High Altitude AirplaneI hate how expensive airplane tickets are and they are only getting more expensive. I don’t want to have to empty my savings account every time that I want to travel. I’m going to touch on these more extensively in the future, but for now, here are the four basic ways to reduce the cost of air travel.

With these four methods, you can significantly reduce the amount that you pay for each ticket and in many cases, you can even pick up free flights.

1. Travel Search Engines

This is probably the simplest of the ways to cut costs. Compile a list of travel search engines that you like, aim for at least 5 or 6 (you can never have too many!), and run the flight that you want to take through every single one of them to find the best fare. Even though it seems that you will get the same result every time, that’s rarely the case. Sometimes this alone can save you a few hundred dollars and it takes less than an hour to do.

2. High Peak vs. Low Peak

The prices for airlines differ with every month. Summer months and days around the holidays are known as ‘High Peak’ times where the prices are generally higher than normal. Months like January and February work as ‘Low Peak’ times because not as many people go on vacation then, compared to months like August, so you can cut a good deal. Also, remember that flying in the morning, at night, and in the middle of the week is better than flying in the afternoon and the weekend.

3. Look For Last Minute Deals

There are a lot of really good sites that can help you find last minute deals for tickets. Signing up for newsletters from the airlines themselves or from travel bloggers who specialize in that niche will yield good results for finding deals that suit your needs. As long as you are willing to be whisked away at any time and don’t care where you go, as long as it’s away from home, this can be a really fun and adventurous way to travel.

4. Credit Card Points

This is the largest of the four ways to attack the price of airplane tickets. Credit card companies and airlines reward their frequent customers by offering a point system with a rewards structure. A good travel card offers 25,000 bonus miles or more when you sign up and offers 1.5 or more points per dollar spent. The idea is that you use this card on your everyday purchases to accrue points and after a few months, you can begin to reap the benefits. The cards work like any other card, so it’s exactly like using a credit card, except there is a ton of additional bonuses like free flights, free checked bags, and priority boarding privileges.

Credit card companies keep making cutting the cost of air travel more and more difficult by increasing the amount of points that you need for each reward or by blatantly removing ways to gain points. However, they cannot get rid of the points system all together. What I advise, is that as soon as you build up a decent amount of points, instead of hoarding them, use them immediately to not fall victim to price increases which lower the value of your points.

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