Let’s face it – traveling can be expensive, and if you aren’t careful, it can create more hassle than staying home. If you know where to look, there are many ways to catch a break when you travel. There’s no need for the luck of the Irish – just follow these six “magic” tips!
• Skip the lines with TSA Pre ✓: Get to the front of the airport line faster with TSA pre-check services. One study from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that business travelers who are enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited screening program, TSA PreCheck, are much more satisfied with air travel than those who have not signed up.1
• Remember the magic number: As a guideline, book airline tickets for domestic flights within the U.S. 47 days before your trip. The most recent CheapAir.com study shows this is when airline tickets are likely to be at their lowest price.2 For less exacting travelers, researchers say booking between 104 and 29 days before travel is a good rule of thumb for securing the lowest possible price.3
• Take advantage of “Lucky Tuesday”: According to farecompare.com, the best day of the week to book your flight is Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. What’s behind the lucky number three? Airlines are said to release the most competitor-matched sales at this time.4
• Use your credit card points: Looking to travel at a fraction of the cost? You may not have to look any further than your credit card. Many credit cards offer travel points for deep discounts on airline tickets and more. Usually, you can call the credit card company to schedule your flight tickets for you; sometimes, they’ll even be free.
• Want an an upgrade? Ask for it: There are a few ways to ask for an upgrade. First, ask your travel agent if he or she may secure one through his or her relationships with some of the airlines. Sometimes, when flights don’t fill up, there are seats left open in business class, and you may ask about a free upgrade to them at the check-in counter. Finally, if you have a title, use it – judges, ministers and doctors are more likely to get upgrades than other travelers.5
• Research discounts/deals at your travel destination: Review the visitor’s bureau website or other resources local to your travel destination. Often, these sites will provide information on free activities, including concerts, festivals and more to give you a taste of the local culture.
• Learn to love off-season travel: Traveling during less popular months could benefit you in several ways, including shorter lines at popular destinations, and discounts on hotels and other accommodations. When planning your trip, look at the off seasons of a few destinations, and take note of special offers for travelers who visit them that time of year.
1 http://skift.com/2016/02/01/business-travelers-like-avoiding-long-lines-at-the-airport/ 2 https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-to-buy-airline-tickets-based-on-1-5-billion-airfares
3 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/01/best-time-to-book-a-flight_n_4875266.html 4 http://www.farecompare.com/travel-advice/tips-from-air-travel-insiders/#/