I’m about 2 1/2 months out from my surfing adventure in Sayulita, Mexico. So, I get serious about plane tickets. Here are five tips to help you get cheap airfare.
Tip 1: Mid-Week: to search, buy, and fly if possible. Tues. – Thurs. I’m also going to a travel expo in San Jose, CA. I need a flight to Sayulita, then San Jose, and finally back to Cleveland. I’m a budget traveler, so I don’t want to spend to much. I started researching and searching months ago. I am finally biting the bullet after watching how the fares change before it’s too close and they creep back up.
Tip 2: Late or Early: Late night or early morning flights and search, search, search. I don’t mind traveling at night or super early either, because it saves me a night in a hotel, but I don’t want lose a lot of time with layovers. Plus, when I get there I have the whole day and I leave late, so again I have the whole day.
Tip 3: Basic Economy: This is somewhat risky if you’re unsure of your dates (once they’re bought, they’re bought. No changing for illness, death, etc. on your end. If there’s a change on their end, there may be wiggle room), but it saves you big time. The airlines are going to hate me for saying this, but I refuse to pay to pick my seat. I usually get a decent seat. I’ve talked to others, one woman is even a pilot’s wife and has a large family, and she also refuses. She said they almost always get put together. If not, a kind stranger may switch. And, I’m not picky about front or back of the plane. If the plane goes down, it’s luck of the draw who survives. I’ve also traveled a ton and the ride really isn’t much different anywhere. Plus, I’d rather be last to board anyway. I hate sitting and waiting to sit and wait. 😜
Tip 4: Luggage ($$$): I am going to a warm climate, so I don’t need much. A couple of shorts, tank tops, little dresses, jammies, undies, socks, flip flops, maybe a rash guard (but a lot of those come with the lesson), bikinis (def bikinis), a little makeup, hairbrush, and I’m good to go. I fit all of this, plus my little purse, in one bag I can fit in front of me under the seat. I, actually, use one of those Victoria Secret bags you can get at the holidays or a large backpack. If you really need anything you can buy it there and wash your little clothes in the sink and air dry. People tend to pack way too much and don’t use half. Luggage is expensive.
I wear my heaviest and biggest stuff. One bikini, jeans, long sleeve shirt or sweater (or both), jacket, bra, and tennis shoes. Once you get through security, you can begin to peel off layers.
This way, you also don’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost and waiting in that ridiculous cluster waiting for your bag. You can just get off the plane and start enjoying your adventure without the hassle. Sometimes you do have to bite the bullet and pay for luggage, but not a carefree, fun trip like this.
Tip 5: One Way: This is probably the best tip. Since, I am going several different places, I could get a multi-city ticket. However, I found that I pay up to double the price and I don’t get the times I like, so I get one way each way. I get the times I want and yes, sometimes that may be $20 higher for one of the flights, but it’s better than paying for an extra night in a hotel or getting there at 6 and missing half the day, Maybe you can’t check in until later and you check out early and still have the whole day. There are two ways to solve this dilemma. One, if you only have a little bag, you can carry it over your shoulder. You’re going to lunch and the beach, right? Or you can go to your hotel and ask the front desk to hold it until you can check in.
Feel great about the time and money you save, go to the beach, have a good lunch, and then check-in.