By the time July 4 rolls around, most of us have our travel plans etched in stone with summer airline tickets in hand, right? Uh, no. Most buy within 30 days of take-off, even though that can mean paying more.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to save. Check out these ideas and other useful travel tips.
Find Cheap Airline Tickets for Summer
Two airlines are offering Fourth of July weekend deals. Book by Friday, July 3 and depart that day or July 4, then return Monday or Tuesday. Click the name of the airline to see specific destinations and prices:
- American: July 4 Weekend Deals from $220 round-trip
- United: July 4 Weekend Deals from $168 round-trip
Tip: Hurry. Weekend specials tend to sell out quickly.
Find Cheap Flights for Summer
Ways to cut airfare costs.
- Compare fares: Shop an airfare search site (like FareCompare). You must compare fares because no single airline always has the best deals.
- Book soon: Buy tickets at least 30 days before departure. If that’s not possible, try to buy at least 14 days in advance.
- Fly later: A Deal Zone gets underway around Aug. 24. Begin your trip on or around that date to save 15 to 20% off peak summer fares.
- Fly cheap days: If possible, fly Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays, usually the cheapest days to fly.
- Compare connections with non-stops: You can sometimes save as much as 50% off a flight by adding a stop to your route.
- Set airfare alerts: If the prices drops on a flight you set an alert for, FareCompare will let you know immediately.
Summer Travel Tips
These tips can save you aggravation; the last one can also save you money.
- No fireworks: People try to fly with fireworks all the time. It is not legal, not in carry-ons or checked-bags.
- Get to the airport early: Fourth of July is not the busiest air travel holiday but airports in popular tourist cities will be crowded; a good example is Orlando.
- Use a carry-on: Carry-on bags are still free on most airlines; exceptions include Allegiant, Frontier and Spirt. As for checked-bags, all airlines charge a fee (even JetBlue) with the lone exception of Southwest.
Tip: Using a carry-on means your bag stays with you in case of delays and cancellations whereas a checked-bag might not make it on the plane in the case of tight connections. Plus a carry-on means a quicker escape from the airport and a quicker start to vacation.