CheapAir.com compiled a list of tips to ensure you get the best airfare possible, along with some helpful Spring Break planning tips:
1. Book midweek flights instead of the weekend
We get it. You want to be there on the weekend to maximize your days off from school and so you can attend the most popular events. But here’s the thing – you can sometimes save quite a bit when you avoid lodging on the weekend, and there’s even data that clearly shows booking flights mid-week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays in particular) can save you money. Spring Break is a 24/7, 7 days a week nonstop party. Wouldn’t you appreciate a little extra cash in your pocket? Ditch the weekend fear of missing out vibes and be the envy of all your bargain-seeking friends. Mid-week flying is where it’s at.
2. Procrastination is your enemy
Some of you may be saying, “but I do my best work at the last minute!” To you we respectfully disagree. This is not Sociology 101 and you can’t wait until the 11th hour if you’re hoping to get a reasonable airfare. The airlines have spent a ton of time and money to determine how much money people are willing to spend based on demand – and guess what? Students (and their parents) really don’t mind paying a premium for Spring Break airfare. To get the best priced airline ticket available, you should start your search now and plan on purchasing as soon as you see a good price.
How will you know if it is a good price? Well, if you track fares for a bit, you’ll get a good general idea of what a decent fare looks like before too long. Don’t bother shopping until you have cash in hand and as soon as you see a good fare, be ready to buy! Airfares will not stay at a certain tier for long and they certainly will not wait for you to discuss options with your buddies for 3 weeks. You guys can meet up when you get there if you don’t all get on the same flight. Remember – this is a procrastination-free zone and you’re after the best priced airfare.
3. For rock bottom fares, travel ultra-light
As a student on a budget, you may already be well acquainted with Spirit and Frontier airlines. These discount air carriers offer extreme bare bones fares. Your basic fare includes your seat and that’s about it. We think Spring Break is the perfect time to take advantage of these discount fares, especially since you don’t need much in the way of wardrobe if you’re heading to a beach destination. But a word to the wise – if you’re thinking of giving either Frontier or Spirit a whirl, be prepared to purchase your seat assignments and baggage allowances as far in advance as you can. If you can swing it, commit to these options at check-out. If you wait until you’ve thought about how many swimsuits you need, or (the absolute worst-case scenario) you’re at the airport, you will pay a steep price for the privilege. Read up on the details for both Spirit and Frontier.
4. Consider going rogue when selecting a vacation destination
Is everyone at your school headed to Cancun this year? Maybe that sounds like the best option, but is it really? If saving money is a serious consideration you should do yourself a favor and at least research a less traditional option or two. Some spring breakers find that saving money can be cool too. Use our simple When to Buy tool to find the best times to buy depending on where you’re going.
5. Keep a level head
Don’t get caught in the trap of expecting lower fares and waiting for them to come back down. Repeat after us: there are no last-minute sales for spring break. This should become your mantra. Spring break is a boon for the airlines – both college students and families are vacationing and are willing to spend a little bit extra for their holidays. If you’re realistic and plan to pay a bit more, you won’t be tempted to hold out for a price that may not exist. As an extra bit of insurance, your friends here at CheapAir offer price protection in the form of our “price drop payback” feature. In the event that you buy an airline ticket and the price goes down after you’ve bought, we will refund you up to $100 a ticket to use toward your next trip.