There are a select few who enjoy flying and look at it as part of the experience of their travels but for most, taking a flight somewhere is something they tolerate to get the reward of arriving at their final destination. Even more so nerve-wracking for us is the stress of knowing when and where to book a flight to get the best price and itinerary. Airline travel is different than just about every segment of the travel industry for many reasons, but mostly due to the volatility and range in pricing from one moment to the next and from one company to the next. As a travel professional, I’m constantly on a plane or booking a flight, so I’ve come across some “tricks of the trade” that might make at least booking those flights for that next vacay, if not the experience itself, more palatable.
There are a handful of articles I’ve come across in the past year that have changed my life as it relates to airline travel and I hope they help you as well. I’m also including some of my takeaways from booking my own travel and travel for my clients.
- There is an ideal day and time of the week to fly and book a flight to get the cheapest rates. Tips From Air Travel Insiders and Best Dates for Cheap Flights This Year
- It’s important to know the difference between a direct and a nonstop flight. The Difference Between a Direct and Nonstop Flight and Why You Should Care
- All airlines are not created equal. Knowing this fact, you should determine for yourself what types of amenities or services you value over others. As an example, if you know you are more liberal with your packing and you travel with a lot of bags, you would likely prefer Southwest over Spirit so you won’t be nickeled and dimed with baggage fees.
- If you are flying internationally, check to make sure your passport does not expire within three to six months of your travel, depending on the country. Which Countries Require Six Month of Passport Validity?
- Enrolling in TSA Pre/Global Entry has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. If you hate waiting in lines and the rigorous process of taking off your shoes, coat, belt, etc. during the security process as much as I do, you’ll find it a worthy investment as well.