Vacations on a Dime: How to Fly for Less!

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by on April 29, 2013

how to fly for less

Vacations on a Dime: How to Fly for Less!

With summer almost here, it is time to start thinking about travel plans! If you are trying to stick to a budget, then planning can be painful – but it doesn’t have to. Find out more in this Vacations on a Dime series, starting with ways to save on flying.

Everyone knows that flying is the quickest way to get to your vacation destination. You board a plane, you sit back, relax, and in a few hours you have reached your destination. No stops at the gas pump, no traffic, no headaches, right? Well, not always. While you would like to think of air vacation travel as simple, when it comes to paying the bill it can be downright painful! Airline fees continue to rise as companies continue to nickel and dime you over every little thing. Because of this, flying may not sound so simple to you! Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can try to save when it comes to airfare!

You don’t need to worry about being nickel and dimed, and you don’t need to feel like flying is too expensive of an option for you! Instead, take a peek at the tips below for how to fly for less. With these tips in tow, you will never fly at full price again.

Vacations should be fun and relaxing. Take a look at these tips and find out how you can fly for less.

How to Fly For Less: 10 Tips Every Vacationer Should Know

1. Pay Baggage Fees Online
Don’t pay more for baggage than you really need to. Did you know that most airlines have a surcharge for the bags checked at the counter? This is money you could be saving and spending elsewhere, like on meals or souvenirs. By giving airlines a heads up of your bags prior to booking, many airlines wave this fee. Opt to check your baggage online and go ahead and pay any fees then, and you can avoid as much as $10.00 a bag in surcharges.

2. Apply for an Airline Credit Card
Airline brand credit cards can save you big bucks when you travel. Travelers carrying an airline credit card can often avoid checked baggage fees and save big. Just be sure you read the fine print on all cards. If your credit card has a pricey yearly fee, you will want to compare the value.

3. Watch Your Weight
Not your body weight, your bag weight of course! If your bag is too heavy, you could find yourself paying a great deal more. Weigh it and make sure you know how much your suitcase weighs before you get to the airport. Keeping it under at least 50 pounds is the most economical way to pack it.

4. Get on The List
Your name should be on mailing lists of the airlines you love. Most airlines will offer specials frequently throughout the year. They may offer free checked bags, reduced rates, upgrades, and more deals to list members. The best way to find out about these deals first is to sign up on their promo lists. Just go to their websites and take a few minutes to sign up. It is that easy.

5. Upgrade using Frequent Flyer Points
A free upgrade may just be a few points away. If you are a frequent flyer, you can use your miles to upgrade. Using the right miles at the right time is important. Short flights are typically not worth the upgrade since you would waste miles.

6. Hold Your Hand Up
Be ready to volunteer to get “bumped” from an overbooked flight. If you do get bumped, you usually get a free flight to use within a year, and some spending cash for meals while you wait. Stay close to the check in counter and be ready to hold your hand up.

7. Consult an Agent.
People still seem to think that travel agents cost additional money. But really they make commission off of each sale so there is no out of pocket expense for you. It never hurts to check with one and see if they can find you a hot price on flights.

8. Use Online Price Comparisons
Using sites such as Expedia and Priceline allow you to compare prices and find the best deal. It only takes a few minutes, and in some cases you may even get a lowest price guarantee.

9. Who Do You Know?
Friends and family of flight attendants often get special flight deals and perks. If you know anyone in this field, don’t be afraid to ask what you might be able to take advantage of!

10. Less is…Less
Do you need an on flight movie? Full bar? If not, opt for an economy flight. You pay for these services on flights whether you need them or not. There are plenty of flights without all of these bells and whistles that you can book for much less.

As you can see, these ten tips are easy to follow! Pick one or try them all and see how you too can fly for less. Save your money for vacation souvenirs and other vacation expenses. When you save on airfare, you will be able to relax and enjoy your trip a little bit more.

So by all means fly the friendly skies! Just follow these ten tips on how to fly for less, so you can enjoy those friendly skies without breaking the bank!

Come back next Monday for the next Vacation on a Dime post to learn more about saving by train!

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