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.
the prices go down. You can also include airports in nearby
even be able to find a nice hotel/airfare package deal.
Although online travel websites are a great way to find cheap travel rates, you will want to checkout the airlines themselves. All airlines have online websites. Many will regularly offer deals and discounts on many of their flights. These deals and discounts are likely to change often, so if you see something that catches your eye, you may want to snatch up the deal real quick before it is gone.
However, you can earn a lot of miles through credit card sign up bonus, online shopping, surveys, special offers, and more. I earn over a million miles a year – without flying or spending extra money. That translates into dozens of free flights (often in business class) for myself and my family. If you are smart with your money and collect points and miles (the art of “travel hacking”), you can travel around the world for very little (and often free). Here are some articles on travel hacking that can help:
If you're flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Canada to Australia which typically involves Canada to LA, then LA to Australia, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. It should go without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. I repeat: do not book layovers that are hours apart! This approach is for those who want to create an additional destination of a few days or more, before catching their next flight. The one exception is when booking with Kiwi.com, who offer their own guarantee on making connecting flights even when not with the same partner airlines.
The go-to airline for many an American when it comes to making wallet-friendly coast-to-coast hops or cheap holiday jaunts to Mexico and the Caribbean, JetBlue propelled themselves to a very respectable second place in the Skytrax line-up of the top budget carriers currently in the skies of the United States. But what does that mean exactly? Well, apparently it means more leg room than other economy fliers, a 'Mint' business class equivalent on all transcontinental flights, on-board dining options and plenty, plenty more!
Fly out on the right day. Sure, leaving on a Friday promptly after work or heading on vacation on a Sunday after a relaxing weekend might be ideal, but it turns out these are the absolute worst times to fly. High air traffic on these days means that airlines jack up the prices. Plan your flights so that you depart on a Wednesday if possible, followed by a Tuesday or a Saturday. Mid week departures are the slowest, so carriers know they will have to accept lower costs in order to fill their seats.
Depending on where you want to fly to in the USA will depend on the peak seasons. Due to the many, many states it can be hard to pinpoint exact months of the year to visit. Atlanta and Miami for example see the peak season from March to May and September to November. Las Vegas on the other hand is busy almost all year. You’ll find cheap flights to the USA if you go to Vegas during the Summer as temperatures in Las Vegas can get ridiculously hot. Once you’ve decided on a location in the USA you can start researching the peak seasons for that state or city and then secure cheap flights to the USA.
increments until your offer is accepted.
As was the case last year, not a single airline from Europe or the Americas made the overall top 10 list. That is something of a surprise considering Delta, like Qatar Airways, introduced a new all-suites business class last year. Also like previous years, the rankings are significantly skewed toward the Asia-Pacific region. This should not be a surprise considering the massive growth of aviation in that part of the world, which is only projected to continue increasing in the coming decades.
departure date. Clear your cookies between visiting the
a higher priced hotel room and airline tickets.
Vacations aren’t cheap so you might want to find everything
If you're looking for true Americana, your choice is clear: road trip. Will you drive the soothing ocean view and coastal mountains Pacific Highway Route 1, or the truly amazing Beartooth Highway in Montana/Wyoming? How about the Sun Road in Montana through Glacier National Park, or the technically challenging Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee/North Carolina? Or will you tour the Main Street of America itself: U.S. Route 66?
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to US-based airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. Likewise, if I fly Air France, it’s credited to my Delta rewards account.
Look into neighboring airports. The nearest major airport is a mere 20 minutes from your house, but several smaller airports are located within an hour’s drive. Rather than relying on the nearest or largest airport only, look into neighboring airports as well. These smaller airports aren’t controlled as heavily by large airline carriers, and have more ability to adjust their tickets and offer lower prices. Spend a few extra dollars to drive to an airport further away, and you may save several hundred on your flight bill.
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!
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.