If you know all about open jaws (not the sharky kind), free stopovers, airline schedule changes and irregular operations then you can click away, nothing for you here. If any of those things sound familiar, but aren’t a part of your tricks of the trade to book a flight, sharpen your pencil. These tricks are going to save you time, money and hassle, which is a pretty great combination
Flight + Hotel Packages Can Unlock Huge Last Minute Travel Savings…
Sometimes there’s no way to avoid last minute travel. When and if that occurs, using miles or booking a “flight and hotel package” from an online travel agent Expedia, Travelocity or CheapOAir can be your only way to avoid crazy expensive fares the airline would love to charge you. By using these bundled packages you can bypass the last minute fares, opening up opportunity to grab flights and hotel for less than half what the flights alone may cost in some instances. Be sure to compare the cost of a package versus the cost of the same flights by themselves before booking, especially last minute.
Open Jawing Your Way To More Places
Find a map, draw a line from one city to another, now make another dot at another city you want to visit on your trip and then draw a line back to your origin or destination, whichever is further. Woohoo, you just made an open jaw. An open jaw, is a great way to book tickets, allowing you to visit two cities on your trip, or return to a different city than the one you started from. In doing so, you take away the need for a second round trip (four total flights), and instead only need a single one way ticket to connect the jaw (three flights). You can book these using any booking site’s “multi city tool”.
Change Your Currency, Online Location Or Both…
When you buy international tickets, there are often “locals only” discounts where people pay less if they buy from a certain country or in a certain currency. By simply clicking the corner of an airline website and changing your “region” you can often get in on these insider deals. To see if prices are lower, use the ITA Matrix to play around with different currencies and ticketing locations. More on Changing Location HERE, more on Matrix HERE.
Schedule Changes = Better Flights
If you book in advance there’s a great chance that an airline will tinker its schedule in between the time you booked and the time you actually fly. When they do, especially on changes over two hours, you’re entitled to a refund or to make changes. You can get really creative with the changes you’d like to make (as long as you offer a plausible reason), requesting to return from a different city, depart from a different city, take a more direct routing or even take a less direct routing. The possibilities are endless and the ball is officially in your court. So when you see a schedule change, get excited, it could mean more flights or better flights.
Stopovers = More Free Or Cheap Travel
Quite a few airlines include free stopovers on all flights; and even the ones that don’t will throw them in on certain fares. If you want to turn a routine trip into a jet setting adventure, booking a free stopover can be an easy and effective trip. For a list of the friendliest airlines which offer stopovers and even free hotels or tours, check out this post. If you want to learn how to build your own stopovers into a fare, check out this post, which has all the details you’ll need to find what stopovers (and where) you can add on at no additional cost. It’s an amazing way to get some extra bang for your buck and vacation time…