In my previous article I discussed a trip to Seattle that required a lot of waiting in airports and patience. Now, I’m here to share the money saving tips that helped get me through a 7-hour flight delay. My trip home was longer, but here are travel tips that worked for me.
Book Flights First
When traveling book your flight for the trip first. Book airfares according to the approximate time (within a day or two) you want to travel. In this case, I was traveling in mid-October. I was leaving on a Thursday morning and returning on Saturday evening for about $200.00. Great deal, and I had about two and half days for my weekend vacation. By traveling during lower in-demand times, I saved over $300.00 by coming home Saturday vs. Sunday or Monday.
Flexibility is the key to saving on your airfare when traveling. I know a friend that routinely checks the flights after a ticket is purchased and will rebook a flight if there is a significant savings on the airfare. He banks the savings in his “flight account” with the airline for the next trip. Be sure to take the very first or very last flight of the day for maximum ticket savings too.
Volunteer To Be Bumped
On each leg of my trip volunteers were needed for the over booked situation with the airline. I did not take advantage until the fourth request for a passenger to give up their seat. The first time the voucher amount was not quoted. However, after no takers, the fourth request came with a $800.00 voucher and the price of my one-way seat! I had to wait an additional 4 hours to depart and had a 3-hour layover in another airport. But my time was compensated at about $100.00 per hour with the travel vouchers. I walked around the airport, ate lunch, and read my book. The free wi-fi was great too.
Being bumped worked for me on this trip. You need to decide what your time is worth and be prepared with a plan if you do accept being voluntarily bumped. Again, filling your day at the airport is not for everyone. But, overbooking is more common these days with the crew shortages and fewer flights in the air.
Don’t Forget Points
The other savings to consider are points from credit cards which can pay for hotels, flights, and rental cars. Check out the The DailyDrop.com for specifics on getting started as a travel hacker on the cheap. I don’t use this method, but I’ve learned it can save you thousands of dollars. If you love to travel, have the flexibility, and pay off your credit cards immediately, travel hacking might be for you!
Have a flexible itinerary on your next trip and keep in mind these travel tips for the future. It might save you a bit of cash for your next trip!
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