The sheer size of the United States means that temperatures are going to vary widely throughout the four seasons, and you’ll want to keep your destination and the time of year in mind as you pack for your trip. If you’re visiting the Midwest or Northeast during the winter, make sure you bring along warm outwear, including gloves, scarves and hats, because temperatures can easily drop below zero. Temperatures in the south are more moderate at this time of year, and you should be able to get away with packing a lighter jacket to layer with a sweater. Those traveling to Denver or other Rocky Mountain states should consider a mix of clothing as 70 degree temperatures on one day can easily turn into a blizzard overnight.
You can sign up for an airline rewards card that earns points with a particular airline, or a more general travel rewards card that lets you redeem points across a variety of airlines. As a beginner card, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can earn up to 60,000 in bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after your account opening. That's worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and more than enough for a domestic flight. There's also no foreign transaction fees, so it's the perfect all-rounder travel credit card. You can compare this card with other top credit cards.
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you're departing from, but this isn't always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you're using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost! Our article on money matters for world travellers can help steer you in the right direction for the best credit cards for travel.
Why it's awesome: Since its inception in 1998, New York-based JetBlue has helped raise the standard of service and amenities for low-cost carriers in the US. The airline's signature mood lighting, friendly service, complimentary satellite TV along with free food and snacks make it an industry leader economy flying. In fact, at 34 inches of pitch, JetBlue's Airbus A320 fleet has the roomiest economy seats in the US.
If you are uncertain about the routes that these low-cost carriers fly, check them out online. For instance, JetBlue serves many of the major U.S. cities, particularly on the East Coast. It also has numerous vacation destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean; Southwest serves most major U.S. cities as well as a few in Central America and Puerto Rico; Frontier serves most major U.S. cities as well as vacation spots in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; Allegiant Air's focus is transporting leisure travelers to warm vacation destinations like Punta Gorda, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
year so you have a head start.
Our detailed how-to guide spells out how to find mistake fares easily on your own. Basically, AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great resources to stalk for finding mistake and sale pricing as they conglomerate slashed ticket rates all in one spot. Another great approach is to search for flights for an entire month using Skyscanner (Tip #3 in this article). This will allow you to easily spot a significantly reduced fare against what's displayed that month, and has twice helped us stumble on error fares ourselves.