With the sun peeking out, is it time to book your summer getaway? Pauline Frommer, a budget travel writer (and daughter of Arthur Frommer) thinks it's the perfect time for June. As for July or August, you should watch and wait. Her tips for finding the best airfares include:
1) Book on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the lowest fares.
2) Include a Saturday night stay for the best deals. Business travelers don't want to stay the extra night. Airlines know this, and charge accordingly.
3) To get the cheapest fares, book from 24 days up to 2 months in advanced. If you book too far in advanced, for example, 10 months before a trip, you are less likely to get a discount.
4) Avoid booking on weekends. Prices can be slightly higher, and since decision-makers are off, fares rarely drop on Saturdays and Sundays.
5) Some hotels will reimburse your “checked baggage fees,” so remember to ask.
6) You pay an extra $25 for booking over the phone, therefore go online to save $25, instantly.
7) Usually you get lower fares by booking on aggregator sites versus the individual websites of airlines, or 3rd parties. Aggregator sites search for cheap fares on multiple travel sites simultaneously -- including airline and third party sites -- without charging booking fees.
Travel experts stress: Compare several aggregator sites for deals. And be persistent. Check back often for drops in ticket prices.
Here is a consensus of reliable aggregator sites to check. The following 3 appear on everybody's list:
Other websites give you great budget travel advice:
Bing Travel – Tries to predict the best time to book airline tickets.
Trip Advisor – Is user-generated content; fellow travelers post information and reviews.
Pauline Frommer's “Spend, less, see more”page – Is an overview of helpful hints.