• Book ahead:
A recent analysis of Expedia Canada’s 2016 flight data suggest booking travel between 31 to 60 days in advance of holidays can save travellers up to 10 percent. If you need to book closer to the date because of changing plans just make sure to book at least seven days prior to your trip – anything booked six or less days before can lead to flights being more than 20 percent pricier.
• Avoid Friday:
According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) data, some days are better than others to book flights on – and Friday is the most expensive day to book a trip. In the past, Tuesdays used to be the best time to book a fight. However, the timing has shifted to weekends as travellers have more time to arrange their flights.
• Let travel hackers work for you:
If your travel dates are flexible, check out Chris Myden’s YYZ Deals news alerts for notifications of super cheap flights internationally. Myden sends out regular emails when crazy cheap sales come up – many of which are airline errors – including some during the holidays.
• Package it up:
Booking a package is a great way to save whether you’re in the market for flights, hotels, car rentals, or any combination. Travellers can save up hundreds of dollars from package deals, allowing these savings to go towards planning activities on your trip such as spa experiences and dining out. Check out our Vietnam Day Trips here.
• Don’t check a bag:
If you’ve had no luck finding less-than-exorbitant flights, a good way to save a bit is to avoid checking luggage. For example, Air Canada charges $26.25 for the first piece of checked baggage on domestic, economy flights, while West Jet bills $25. While not substantial, this can add up on return flights and for multiple family members, so consider flying with carry-on luggage if you can.
• Be flexible:
If your holiday travel dates are not fixed, it is best to be flexible with the flight booking. Running a flexible date search for your flights will help you find the cheapest options.
• Be rewarded:
While it can be a bit of work to manage, signing up for a variety of reward point systems can save you a good amount of money in the long run, which include hotel brands, credit cards with travel and dining rewards, online travel agencies, and airlines. You will not only qualify for available free upgrades but will also be notified about special deals, sales, which are sometimes specially reserved for rewards members.
• Book really, really ahead:
Finally, book your trip as early as months before your travel date. With an appropriate cancellation policy from agencies/airlines, you will find a great deal while maintaining a level of flexibility for a change of plan.