed your dates to Saturday-Tuesday, the same non-stop tickets are only $828 a person. Now that doesn't sound like a huge savings, but that's just one part of the equation. If you are flexible and are willing to fly into San Francisco first, then fly out of Los Angeles, those nonstop tickets from Thursday to Sunday drop to $552 a person. That is a HUGE savings. And we are still not done. If you move your trip to Saturday-Tuesday, flying into San Francisco and out of LA, the prices drop to $481 a person.
If you're loving the savings, there is also one more step to try. It's called an "open-jaw" ticket. This means instead of booking a multi-city, three tier ticket (IAH-SFO, SFO-LAX, LAX-IAH), you instead book the arrival and departure tickets (IAH-SFO, LAX-IAH), then book the middle ticket (SFO-LAX) completely separate. Not only does this give you the freedom to change your mid-way travel if necessary (very helpful if you're overseas for several weeks and decide you want to stay in Paris a few more days), it is usually much cheaper, especially for international flights. For this example, booking into San Francisco and out of Los Angeles, with no middle ticket, is only $300 a person nonstop. Booking a one-way ticket separately, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, is only $69. This means your total trip is only $369 a person, instead of $481 a person when booking all three flights together. This is especially helpful in international travel, when you can take advantage of CHEAP one-way flights from domestic and budget airlines.
So if you put it all together, using the tips above can save you $500 a person. That's an extra $1000 that you can use on more flights in the future. All you need is about 15 minutes, and a little flexibility. We recently helped a couple book a similar trip to the west coast and Canada, and they saved over a $1000 on plane tickets alone. If the idea of searching through multiple days and flight combinations and airport options gives you a headache just thinking about it, then give us a shout! We would be happy to work with you to plan your next vacation, and we're not just talking flights. We will help curate the perfect trip with flights, hotels, restaurants, activities, and more!