Friday, August 17, 2012

Tips for Saving Money on Vacation Part I: Airfare

The current state of the economy has greatly affected most families in the United States. With everyone's pocketbooks just a little tighter, what's the first thing to be cut from the budget? Vacations. Many families have to give up a much needed break, quality time together, a chance to experience the world around them and mental health benefits in order to save money. But you can have your cake and eat it, too! Traveling doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, there are many ways to take a relaxing vacation without making your wallet run for cover. In a series of blog posts, we'll give you several tips on saving money while you vacation.

One of the biggest expenses in vacationing is airfare. Over the last few years, the cost of plane tickets has been steadily rising as the economy has been declining. However, trying a few simple tricks can help bring these astronomical prices back to an affordable level.

1.) When you're booking a ticket, don't simply head to your favorite website and purchase. There are many companies that provide airfare at varying discounts - do your research and find the best price! A few companies you'll want to look into include Orbitz, Expdia, Cheap Tickets, Kayak, Priceline, CheapOair and Travelocity. There are dozens more companies out there, so be sure to do a Google search for "discount plane tickets" or "cheap flights."

2.) Begin looking for flights well in advance of your departure date. You want to give yourself plenty of time to look at and compare rates from the several different websites. Watch the price trends over a week or so - ticket prices tend to fluctuate from day to day. When the price drops to an amount you're comfortable with, book it!

3.) Most people find that direct flights are less hassle than dealing with layovers, but you're definitely paying for the added convenience. Connecting flights typically run significantly cheaper, so if you're looking to save money, layovers are the way to go! And are they really so bad? They give you the chance to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and take advantage of the airport's Wi-Fi.

4.) Be flexible with your dates in order to find better deals. For most websites and airlines, the best time to buy and the best time to fly are Tuesday through Thursday since most people want to travel on a weekend. Additionally, you'll find cheaper tickets if you're willing to fly in the early morning or late at night. The money you save will be worth a day of red-eyes!

5.) Avoid vacationing during peak season and holidays. If you're trying to come to Myrtle Beach over the 4th of July, airfare will be at their highest rates. Off season months in Myrtle Beach (especially April, September and October!) have beautiful weather and the beaches are less crowded. Come see us then and save money!

6.) Be sure to pack lightly. Most airlines charge a hefty fee per bag - and if your luggage exceeds the weight limit, expect to pay an extra fee. Limit each family member to one suitcase. If you really want to save, bring only carry-ons, which are free. Packing light can be a little tricky, so be sure read some great tips here.

7.) If you're getting a rental car upon arrival, try looking at surrounding airports. Oftentimes, it's cheaper to fly into Florence, Columbia, Charleston or Charlotte than directly into Myrtle Beach. If the price is significantly lower, it just may be worth the added driving time. (Note: this tip also applies to the departure airport.)

8.) Skip the plane tickets altogether and come by train! Traveling via Amtrak can be much cheaper than flying, especially if you live within a day's drive. Anyone under 16 years old is considered a child and receives great rates. This will be a unique experience that the kids love!

You have the tips; let the hunting begin! For ways to save on attraction tickets and hotels stays visit the Official Myrtle Beach Welcome Center in Aynor, South Carolina or call 1-803-358-8100. Stay tuned for more tips on great vacation savings!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice tips shared by you. This will be helpful for us and for those who wants to get cheap airline ticket. I like your post and I will often visit this site. Thanks for sharing.

    Flights to Myrtle Beach