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When To Book A Cheap Flight From US To Europe?

When To Book A Cheap Flight From US To Europe?

Experience has taught us that buying in advance can save us a lot of money. Buying the tickets for a music festival in advance, pre-ordering video games or booking a package holiday for that summer in January can actually mean getting a much better price. Encouraged by these facts, we often seek a chance to pay less. Buying a plane ticket on the day of the flight can cost you a little fortune. That is why we often tend to book our flights well in advance. Believe it or not, in some cases, that can cost us the same amount of money that we would pay on the day of the flight, if not even more. Booking a flight from the US to Asia, South America or Africa can cost you much more if you book it in advance. However, when flying from US to Europe, booking a flight in advance is always cheaper than buying a ticket on departure day.

Range of fluctuation

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    If you think that booking your flight a year in advance is the lowest price you can get, think again. According to some surveys, the average price for a flight from the US to Europe differs by $256 from the first day the company offers the ticket to the day of the departure. So, when is the best time to book your cheap flight? If you are planning to fly from the US to Europe, this is what you should know: the price of the ticket on the first day of the offer is, on average, cheaper than the price on the day of the flight. This basically means that you will get a better price if you book your flight 350 days before the departure.

    But… this price is far from the cheapest and booking your cheapest flight is all about timing.

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    When is the best time to book a cheap flight from the US to Europe?

    Due to the fact that every flight from the US to Europe will cost you less if booked in advance, you must be patient and wait for the best possible offer. That offer, according to certain surveys, will come 53 days before the departure. So if you booked the ticket on the first day it was offered, you would pay, on average, 15% more than the cheapest price. Let’s say that the airfare on the first day of offer is $1200. Every next day until the last week, this price will be lower than $1200. However, this doesn’t mean that the price of the ticket will decrease every next day. For example, 250 days before departure, the price will be less than $1100, 125 days before the day of the flight, the airfare will be more than $1100 but less than the first offer of $1200. 53 days before departure, the price is the cheapest and it will cost less than $1050. Every next offer will be higher from $1050 and on the last seven days, the airfare will increase each day. On departure day, the cost will be around $1300.

    Airfare discounts

    Another way to get cheaper airfares are discounts. Some of these discounts are provided by air companies through loyalty cards. The more you are using the services of one Airline Company, the bigger the discount. Usually, these discounts are earned by the miles you traveled with them. There are more perks that you can gain with loyalty cards than just discounts – no waiting in the lines, more room for your bag, better seats, and various other offers.

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    Travel like a pro

    guilina airport

      People usually think that traveling to far-off destinations is a trip that requires carrying too much baggage. You can save money by traveling like a pro however and bring only the necessary items. Find the perfect messenger bag which can carry your laptop, documents, personal items and other necessities. Dress in comfortable clothes, bring your headphones and enjoy your flight.

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      Book your flight on time, chose a company, get their loyalty card, and enjoy your flight. Whether you are on a business trip or on holiday, have fun with your smart buy.

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      Katarina Milovanovic

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      Last Updated on March 4, 2019

      How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

      How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

      Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

      I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

      Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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      Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

      Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

      Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

      I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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      I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

      If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

      Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

      The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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      Using Credit Cards with Rewards

      Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

      You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

      I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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      So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

      What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

      Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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