Frugal Friday: 5 Ways to Save Money on Plane Tickets

Let’s face it: the most expensive part of any trip can often be your plane ticket. Airline companies are famous for charging an arm and a leg for a flight, whether it be abroad or within your own country. A lot of my friends and family wonder how I can afford to travel as often as I do, on a student budget, and manage to make it overseas almost every year. And anyone who knows me well knows that I am very cheap and love a good sale! Today’s post it dedicated to those friends and to others who are looking to save some of their hard earned money when it comes to purchasing plane tickets.
Tip #1: Sign Up to Airline Mailing Lists

I know that no one likes receiving those annoying spam emails from companies, where they clutter your inbox with a million emails about the most useless things you don’t need. But if you are planning on flying somewhere, you can save yourself a lot of money by signing up with an airline company’s email subscription. The annoyance you receive for spending 2 seconds deleting the email could save you hundreds of dollars. Airline companies often advertise their sales for certain flights months in advance via email. Unless you have the time to constantly check the airline website, this is a fast and convenient way to be informed of deals. Case in point: In 2010 my friend Jasmine and I bought our tickets through KLM to fly from Toronto to Prague for $600 for a round trip flight for the beginning of May. If you have flown from Toronto to anywhere in Europe, you know that is a steal!

Tip #2: Plan and Book in Advance 

The further in advance you plan your trip, the better. The closer you wait to your departure date to buy your plane ticket, the higher the cost of your flight will be. I know that some websites often advertise “Last Minute Deals” but these last minute deals seem to only apply to resorts (please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, this is just what I have experienced).

Tip #3: Do Your Research

Don’t jump on the first ticket you see, unless it is a really amazing deal. Do your research. The websites that I often use to search for tickets are:

  •  SkyScanner – this site scans numerous other sites (including discount sites) to find you the best deal, and it is often a good starting point 
  • CheapOair – this site scans all airline companies that fly from your departure city to your destination city. They often email promotional codes so be sure to subscribe to them as well 
  • Orbitz Travel – same as above, however, I have found that they often change their price to be higher as soon as you start to book your ticket so be cautious of this 
  • Kayak – another site that scans multiple airlines at once, although, I have never booked with them but have used them to do my research 
  • Expedia – one of the more expensive search sites, but their customer service is great in case you ever run into any problems 
  • Travelocity – same thing as Expedia, however, I can’t comment on their customer service as I have never had to call them before 
And there are many more, these are just the ones I use. Once you find a deal using these sites, you can also go on the airlines website to see if they have anything cheaper for the same flight (sometimes they do, often they don’t, but worth the look). As with everything you purchase online, proceed with caution so that your credit card and personal information is not stolen by those evil internet thieves. 

Tip #4: Look at Surrounding Airports 

Any of you that have flown from Pearson International Airport in Toronto know the ridiculous amount that you have to pay in airport taxes (I read once before that this is the most expensive airport to fly out of in the world based on taxes…not sure if it still applies but it wouldn’t surprise me). When searching for flights, look for airports close to you. I know that a lot of Canadians that live close to the American border will cross over by car to catch a flight to a destination city in the US or internationally. 

Tip #5: Be Flexible With Your Dates

When searching for flights, select the option that you are flexible with your dates. This way, the website you are using will generate the prices surrounding the time you want to go. SkyScanner is great for this as they allow you to search for prices for one whole month. Bonus Tip: I have found in the past that flying out on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday saves me money. 

I Want to Hear From YOU! 

Are there any tips you have to share that were not shared here? If so, comment below to help others save some $$$ too!

Happy Travels Everyone!


8 thoughts on “Frugal Friday: 5 Ways to Save Money on Plane Tickets”

  1. Drea!! Can you do a post of Airlines to avoid? or maybe your expertise has taught you what to watch out for aka the fine print some airlines have?That would an interest topic xoxo

  2. I really love your tip about looking for other potentially close airports that you could fly out of in order to save money. Being flexible with your flying dates also seems like a great tip. I didn't realize that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturdays might save you money. It seems like if you have to manage a lot of different flights and travel, you'd need a professional to help save costs. Businesses were a lot of travel is required could probably benefit from professionals implementing these types of tips.

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