August 02, 2009

Tips for Finding Cheap Flights from an Online Travel Agency

Article Summary: Agents often get better deals as a professional courtesy from airlines, and they may get even cheaper prices for booking a certain number of flights in a single month. Layovers add hours onto your travel, but if you are willing to deal with them, you could save a lot of money. Travel agents are not in business to book flights. They plan entire vacations, and by purchasing a complete package from them, you might be able to save money.

If you need to book a flight, working with an online travel agency might be the best way to find the lowest price. Agents often get better deals as a professional courtesy from airlines, and they may get even cheaper prices for booking a certain number of flights in a single month. As an added bonus, an online travel agent knows the industry secrets to finding inexpensive flights, so if you mention that you are on a tight budget, he or she can try to bring down the price as far as possible. Here are some great tips for finding the cheapest flights possible through your online travel agent:

Tip #1: Keep your dates and times of travel flexible.

Flight prices change from day to day, not just from season to season. If you want to find the cheapest flight possible, give your online travel agency options. In general, you will be able to find the least expensive flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with the most expensive flights on Saturdays and Sundays. Time also makes a difference. People generally want to fly during normal business hours. If you are willing to take and early morning flight, you could save money. Even better, if you fill a seat on a red eye flight (an overnight flight), you’ll save even more money. The more flexible you can be with your dates and times, the better.

Tip #2: Be willing to have layovers.

Layovers add hours onto your travel, but if you are willing to deal with them, you could save a lot of money. If you would be willing to fly out of a smaller airport, such as Newark on the East coast and Orange County on the West coast, you would likely have to have at least one layover, since each airline will only fly a very limited number of places.

Even if you are leaving from and going to major airports, if you are OK with layovers instead of a straight flight to your destination, you can find cheaper prices. Be carefully to plan at least an hour for each layover in case your flight is late or you need to navigate your way through a very large airport to another gate. Remember, most airports today have Internet access, and in many cases, it is free, so you can take your laptop and log online to pass the time between flights.

Tip #3: Stay open-minded about your destination.

One of the biggest ways to save money on your flight is to let your travel agent know that you and your family would consider alternative destinations. Sometimes, utilizing alternative destinations can be as simple and as easy as flying to a nearby airport and taking public transportation to your hotel.

You may want to consider changing your destination altogether. For example, if you are interested in a warm-weather retreat, why not fly to Florida instead of a Caribbean island? Or, if you want to vacation in the mountains, Aspen might be a less expensive choice than the French Alps. In general, keep your mind open about exactly where you would like to go. This might not always be an option, especially if you are flying for business reasons, but your online travel agent may be able to make recommendations for places that are just as beautiful but not as expensive.

Tip #4: Purchase an entire package from your agent.

Travel agents are not in business to book flights. They plan entire vacations, and by purchasing a complete package from them, you might be able to save money. If price is your main concern, do your homework first by researching hotel prices, flight costs, and other fees you’ll be paying to travel if you book the whole thing yourself. Then, ask an online travel agency to review your vacation needs and quote you a price for a package deal. Sometimes you are better off booking the vacation yourself, while other times, you could save money by going through the agent.

Tip #5: Start with a clear budget in mind.

Some common mistakes that you should avoid when working with an online travel agent is not giving him or her the dollar amount of what you hope to spend on the trip. You need to be honest from the start with your travel agent about what you can and cannot afford. Your travel agent may not look for the cheapest price for long because they think you’ll simply be happy with whatever price they find the quickest. If you do not have an unlimited amount of money to work with, make it very clear that you need to stick to a specific budget range. This way you and your travel agent can work together to find you a great vacation at a price you can afford.

by Shawn ,Thomas

Article Source: http://www.upublish.info

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