Mid Week or Saturday – Most business travelers are commuting on flights on Sunday evenings, Mondays and Fridays. While holiday travelers usually depart on Thursdays or Fridays and return on Sundays. As a result Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are quieter days in the friendly skies. Flight prices are generally lower mid week. Statistics show the cheapest day to fly is Wednesday. For details on the stats and “Fun Geek Stuff” check out the research from FareCompare. If you opt to fly on a Saturday when planes are not as full and you’ll have a better chance of getting the row to yourself.
Search for Flexible Dates – Most search engines and major airline websites will allow you to search for a flight with flexible dates such as +/3 days before or after the requested departure and return dates. Other search engines allow for multiple Flex options. For example, from the main page with Kayak.com click on “My dates are flexible” to find customizable search options for +/3 days, Flex Weekend and Flex Month.
Flex Weekend – This Kayak search compares the prices for weekend getaways. You can further customize the search by opting to depart on Thursday/Friday/Saturday AM/PM and to return on Sunday/Monday AM/PM. For example, if you live in Chicago and want to plan a weekend getaway to Las Vegas you can run a Flex Weekend search for Chicago (ORD) to Las Vegas (LAS). The search results will show you which weekend offer the lowest fares and will allow you to further refine your search.
Flex Month – This Kayak search is similar to the Flex Weekend option in that it runs a search for the lowest fares for a specific duration of a trip. However, the search is not limited to weekends. After selecting a departure date and the number of nights you plan to spend at your destination (i.e. 5 or 6-8) Kayak will provide a calendar of rates for a period of 5 weeks following the selected date of departure.
Spoiled Cruiser Tip: On a side note for you Spoiled Cruisers with flexible vacation days – some of the cheapest cruises of the year sail in early December. In the USA the busiest travel times occur during the holiday season in late November and late December. This creates a lull in the cruise industry during the first two weeks of December. This is a great time to find cheap cruises. If you don’t have kids in school and your vacation time is flexible then the time between American Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time to sail away to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Australia or South America. Kayak also offers a search engine to compare rates on cruises including promotional pricing for Resident Rates (by US states) and Senior Rates (55+).
Cheapest Date – If your flight dates are completely flexible simply enter your From and To destinations on Kayak’s Main page then (before entering a departure or return date) check the monthly calendar in the top right corner of the screen which displays the lowest fares for daily departures throughout the month. This simple search can direct you towards the cheapest day to fly.
Price Alert – If you have a specific destination in mind but it’s always been just out of reach of your budget you can set a price alert to be notified by email you when the price of the flight drops below your price limit. If that weekend flight to Vegas goes on sale, you’ll be the first to know.