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6 Secret Tips to Saving BIG on Airfare {without signing up for 100 credit cards}

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Our friends are constantly commenting on how often Paul and I travel.  We don’t go on actual vacations all that often, but we do fly quite a bit.  Our trips are not always for pleasure, and sometimes we come home more tired than when we left.

Not to brag or anything (okay that’s a lie) but I am a skilled ninja when it comes to finding cheap airline tickets.  Need a trip to LA or don’t feel like driving the 22 hours to Florida with the kids in the back seat?  Me neither.

6 Secret Tips to Saving BIG on Airfare {without signing up for 100 credit cards}

We went to Disney World for $550

Paul and I took our kids to Disney World this year, and we spend a whopping $550 on all FOUR round trip tickets from the Wichita airport straight to the Orlando airport.

Long gone are the days that you must make the trip to a larger city to catch the best airfare deals.  Although you certainly should check their fares as well!

Because Paul and I use our credit cards exclusively every month (and pay them off every month) we were able to redeem points for a free trip to New Orleans last year (see photo below). While I do recommend using a credit card with the highest reward structure, that does not necessarily mean you should get a new credit card just to earn those rewards.  Shop around, take your time and look at the full rewards package before signing up.

RELATED: Six Reasons You Should *EXCLUSIVELY* Use Credit Cards

6 Secret Tips to Save on Airfare

1. Be flexible with your dates.  I wanted to visit my sister in St. Louis for my birthday at the end of July this year.  Instead of heading out that weekend at $189, I am going a a few weeks later at $97.  I can handle that {and I couldn’t drive for that}.

Even checking just a few days before or after of your original desired travel date will help you to get the best deal. Also, be flexible on your airports.  Do not be afraid to drive a couple of hours to a larger airport for $800+ savings.

2. Buy your tickets on a Tuesday or Thursday.  Many people wait to do their flight shopping when they have more time (a.k.a. on the weekends), but you’ll also pay the most when you book travel on the weekend as well, no matter what days of the week you’re actually traveling.

Some articles you read online will tell you to book on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.  I can tell you from personal experience that Thursdays are almost always the best bet for me.

The real trick? 

3. Do your searching in an incognito browser, and search every single day for a week or two.  Tell me if this has ever happened to you:

You search for a flight on a Wednesday night in a regular browser.  You think “hey, that’s great!” and then you go back to that page on Thursday or Friday to actually book the flight and BOOM, the price has risen for the same exact itinerary.  Yes?  Here’s why:

The airline/search engine has left cookies on your computer, and by doing so they know that you are looking to go to Las Vegas (for example) on November 14th. Next time you go back to that website, they’ll jack the price a bit because they know that you’re now seriously considering purchasing a ticket.

By searching in an incognito browser, the airlines and search engines are not putting cookies on your computer, which means that you are getting an unbiased response every single time you search.

Go incognito, friends.

4. Check Google Flights first.  Other travel search engines such as CheapOAir or Priceline use the Google results to search, why don’t you?  I was able to find a flight for my uncle from Minneapolis to Cancun, Mexico for just $363 round-trip.  SOLD!

5. Follow your airline on social media and email. Many times airlines will offer discounts in email or to their social media followers.  This is one reason that I have a second email account for deals/coupons/rewards types of things.  Ain’t nobody got time for that (except when I’m shopping for airline tickets, then I sure do have time for that).

6. Know which airlines do not show up on search engine results. Southwest is one will not show up in results when using a mainstream search engine, you must go directly to their site.  They are constantly running specials and deals though, so worth checking!

Even if you do go through a search engine, it is always a good idea to look up the same exact flight on the airline’s actual website.  You’d be surprised with the difference!

More travel tips:

How We’re Getting Our Family of Four to Disney World for Less than $1,000
Florida Vacation: Endless Fun, Priceless Memories (and why we didn’t spend the ENTIRE time at Disney)
All You Need to Know About Visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom
9 Things to Check Before Leaving Your House for Vacation

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6 Comments

  1. Wow, thanks for the tips! I will most definitely be using them! Would you give me the link to your husband's page where I can sign up and get the $40 off when I go through his site. I did not see it on the page about the Air bnb's. I've never rented one but my children use them ALL the time when we go away as a family or with their families. We stayed at a beautiful but pricey one in Hawaii last year. My son is on his way to one in the Virgin Islands now. I wish I would have read your info before he booked that one, he may have saved some money
  2. We have a United Mileage Plus membership and a Mileage Plus Visa card. We use it to buy ERRYTHANG! Then pay it off at the end of the month. My hubs and I will be taking a vaycay to Central America this year on FREE TICKETS!!!! :)
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