How to travel on a budget

Courtesy of Unsplash

Whether it is a domestic or international flight, finding low-priced flights is a common struggle among travelers. However, in the digital age there are tips and tricks to help simplify your getaway.

There are many travel applications that claim to provide the best service and lowest prices. To find a reliable source however, it is important to speak with people who have experience booking flights.

Tara Hanson, Riverside resident and owner of TheStampCollectionBlog.com, has visited 19 countries and nine states in her lifetime and has used her growing platform to give her subscribers tips that she has learned while planning her adventures.

“I always recommend using either Skyscanner or JetRadar for finding flights,” Hanson said. “Both apps pull from multiple airlines to find the cheapest route aside from Southwest, which I’ll check directly on their app for any domestic flights for prices.”

Skyscanner ranks number 44 in Apple’s App Store for travel and has a 4.8 star rating. It not only allows users to search for flights but offers options for hotels and car rentals, as well.

“I tend to prefer Skyscanner, especially when I’m picking my next destination. Skyscanner has the feature to ‘search anywhere’ so you can choose dates and the app will bring up a list of destinations listed by price for those given dates,” Hanson said.

By allowing users to search anywhere, Skyscanner picks random destinations that are cheapest to fly to for travelers who are feeling spontaneous.

“I usually use the Priceline app,” said Bobby Perde, senior Christian studies major. Perde has visited Kauai, Hawaii, a handful of times and recently visited Honduras, which he said was a surprisingly inexpensive excursion.

Priceline is ranked No. 28 on the App Store for travel and also has a 4.8 rating. 

“It’s assumed that traveling can become a pricy endeavor, but this shouldn’t be the case,” Perde said. “My recent flights to Honduras were definitely affordable. This is because I only book flights with weekday departure and weekday return dates. Believe it or not, this trick can save you a couple hundred bucks.”

Regardless of which app is used, there are other factors to consider that can affect a flight’s cost. In Perde’s experience, he said he was able to find cheaper flights by searching for departure and return dates that are on weekdays.

Daniel Prather, professor in the Department of Aviation Science, said Perde is correct with his flight-searching tactics.

“Generally, lower demand times result in less expensive tickets,” Prather said. “Lower demand occurs typically midweek — Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Also, it may be seasonally lower demand depending on the destination.”

In addition, Prather said the price of a flight can be affected by the proximity of the departure date.

“Lower-priced tickets may also be acquired through advance purchase, typically 21 days-plus in advance,” Prather said. “The closer one gets to departure, the value of that last-minute flight increases. So if you purchase a ticket for a flight tomorrow, it’s always going to be much higher than if you purchase a ticket for a flight three weeks from now.”

Theses tips and tricks are great when put into practice and with spring break just around the corner, students can use them to their advantage when booking a quick, cheap getaway.

Leave a Reply