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6 Insider Tips to Find the Cheapest Flight Tickets

6 Insider Tips to Find the Cheapest Flight Tickets

The summer travel season is almost underway, with many individuals finalizing ideas for destinations they want to go to. By this time, many individuals are beginning to look into flights now that dates are becoming solidified and graduations are finalized. However, the trouble with booking flights isn’t finding the best times or destinations, but it lies in finding a flight for the best price. Flight costs fluctuate and the amazing deal you thought you scored on Monday could be nothing compared to Tuesday’s deal. Today, we will discuss six tips to finding amazing flight deals.

1. Timing is everything.

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    Timing is one of the biggest aspects of finding the cheapest airfare to what ever location you are intending on traveling to. There isn’t a special equation or formula to find out the best date; however, there is a combination of aspects that can lead to the best price. Preferably, you should look to book flights between 20 days and a month before your intended departure. If you are going abroad, three months is the optimal time to look for the best flight deals. When booking, Tuesdays are the key days to look into actually booking your flight and Wednesdays are key departure days. On Tuesdays, airlines refresh their prices and reductions are usually added.

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    2. Think outside of the engine.

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      Search engines are a great way to get a great idea of where your budget should be when purchasing plane tickets. However, they should not be your only option when looking for flight options. Many times, airline search engines connect with certain airlines to ensure that their flights are highlighted more than others. Additionally, in many cases, airlines like Southwest, an airline that is known to offer well discounted flights, aren’t included in the search engine. When you do check out search engines, look into websites like Skyscanner, Hipmunk, and Student Universe.

      3. Be flexible.

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        Flexibility is the key to getting the most optimal deals with air flights. As mentioned before, air flight prices fluctuate, and being able to have a variety of date choices will open you up to a cheaper ticket a day or two before what you were intending. In addition to flexibility with dates and times, you’ll open the possibilities to even greater deals through flexibility in the departure and arrival airports you’ll be flying through. If no adverse situations arise, flying in one airport and going home through enough works because it allows you to make a deal package, taking a bit of one airport or airline’s price and that of another.

        4. Is the deal worth It?

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          You might find that an airline is offering flights at ridiculously low rates. However, as the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, then chances are it possibly is. Most of the time, airlines that have super low ticket prices, make up for the low cost through high baggage fees and baggage policies with tons of loopholes. In the end, this traps the consumer into more money being spent that wasn’t outlined directly. It’s highly recommended to read the fine print when booking with airlines that are quite inexpensive. If you have a question about a certain fee or baggage specifications, ask but continue to be cautious. Inexpensive airlines with truthful rates and policies may still be unreliable with accurate takeoff times, putting you at risk or arriving to your destination late.

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          5. Discover pricing trends.

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            Despite the fact that airline plane prices can be unpredictable, you can make use of pricing calendars and other services that offer pricing trends as a way of getting a better idea of how pricing increases and decreases with certain airlines. Some services, including Bing and Kayak offer a feature that signals to you if it’s fine to wait to purchase the airline ticket or if you should purchase now before another significant increase to the flight cost. Use a mixture of services, discover a trend, and come up with your best prediction of whether or not to buy and when. Making use of email notifications for airline prices, using services like Farecompare, can allow you to get great airline steals as well.

            6. Become a frequent flyer.

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              Lastly, a great way to get the cheapest flight tickets is to look into joining the frequent flyer program through some airlines. In addition, looking into credit card rewards that offer an array of options to transfer points to airfare costs, you might also find that some credit cards offer great deals when you book in their exclusive airplane booking portal for credit card owners. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred as well as special credit cards through each specific airline, like Southwest or Delta, are where you’ll find the biggest bang for your buck.

              Let us know in the comments below what inside scoop you have to finding the cheapest airline tickets.

              Featured photo credit: BHM Pics via bhmpics.com

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              Published on September 17, 2018

              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

              How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

              Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

              With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

              So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

              1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

              It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

              You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

              So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

              2. When you want something big, wait

              Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

              It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

              We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

              A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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              So, you get the itch.

              You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

              Here’s where you have to take a step back.

              Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

              Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

              It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

              The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

              3. Live smaller than you can afford

              You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

              You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

              That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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              Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

              Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

              The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

              But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

              4. Practice smart grocery shopping

              Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

              But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

              Create a grocery budget

              Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

              Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

              I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

              Make a list… and never deviate

              Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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              You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

              These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

              Eat before going grocery shopping

              It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

              If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

              After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

              Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

              However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

              This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

              5. Cancel your gym membership

              Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

              The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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              Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

              I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

              Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

              Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

              For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

              Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

              There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

              It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

              I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

              Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

              The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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