The cost of a flight influences many a potential traveler's decision to stay home or pack a bag and head for the airport. An expensive flight may deter such travelers from getting out of town, while an affordable flight can persuade travelers to book that trip after all.
Finding an affordable flight is anything but a science. Airlines adjust the prices of flights in real-time, meaning a flight that's affordable right now might be considerably more expensive just a few hours from now. But no matter how sophisticated the software used by airlines to determine flights costs can be, there are still ways for budget-conscious travelers to spend less on their next flight.
Because flight prices fluctuate often, it's in travelers' best interests to monitor flight costs on a daily basis. Once you have nailed down a date for your trip, begin looking for flights that fit into your budget. Do so each and every day until you find a flight. It might seem like hard work, but such a commitment can mean the difference between booking an affordable flight and staying home.
Airlines and popular travel websites track how many times you visit their websites, and that allows them to offer different deals depending on your searches. For example, the airline can recognize if you have visited its site 10 times in the last two weeks, and that will influence the offers that ultimately appear on your computer screen when searching for a flight. But erasing your Internet history and clearing your browser's cookies before beginning your daily search can help ensure you're seeing the airline's best offers, and not just the offers geared to you.
If you're willing to be flexible, then chances are you will find an affordable flight. Flying on Fridays and Sundays will likely cost you the most money, while Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the most affordable days to fly. If you plan to fly on Thursday but aren't having much luck finding an affordable flight, then consider flying on Wednesday, when less people tend to fly and airlines lower prices in order to fill seats.
When searching for affordable flights, it's also important to consider additional airports. If you are willing to fly into nearby airports instead of just your local airport, you will have more and potentially less expensive flights to choose from.
If an affordable round-trip flight with agreeable flight times has proven elusive, then consider breaking up your itinerary and booking separate one-way flights rather than one round-trip flight. This enables you to mix and match your itinerary so you can fly at the times you want to fly for the price you want to pay. Mixing and matching between airlines won't always produce a more affordable flight, but it does provide you with some more freedom to choose your flight times than booking with just one airline.
Finding an affordable flight is the primary goal for many prospective travelers. Though it can be intimidating when a first flight search comes up empty, travelers willing to work hard to find an affordable flight are almost certain to find one.