How to Fly for Less

How to Fly for Less

You may have scored a great deal on your vacation rental home, but you’ll still need to get there. If you’re planning a summer vacation, keep in mind that fuel prices are expected to go up this summer (as they do most summers), and flights will be popular, so ticket prices will go up. Still, there are ways to fly for less, so you can save some money for the rest of your vacation. Here are some tips to make air travel more affordable:

Make the best of frequent flyer miles. If you know how to use them well, frequent flyer rewards programs can get you free air travel, upgrades to first class and to elite waiting areas, plus discounts on other travel needs, including car rentals. We’ve already posted about some of the most extreme ways to get and use frequent flyer miles. On a more practical note, Lifehacker has this helpful post on how to get the best value for your frequent flyer and reward points.

Eliminate fees and get perks. Another helpful Lifehacker post explains seven different ways to get first class or business seats while paying coach fares. The most basic tip, of course, is “just ask.” It never hurts to ask for upgrades, discounts, and waived fees but remember that it’s more likely to work when you’re friendly, appreciative, and mindful of the airline’s point of view. An excellent example of calm, thoughtful negotiation is this post from Delicious Baby, which tells the tale of a baby who woke up vomiting for no known reason on the day his family planned to fly cross-country. Though the problem was not the airline’s fault, the baby’s father was able to move his entire family to a later flight (when the baby was all better) with no change fees. Staying calm, getting to the airline employee who has the power to make the change, and speaking in terms the airline cares about can get you significant savings.

Consider travel insurance—especially if you’re traveling with kids. Another helpful piece of advice from the Delicious Baby post is to look into travel insurance, especially if you’re planning to fly with young children. Life can change quickly with little ones, and even a minor illness can be a lot of trouble on a long flight. If you’re at all worried about being able to change your plans if you need to, buy travel insurance. Curious about learning more about travel insurance? We can recommend Travel Guard.