Category: When You Should Travel

Three tips on airfare savings based on calendars

Everyone appreciates saving money on airfare. Here’s three things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about traveling, or when you’re booking your travel based on a little calendar knowledge, a little patience and a little luck.

Book airline travel on Tuesdays and (early) Wednesday. According to writer Mark di Vincenzo, and as detailed in his book Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon, the peak days to save money on a flight are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And according to Lifehacker, if you can stay awake until 1:00AM Wednesday, you may find even hotter deals. The rationale is that airlines update their inventory (flight seats) pricing early Wednesday morning, in the home timezone of the airline. For such a substantial discount, it might be worth it to practice your redeye technique when you book your next trip.

Travel on a Tuesday, a Wednesday or a Saturday.  According to the US Travel Association https://www.ustravel.org/answersheet,  26% of all US air travelers are business travelers, and airlines frequently sell these tickets for the most money. Since airlines know that inflexible dates and times are a requirement for many business trips and travelers, whenever you can book travel for a Tuesday, a Wednesday or a Saturday, the days least likely to have business travelers, you might get a good discount. According to USA Today, the savings are definitely worth looking for, up to 35%.

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Trade your guaranteed flight seat on busy travel days for another guaranteed seat on a later flight plus compensation. This one is a bit more complicated, but you can do it – here’s how: Book travel to your destination on the last day of a holiday weekend, if you can be at the airport early. Arrive to the departure gate 90 minutes before boarding and start listening for the airline agents calling for guaranteed seat holders willing to be bumped.  In most cases, the airline will improve the offers only if they haven’t found enough passengers willing to take a later flight, so be prepared to say yes early or late, depending on demand.

To use a personal example: we surrendered our return flight seats from Charles de Gaulle in Paris over Memorial Day Weekend a few years ago, and were compensated €1900 for the pair of us to take the next day’s flight.  The compensation was worth nearly 50% of the cost of the flight.

Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!

Timing Tips on Travel to Europe

Curious why so many great travel deals are specifically timed for mid-March, Mid-April, September and October?  It’s simple:  Most people still go to Europe only during the Summer.  Here’s a big travel tip to save you a huge amount of money:  Learn the travel seasons!

Travel seasons in Europe are divided into three customary periods:

  • Low Season, starting in November, ending in March
  • Shoulder Seasons, actually two seasons, both roughly two months long.  Spring season — Mid-March through Mid-June, and Fall Season — Early September through October.
  • Peak Season or high Season: Mid June through August.

Historically, “Peak season” was the peak travel time because European, specifically North European, weather was unpredictable in the spring and fall, and a majority of the historic public festivals were held in the European summer. Later, with the boom in tourist travel in Europe starting in the 19th Century, more events and attractions were added to the calendar, specifically in the summer months.  

What this means for the Europe-bound traveller is that getting to Europe, travel around Europe, and activities available within Europe are at their peak level during the summer, roughly Mid-June through August.  We definitely see the appeal of pleasant weather, abundant activities and the fantastic cultural activities Europe is renowned for.  Amongst Europeans, who make up the majority of vacationers in Europe, summer season is when most take their holiday.

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However, for your next trip to Europe, consider planning a vacation around the shoulder or low seasons.  First of all, there’s fewer tourists, so just getting around is going to be less crowded.

Airfares will also be cheaper, since the demand can be half what it is during the very peak season.   Airfare can be cheap during the Low Season too, but take care to avoid booking travel for the holidays, as this can be more expensive, of course.

Finally, lodging and restaurants during the shoulder season will be less crowded, which also means savings.  In particular, low season hotel rooms can be a fraction of the price of high season, especially in beach resorts.  In one of my trips to Nice, France, we booked a beachside stay for 25% the cost of the room rate during the high summer!

One additional reason to consider shoulder season is that while peak season is defined as “warm outdoor summer weather” season in Northern Europe, Southern European countries are arguably at their most pleasant during the Shoulder Season.  In particular, the coasts and islands of southern Europe are both less crowded and more affordable.  In other words, a great time to go!

Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!

 

How Far Out to Book Your Next Trip

How far out to book a trip is a very common question people have about airfare and travel.  This is natural, since for many travelers, airfare can be the biggest expense.  Armed with a little knowledge, your next flight might be a lot less expensive!

The best advice you can get is plan ahead and put some months between you and your flight.  If you have the opportunity, start looking months before your planned trip. In 2015, Kayak released a study of fares they had offered on their site.  They noticed significant trends in discount airfare, and they published the results.

In each of the example destinations given by Kayak, they also suggest days of the week for getting a great deal on departures and return tickets.  In almost all cases, travel leaving and returning midweek is going to save you big on your next flight.

According to Kayak:

  • Caribbean: 2-3 weeks out, best fares are depart Thursday, return Tuesday
  • Africa: 3-5 weeks out; best to leave Tuesday, return Monday
  • Central America: 4-6 weeks out: depart Tuesday, return Tuesday
  • Domestic US: 3-7 weeks out; best savings are depart Friday, return Monday
  • South America: 6 months out; aim to depart Wednesday, return Monday
  • Europe: 8-10 Months out; depart Wednesday, return Tuesday
  • Asia: 9-10 months out; leave Wednesday, return Wednesday

Kayak updates this list annually.

Another thing to keep in mind when looking for cheap tickets is to know the local high tourist season of your destination.  Some locations, such as Western Europe, have a very established travel season, in this case the Northern Hemisphere summer.  Most travelers who are considering a European vacation are very likely to go during this high season. Airlines will have plenty of customers during their peak season, so prices will be highest.   

But remember, these rules are very often broken by the airlines.  In fact, you can find fantastic deals if you are able to check fares daily.  Even if you can’t check daily,  oftentimes 6-7 weeks out is great for discount airfares, even to hot destinations.  However, it’s becoming harder to spot and act quickly on great travel deals.  Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!

Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar  (https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/)