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How to Save Money on Domestic Flights

Ever since I was a kid I was brought up to be frugal and to save and budget money. * Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner.

Look for low-cost carriers

Look for low-cost carriers.

Typically, low-cost carriers have lower prices than major airlines. This is because they typically have smaller planes and fewer amenities (i.e., no first class or in-flight entertainment). These carriers also tend to operate on fewer flights per day with less frequent service on each route, so it can make sense to book with a generalist or discount carrier if you're planning on flying infrequently or if the price difference is substantial enough that it offsets any inconvenience involved in not having these perks.

One important thing to keep in mind when searching for domestic flights is that fares are often higher during peak seasons (holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas) and lower off season—so keep this in mind while searching!

Book with a credit or debit card.

Whether you use a credit or debit card for your booking, you'll likely earn points. If you book with a credit card, it's likely that your rewards program will track how much money you spend on travel each month and give you extra points for spending that amount. If you book with a debit card, there are often other ways to earn more rewards points than usual—for example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 2X points on dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere (2% back in this case). There are many other cards that offer similar perks.

Book on a Tuesday afternoon.

The best time to book flights, in terms of the lowest fares, is Tuesday afternoon. (Or Wednesday morning.) Why? Well, there are a few reasons:

  • Tuesday is the day when most people book flights. Why? Because they're at work and can't do it on weekends.
  • People usually book domestic flights on Tuesdays because they have to get up early for work or school on Wednesday and they want to spend as little time booking their flight as possible so they can go back to sleep more quickly. They may be able to afford staying up late but don't want to sacrifice precious zzz's after waking up early for work/school/etc., so if you're looking for cheap flights on a specific day of the week then try booking them during these prime hours between 5 p.m.–8 p.m..

Avoid flying on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The most popular days of the week to travel are Friday and Sunday. This is because people have more time during the weekend, and they want to spend it doing something fun. Unfortunately, this can mean higher prices for travelers, who are forced to pay a premium on these days.

However, there is an easy way around this! If you’re not in a rush and don’t mind missing out on some potential fun on Friday or Sunday night (or during your trip), then consider flying at any other time of the week. You will likely find cheaper flights if you aren't willing to compromise your schedule for a few extra dollars in savings.

In addition to avoiding Fridays and Sundays when planning your flight itinerary, also look out for Tuesdays through Thursdays as well. These days tend not cost much more than any other day unless there's an especially high demand from last-minute shoppers buying gifts over Thanksgiving weekend - which means fewer empty seats available."

Pack light.

When you're traveling, you want to pack light—but it's tough! If you've ever packed your suitcase with too much of an item and had to check it at the airport, then you know what we're talking about. That feeling of dread is overwhelming: "No! I can't believe I didn't check before I left."

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But don't worry; there are ways to avoid that feeling. You just need some tips on how to travel light. For example:

  • Pack a carry-on bag instead of a suitcase (if possible). This will save money because it costs less for airlines to charge for checked luggage than carry-ons.* Pack your clothing in compression bags or vacuum sealers so they take up less space.* Bring several smaller pieces from each category instead of one big piece.* Don’t bring anything that could be replaced by buying something while traveling—like shampoo or toothpaste—or replaceable things like makeup wipes.

Travel during an off-peak season that corresponds to your destination.

Travel during an off-peak season that corresponds to your destination.

The best way to save money on domestic flights is by traveling during an off-peak season (or week). Off-peak seasons usually correspond to the opposite of the peak season in a location's weather, so you can save money by avoiding high demand and high ticket prices while still experiencing milder temperatures than what you'd find during the winter months. For example, if you want to travel from New York City to San Diego in June or July, it may be cheaper for you if you visit in October or November instead.

Be flexible about your travel dates and times.

  • Look up flights in different months. You may be able to find a great deal on travel in March, but if you're not planning to go until April, it's not worth booking yet.
  • The best deals usually appear when there's a large number of seats available. The more seats left unfilled by passengers who have canceled their tickets or paid for less than the full amount of time they need for their trip (known as "mistake fares"), the lower the price will be for those who are willing to take advantage of these mistakes.* If possible, avoid traveling on holidays and other high-traffic days like weekends and Fridays.* If you can't avoid traveling during peak times, make sure you book early so that there's still time before your flight departs for fares to drop even further.* Be flexible about your travel dates and times.

If you can't be flexible about travel dates, only look for flights on the days that have the best deals available.

If you can't be flexible about your travel dates, only look for flights on the days that have the best deals available. When possible, avoid popular days such as Friday and Sunday. If you are willing to fly during the middle of the week or even late at night, this may open up more options for cheaper fares.

For example, if you have a Wednesday flight from New York City to Hawaii, try searching Tuesday afternoon instead of Friday evening.

Your wallet will be very glad that you saved money on domestic flights

  • You'll be very glad that you saved money on domestic flights
  • Your wallet will thank you
  • Pack light, travel during an off-peak season, and book with a credit or debit card to save money on domestic flights.


So, there you have it: a few simple tips to help you save money on domestic flights. If you follow these steps and make sure to do your research (checking for deals on different days of the week), you can travel on the cheap!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Shanon Sandquist

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