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Tips for Scoring Cheap Flights

July 24th, 2012 Personal Finance

Traveling can be an expensive venture, what with the overnight accommodations, shopping and food. Unfortunately, one of the greatest costs comes before you even get there - the flight. While air travel is the perfect way to get to your vacation destination quickly and conveniently, it can really lighten your wallet. Here are a few tricks for getting the best deals on your tickets.

Off season

Just like any other business, airlines play by the rules of supply and demand. The summer months are a common time for people to take their overseas or cross-country excursions, so airlines know they can bump up the prices. If you're eager to travel but don't want to pay those vacation prices, you may want to hold off until after the summer. Once September rolls around, flight prices drop drastically, and you'll be sky high while everyone is back to the grind.

Day of the week

The Wall Street Journal reports that flight prices go through a cycle during the week. Usually, Mondays are when one airline will have a sale, and then competing ones will drop their prices by Tuesday and into Wednesday. This short window of time makes for the best days to buy, because by the end of the week, the sales will be over.

Compare prices

The only way to know if you're getting the best price on your flight is to compare all the airlines. Fortunately, there are websites that will conduct this process and list all of your available options. All you have to do is type in where you plan to take off from, your destination and the date you want to leave.

If you have a few airports in your vicinity, you may want to try each one in order to find the best prices. Also, while you may have a projected date that you want to leave on, try going one or two days later or earlier in case there is a sale.