How to research airfare

How to get a baseline of what your airfare will be before you book.

Start looking as soon as you have decided where you are heading off to. The price will change many times, but at least it will give you a ballpark of what your tickets will cost (within an order of magnitude). Far off places are more expensive, as are smaller destinations and less traveled locales. Search Orbitz.com and Kayak.com and use the “+/- 3 days” function. This will allow you to see which days of the week are cheapest. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are usually the cheapest days for travel and Friday and Sunday the most expensive. Monday and Thursday usually fall somewhere in between. If you are flexible, a lot of money can be saved by moving your itinerary around by a day or two, so be sure to fully explore your options. Both of these websites will allow you to put in a length of a trip (say 10-12 days) and search for the best deal over a 30 day period. When looking at the flights, notice which ones are cheapest. Often they will have more connections and fly at less convenient times. For some, a 6am departure or a layover in Detroit is a deal breaker. Others welcome the chance to save $100.

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