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  • Writer's picturethefamilyvacationenthusiast

How to Save Money on Flights for Your Family

Starting Your Research:

  • Plan ahead: The earlier you book your tickets, the more likely you are to get a good deal. Airlines often release their cheapest tickets months in advance, so it's worth planning your trip well in advance. For example, if you're planning a summer vacation, start looking for tickets in the winter.

  • Use a travel search engine: There are a number of travel search engines that can help you compare prices from different airlines. This is a great way to find the best possible deal on your tickets. Some popular travel search engines include Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner.

  • Set up price alerts: Many price tracking websites and apps allow you to set up price alerts. This means that you'll be notified if the price of your flight drops. This is a great way to ensure that you're getting the best possible deal.

Picking Your Itinerary:

  • Be flexible with your travel dates: If you're flexible with your travel dates, you can often find cheaper tickets. For example, flying on weekdays is often cheaper than flying on weekends. If you're not sure when you want to travel, try searching for tickets on different dates to see if you can find a better deal.

  • Consider flying into a smaller airpor: Sometimes, flying into a smaller airport can save you money. This is because smaller airports often have less competition, which can lead to lower prices. For example, if you're flying to Los Angeles, you might be able to find cheaper tickets if you fly into Burbank Airport instead of LAX.

  • Consider flying with a budget airline: Budget airlines often offer lower prices than traditional airlines. However, it's important to be aware of the restrictions that budget airlines often have. For example, budget airlines may charge for checked bags and carry-on luggage. If you're traveling with a family, be sure to factor in the cost of these extras when you're comparing prices.

  • Direct vs. Connecting Flights: When traveling with children, direct flights are generally more convenient. They minimize the risk of delays and eliminate the hassle of layovers, especially if you have young children or infants. However, if budget is a concern, connecting flights might offer more affordable options.

Purchasing Your Flight:

  • Choose your booking platform: Typically, our advice is to book directly through the airline. This allows you the most options to change or cancel your flight if needed and provides the easiest option to rebook if there is an interruption to your flight. It may be tempting to save a few dollars by booking through another platform, but keep in mind booking this way may make it not possible to reserve seats in advance and could cause headaches if you need to make changes.

  • Join a frequent flyer program: If you fly frequently, joining a frequent flyer program can help you save money on future flights. Many frequent flyer programs offer discounts on tickets, upgrades, and other perks. For example, if you're a member of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program, you can earn points for every flight you take. These points can then be redeemed for free flights or other rewards.

  • Look for discounts and promotions: Airlines may offer discounts and promotions, such as group discounts, student discounts, military discounts, and senior discounts. Be sure to call or chat with an agent to check for these potential savings. You can also check the airline's website or social media pages for the latest deals.

Flight Extras:

  • Be prepared to pay for extras: In addition to the ticket price, you may also have to pay for extras, such as checked bags, carry-on luggage, and seat assignments. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget when you're booking your tickets. For example, if you're traveling with a family, you may want to purchase seat assignments so that you can sit together.

  • Special Assistance and Pre-Boarding: If you have young children, infants, or family members with special needs, take advantage of pre-boarding facilities and any special assistance offered by the airlines. This allows you to settle in comfortably and ensures any necessary arrangements are made beforehand. It also means you do not need to pay extra for expedited or early boarding.

  • Read the fine print: Before you book your tickets, be sure to read the fine print. This includes the terms and conditions of the ticket, as well as any cancellation or change fees. For example, some airlines have strict cancellation policies, so you may be charged a fee if you need to change your flight.

  • Travel Insurance: This may or may not be needed depending on your payment method and risk tolerance. Many travel credit cards include travel insurance for items such as flight cancellations or delays or lost baggage. Before spending extra on insurance, it is a good idea to read through the fine print for your credit card of choice. Keep in mind your card's travel insurance policy could protect your hotel purchase as well if you have an unexpected hiccup with your flight and the same credit card was utilized to purchase both items.

After You Book:

  • Rebook When Prices Drop: If you see your flight on sale for a price lower than you paid, you may be eligible to rebook your flight and receive a travel voucher for the difference. Some 3rd party booking platforms may also offer price guarantees and help you to receive these vouchers automatically.

Adopting effective strategies for saving money on your family's flights can have a significant impact on your travel budget. By implementing the tips discussed in this article, such as booking in advance, comparing prices across different airlines, being flexible with travel dates, and considering alternative airports, you can maximize your savings without compromising on the quality of your travel experience. Remember, a little bit of planning and research can go a long way in securing affordable flights for your family, allowing you to allocate more resources to creating lasting memories together at your destination. So, start applying these strategies and embark on your next family adventure with confidence, knowing that you've made the most of your travel budget. Happy travels!


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