Fuel costs are constantly fluctuating, which can make budgeting for a trip a bit difficult. Another budgeting challenge to consider is all those extra fees that airlines have started tacking onto their services. But don't let these industry trends discourage you from traveling the world and seeing its beauty for yourself! Since you can't drive to all your dream destinations, flying is the only way to go sometimes and, undeniably, the fastest. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find the most affordable fares and also avoid paying as many extra charges as possible when you plan ahead.
Fly during the least popular times
Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the slowest days to fly, which means cheaper deals than the rest of the week. You can also find reduced rates on early morning flights, since many people don't like to get up before the sun to get to the airport. Earlier boarding times can also considerably cut down your chances of getting bumped on an overbooked flight or delayed because of other delayed flights or mechanical issues.
Pack your own snacks.
Unless you're flying internationally, it's rare your flight comes with a free meal. Snacks on the plane are not cheap and almost never healthy. So don't rely on what's on the small menu and instead tuck some of your own snacks – granola bars, homemade muffins, nuts, quick snacks, fruit and trail mix all make fantastic travel foods – into your bag and eat a lot better, and cheaper, than other passengers.
Avoiding extra fees
Airlines will charge for just about anything these days. Some have even toyed around with charging customers for using the restroom. All those extra fees can certainly add up, but there's no reason to pay them if you don't have to. Here are some tips to keep money in your wallet once you get to the airport.
Fly carry-on only. Baggage fees vary wildly.
Almost all airlines charge them and charge big. Why pay for your clothes to fly with you? If everyone in your travel party checks a bag, your bill can be astronomical before you ever even get to your destination. It's easy to reduce the amount of stuff you pack: Make sure all your clothing coordinates, so you can take less and still make more outfit combinations, take only two pair of shoes, plan to do a bit of laundry on your trip and bring only travel-sized toiletries.
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