How to Save Money on Flights: 18 Tips

Written by
How to Save Money on Flights

It doesn’t matter if you’re flying to your summer vacation destination or to visit a long-time friend during the cold winter months, there’s always one thing on your mind: setting a budget with the goal of saving money.

There are many ways to save money on flights, ranging from using credit card points to flying during the early morning hours. In this article, we share 18 tips on how to save money on flights. 

Do you want to use credit card reward points for your next trip? Explore credit card options tailored to your needs and preferences.

18 Money-saving tips for booking flights

The wait is over. Here are 18 money-saving tips for booking flights.

Never overpay to travel with MoneyLion WOW. Save up to 35% on flights and hotels, plus get premium trip insurance and sweet cashback rewards when you shop as a MoneyLion WOW member.

1. Be flexible with your travel dates and times

Adjusting your travel schedule can significantly reduce flight costs. Mid-week flights often have lower fares than weekends and red-eye or early-morning flights tend to be cheaper. If you’re willing to shift your trip a few days earlier or later, you can take advantage of discounted tickets that aren’t available for those with rigid schedules.

2. Book your flight in advance

Early bird travelers often snag the best deals by booking flights months ahead. Airlines typically offer lower prices for those who secure their seats early. Aim to book domestic flights at least six to eight weeks in advance, and international flights around three months ahead, to get the best value.

3. Use credit card rewards points 

Many credit card companies offer rewards points that you can use to book flights or reduce their costs. Accumulate points through everyday spending and redeem them for significant savings. Ensure you choose cards with generous point structures and travel benefits to maximize rewards.

4. Avoid traveling during peak seasons

Flights during holidays, summer breaks, and long weekends are pricier due to increased demand. If you can, plan your trips during the off-season or shoulder seasons to find more affordable fares. You’ll not only save on flights but also avoid crowded tourist spots.

5. Fly during weekdays instead of weekends

Weekday flights are generally cheaper than those on Fridays and Sundays due to lower demand. Business travelers tend to prefer early in the week, while leisure travelers usually fly on weekends. Opting for Tuesday or Wednesday flights can significantly cut your travel expenses.

6. Choose early morning flights

Early morning flights, especially the first ones of the day, often come at discounted rates. Although the idea of waking up before dawn can be tough, these flights are less popular and often cheaper than those scheduled later in the day.

7. Book at the right time 

Timing is crucial when booking flights. Prices fluctuate, so track flight costs over a few weeks to recognize patterns. Generally, the best prices can be found between 1-3 months before your flight date for domestic travel and 2-6 months for international travel.

8. Set up price alerts

Many travel websites allow you to set up alerts for specific flight routes. These notifications inform you when fares drop, enabling you to secure tickets when prices are most favorable. This proactive approach eliminates the need to constantly monitor flight prices.

9. Use fare comparison websites

Fare comparison websites help you find the best rates by pulling data from multiple airlines. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Google Flights allow you to compare fares quickly, often showing different date and route options that can lead to cheaper tickets.

10. Sign up for airline newsletters for promotions and deals

Airlines regularly offer exclusive deals to their newsletter subscribers. Promotions include limited-time discounts and flash sales that could help you secure your next flight at a bargain price. Sign up for a few newsletters to receive the latest offers directly in your inbox.

11. Take advantage of frequent flyer programs

Enroll in airline loyalty programs to earn miles for each trip. Over time, these miles can lead to free flights or upgrades. Focus on building miles with a single airline or alliance to increase your rewards.

12. Opt for budget airlines

Budget airlines often offer flights at a fraction of traditional airline costs by cutting out non-essentials. For example, with Spirit Airlines or Ryanair, you can find deals that sometimes cut costs. Check baggage fees and other add-ons, but overall, you’ll likely save big.

13. Use incognito mode when searching for flights online

Browsing flights in incognito mode prevents travel sites from tracking your searches and potentially increasing prices. Clear your cookies or use private browsing mode to access unbiased fares without automated price hikes.

14. Choose alternative airports for departure and arrival

Major airports often charge more due to high demand, while nearby regional airports have competitive fares. Compare flight prices to secondary airports around your destination and departure cities, and you may find significantly cheaper options.

15. Look for flight deals during sales events 

Airlines often provide deep discounts during annual sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Travel Tuesday. Monitor these events to uncover exclusive flight offers and book your next trip at a much lower cost.

16. Be open to layovers instead of direct flights

Non-stop flights offer convenience, but they often come at a premium. Consider flights with layovers to save money. Multi-stop flights, though longer in travel time, provide significant discounts that are worth the extra journey.

17. Purchase travel insurance in advance

Travel insurance protects your trip from unforeseen disruptions like cancellations or medical emergencies. Buying it early ensures you’re covered from the moment you book. This can save you money by reimbursing costs that would otherwise be non-refundable.

18. Bundle your flight with hotel and car rental for package deals

Many travel agencies and airlines offer discounted package deals when you book flights alongside hotels or car rentals. By bundling services, you can often save significantly on overall travel expenses, ensuring a smoother and more budget-friendly journey.

Don’t overpay for airfare

It’s easy to make the mistake of overpaying for airfare, but there’s good news. It’s just as easy to take steps — such as those above — that will save you money. Implement as many of these tips as possible. Doing so will save you money on your next airline ticket. 


Do flights get cheaper closer to the date?

Flights typically don’t get cheaper as the departure date approaches. Airlines often increase prices for last-minute bookings, so it’s usually best to book tickets 1-3 months in advance for domestic flights and 2-6 months ahead for international trips.

Can you ask an airline for a discount?

While airlines don’t typically offer direct discounts upon request, they may have special offers for certain groups like students, seniors, or military personnel. It’s also worth checking for promotional fares, reward programs, and travel partner discounts.

Do airlines have promo codes?

Yes, many airlines provide promo codes during special promotions, which can be found through newsletters, airline websites, or travel agencies. These codes offer exclusive savings on select flights and destinations.

Is it cheaper to buy one way or round trip?

Round-trip tickets are generally cheaper because airlines often provide discounts for bundled travel. However, in some cases, booking two separate one-way flights may offer more flexibility and potentially lower costs, depending on your itinerary.

Do flight prices go down on Tuesday?

Flight prices sometimes decrease on Tuesdays due to airlines adjusting their fares after the weekend. However, prices fluctuate regularly, so it’s essential to monitor fares and use comparison tools to find the best deals.

Sign Up
Sign Up

Fast, interest-free advances anytime

Get Instacash advances up to $500 for everyday expenses or life’s surprises. There’s no credit check, no monthly fee, and no interest.

Sign Up