Travelers who don’t mind exploring destinations in the off-season can easily score cheaper flights and discounted hotel rooms. But if what you want is to experience a destination like Europe during peak summer — either because the kids are out of school or because you have your heart set on balmy Italian beaches — it can be tricky to find airfare deals.
Stopovers can range from a mere hour to even a full day (or more), so it's really up to you whether you would prefer paying less for your flights in exchange for doing some time at the connecting airport. The biggest issue is that time spent in airports eats into the "free" time you would otherwise enjoy at your final destination. If you do settle for a trip with a long layover, check into sights to see or activities to do near your layover airport. A 10-hour layover might provide the perfect opportunity to visit a famous landmark or explore a new city. To each, his own.
weekends for arrival and departure from the airport.
Finding a cheap flight is about being flexible and smart in where you go, when you go, and how you get there. Follow the tips above, but don’t waste forever finding a cheap flight. If you’re spending more than an hour booking a flight, you’re spending too much time. Spend 30-40 minutes finding and booking a cheap flight at a price you’re OK paying and move on with your life. I never second-guess myself on flights. You’ll go crazy if you do.
If you are going to fly when everyone is flying, then you’re ticket is going to cost more. Try to be flexible with your dates. If you are dead-set on visiting Paris, go to Paris in the spring or fall when fewer people visit and airfares are cheaper. But if you want to go in the middle of August? You’re out of luck. Hawaii over Christmas? Good luck!
Many of these budget airlines have their own airline rewards credit cards, and most of them offer a major signup points bonus. For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card from Chase offers 40,000 points after spending just $1,000 in your first three months. However, a general travel rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best option for most people, as you have the flexibility to redeem your points towards a wide variety of airlines and hotels. You'll receive 60,000 bonus points worth $750 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of your account opening, and the card features no foreign transaction fees. Compare this card to other travel cards here.