Cheapfares Blog

Cheapfares travel blog with the latest news and tip.

When is the best time to book flights for the December holidays?

For the cheapest fares on flights for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, Nastro says it’s best to book in the summer months. But if you didn’t planned that far ahead, you can still find bargains for several more weeks.


10 Steps to Find the Cheapest Airfare

“For peak seasons, you’ll want to book by three months out for domestic flights and four months in advance for international,” says Nastro. “Again, you aren’t out of luck if you haven’t booked already, but do not wait much longer since you may end up with not only expensive flights but extremely expensive flights.”

Skyscanner’s data shows the best time to buy a flight for December travel is between the weeks of October 8 and November 19, according to Lindsay. “Booking during this time period could save you an estimated three percent,” Lindsay says.

Best days to travel for Thanksgiving and winter holidays

Normally, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, according to Nastro. “But, when it comes to holidays, this thinking sort of goes out the window,” she says. “If a holiday falls on a Thursday (like Thanksgiving), then the Wednesday before sees way more travelers than any normal week, putting upward pressure on prices.”

So the most reliable way to ensure you travel on a low-price day is to head to the airport when others are already celebrating. “For exactly the reason you’d expect, flights on a holiday itself—Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Day—are almost always cheapest, often a discount of 35 percent or more, as many are already spending time with loved ones, not hopping on flights,” Nastro says.

If that tactic doesn’t fit your plans, try being more flexible with your departure and return days. “Searching by multiple dates is one of your best chances of finding a bargain,” Lindsay says. “Consider traveling a day before or a day after your original departure dates, as flying on less popular days of the week can be cheaper.” Whatever days you chose to fly, be sure to add some buffer time for factors like bad weather and inevitable delays and cancellations.

What are the best seats on a plane?

  • Best seat for a smooth ride: A seat over the wing
  • Best seat for sleepers: A window seat near the front
  • Best seat for maximum legroom: An aisle seat in the second exit row
  • Best seat for a quick plane exit: Any seat close to the front of the plane (on the left side for dual aisle aircraft)
  • Best seat for the safety conscious: A seat toward the back of the plane
  • Best seat for traveling with kids: A bulkhead seat with the kids by the window
  • Best seat for A/C power: Any middle seat
  • Best seat for larger passengers: Any aisle seat

Great Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are invaluable for organizing and maximizingspace in luggage. The following are someof the best packing cubes available some of which come with tear resistance,waterproofing, and space saving functions to meet the needs of every type oftraveler, according to Caroline Teel:

EagleCreek Travel Gear Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set is a space savingorganizer that comes with a dual zipper system that helps condense stuff totake up less space. All that needs to bedone is roll up clothes and put them in these cubes.

TranversWaterproof PVC Travel Packing Cubes are ideal for camping, boating, and/orbeaches. They protect clothes from sandand water. The clear PVC keepsbelongings safe inside and works the opposite way when you want to fill themwith wet towels or swimsuits and keep everything else in your bag dry.

ShackePaks are the top-rated packing cubes on Amazon. Reviewers give them high marks for their durability and roomy size. Their unique X design helps these bagsmaintain their shape.

UnchartedUltra-Lite Packing Cubes enables travelers to fit much more in their suitcasesand are made from an extremely lightweight (each bag weighs only four ounces)nylon.

AIFUSIMultifunctional Organizer Cubes are made from tear proof nylon so that theywill not split when overstuffed.

TravisTravel Gear Space Saver Bags are ideal for winter travel when packing heavier,bulky clothing, or for anyone who wants to fit a lot into a small bag. These bags are a travel friendly version ofvacuum space savers and get all the excess air out and tamp down clothes. They do not need a vacuum to work becausethey come with a one-way air valve

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Cheapest Time to Reserve a Flight

Cheapest Time to Reserve a Flight Most people know that in order to plan cheap travel plans you need to buy cheap airplane tickets, find discount hotel rooms and reserve cheap auto rentals, but the timing of when to make airline reservations is often questionable. Travelers often feel as if their fates are in the hands of the airlines. Flight prices, what is included with your ticket, what is considered an add-on, and even whether you can bring a carry-on, often vary by airline. A Qtrip Airfare Study was completed recently that analyzed over 917 million airfares in 8,000 markets to provide travelers insight as to when is the best time to purchase tickets so that they can more informed travel choices. Based on data collected in 2019, Qtrip determined that the average best day to purchase airline tickets is 77 days in advance of travel dates for travel within the U.S. Qtrip selected a range of dates to purchase tickets and came up with what they call six “airfare booking zones:” First Dibs is when tickets are purchased 314 to 202 days in advance and are when travelers will find the most options including choice of seats, specific flight times and classes of service. Booking then will result in you spending an average of $50 more than if you wait to buy in the “Prime Booking Window.” For those wanting “all the choices” this is worth the additional expense. Peace of Mind reservations are made 201 to 128 days in advance and appeal to travelers who want a balance between choice and value. Booking that far in advance saves an average of $30 compared to First Dibs. Prime Booking Window reservations are made 127 to 21 days in advance and appeal to travelers that most highly value finding the cheapest prices. Push Your Luck reservations are made 20 to 14 days in advance. Here things can get risks because the odds are that prices will increase, and choices will be limited. This time range is best left to gamblers since sometimes a great deal can be found, but your options will be uncertain at best. Playing with Fire reservations are made 13 to 7 days in advance often results in more expensive tickets and usually much less choice. Hail Mary reservations are made 6 to 0 days in advance are usually made out of necessity due to a family emergency or an unexpected trip. You will usually pay $200 more than you would if you shopped in the Prime Booking Window.

Fine cheap airfare

1. Search for tickets indicating that your travel dates are flexible.

2. Search for flights by comparing fares from nearby airports.

3. Save on travel by purchasing a Travel package that includes airfare, with a hotel and/or car rental.

4. Do not specify airline or non-stop when searching for cheapest airfares.

5. Search for fares departing and returning on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Thursdays.

6. Purchase tickets a minimum of two weeks prior to departure date.

7. When you must purchase airline tickets with less than two weeks prior to your departure date look for Last minute deals. Although flight options are often limited, and Last Minute Deals require the purchase of either a car or hotel room in addition to the airline ticket, frequently the total purchase price is less than purchasing an airline ticket alone at the last minute. Typically the hotel and/or car reservation do not have to be used if not needed to make a Last Minute Deal purchase.

8. When you find a cheap airfare be prepared to purchase it immediately. Airlines reserve the right to change their prices right up until the moment a customer’s credit card is successfully charged for an airline ticket. Often customers return to purchase their tickets a few days, or even hours later, only to find that the price has changed or the flight option is no longer available.

9. When traveling over holidays, try to avoid flying out the day before the holiday or the Sunday after the holiday. If you are unable to fly out two to three days prior to the holiday price out tickets flying the morning of the holiday.

Remember, often Cheapfares are out there. You just have to be smart about how to find them.

Tips for Finding the Best Seats in Economy

After starting off right after planning a trip by carefullyreviewing your cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, youshould do a little research so that you can snag the best available seats onyour upcoming flights.

The following are suggestions on how to find the besteconomy class airline seats and ways to make any seat, even ones next to abathroom that do not recline, a little better, according to SeatGuru:

  • Get to know yourairline and its legroom in coach. Eachairline is different. Not all legroom isequal since there is no industry standard. Before making your reservation, check to see which airlines fly theroute you will be taking and check to see how they compare to each other. SeatGuru is an excellent resource to find theinformation you need.
  • There is no such thingas a seat being either good or bad for everyone. Often such designations depend on anindividuals personal preferences. Somepeople hate the last row in a plane because of its closeness to the galleyand/or bathrooms. Others prefer beingclose to a lavatory. Anotherbenefit of the last row is that it usually only seats two across on either sideof the plane, which translates to extra room. While some people do not want back row seats because these seats willnot recline, others do not care, since they are not planning to recline theirseats regardless of their location because of the closeness between rows.
  • Purchase your airlinetickets early because it will be much harder to find a good seat if you waituntil the day before departure. Theearlier you purchase your ticket, the more desirable seats will be available.
  • Do your best to selecta seat in an exit row or bulkhead. Suchseats usually offer additional legroom to stretch out.
  • Buy a good travelpillow that will provide you comfort and the ability to enjoy in-flightnaps. Look into inflatable airplane neckpillows offered by Amazon.
  • Consider buying atravel footrest to help aid the circulation and comfort of your feet.
  • Do not select a windowseat if your prime reason for doing so is to be able to look out thewindow. On a long flight people do notspend much time looking out windows. Beaware that if you are someone who anticipates needing to use the bathroom whilein the air that aisle seats are preferable both because they provide easieraccess and you do not have to disturb anyone each time you get up.
  • Remember your priorflying experiences before selecting your seat. For example, if you are prone to getting sick during turbulence, selecta seat in the middle part of the plane. Seats over the wings tend to be more stable and less jostled than seatsin the front or back.
  • Dont be reluctant toask when you arrive at the gate whether a class upgrade is possible. While it may be a long shot, sometimespassengers fail to arrive on time and you may end up with a better seat. If you never ask, your odds of an upgrade areinfinitesimal.
  • Treat gate agents andflight attendants politely and in a friendly manner. Complaints, demands, and profanity will getyou nowhere with these employees. Instead remember to treat them the same way you would like to be treatedand you might end up being positively surprised.

Valuable Vacation Tips

Dont assume that all you need to do to enjoy a successfulvacation is to review cheaptravel options, such as cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages,prior to finalizing your trip.

The following are habits and routines that savvy travelersfollow to make their trips all the more rewarding, according to Caroline Morse:

  • Downloada good flight tracking app, such as the pro version of TripIt, to receiveinstant alerts concerning flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes. Users also receive alerts notifying them assoon as online check in is available, whether airfare is eligible for a refund,and provide help finding a new flight if your flight is cancelled. Be sure to input your itinerary into a travelapp before departure.
  • Packsmart and keep your suitcase stocked with travel toiletries and a carry-on bagpacking list. Having your essentialsready to go and a list of what you need to pack will reduce pre-vacation stressand prevent overpacking.
  • Checkin as soon as possible online. Set analarm on your phone to remind you exactly when your airlines online check-incommences. If you were unable to selectseats when you made your reservation, this will give you the best chance ofselecting from the remaining desirable seats. Remember that even if you already have a seat, often it is thepassengers who check in last who get bumped from oversold flights.
  • Make apoint of integrating with locals at your destination by having one of yourfirst stops on each trip be a bar, coffee shop, or restaurant popular withlocals and not recommended by any guidebooks. Initiate conversations with locals for their tips on what to do.
  • Do alittle homework before your departure to enhance your vacation. A couple of weeks before departing sign upfor daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial for yourdestination. This way you will receivedeeply discounted offers for local restaurants and activities that you canredeem once there.
  • Call anycredit card company whose card you want to use overseas or in states that youusually do not make purchases in prior to departure because otherwise it islikely that your card will be frozen if it is used outside of your normalpurchase area out of concern for fraud.
  • Includedowntime in your schedule so that you do not get overexerted and tired. It is important to have time to wander anddiscover the unexpected delights around you.

Minimize Impact of Travel “Disasters”

Dont assume that you are ready to head to the airportafter a thorough review of your cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, cheap fares, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages. Travel mishaps are common and can often beminimized with common sense fixes.

The following are typical travel problems and suggestionson how best to deal with them, according to Robert Firpo-Cappiello:

  • Whenfaced with an unexpected hotel reservation cancellation remember to be nicein communicating to the desk clerk. Beprepared to pull out a hard copy of your reservation (or a digital version) orthe phone number and name of whomever you made your original reservation. Often the problem is a simplemisunderstanding or a data entry mistake. If your hotel has no available rooms, askwhat accommodations are available at nearby affiliated or recommendedhotels. To almost always avoid having todeal with this situation, call your hotel a few days before your arrival to reconfirmyour reservation and let them know if you will be arriving late.
  • Insteadof letting a lost wallet ruin your trip, before you depart obtain a backup ATMcard, print out (or digitally store) a list of all of your bank and credit cardaccounts, make a copy of your passport or drivers license, and never carrythese things in the same bag as your wallet.
  • Inorder to minimize the disruption caused by a car accident ask your rentalagency in advance what you should do in the event of an accident, inquire withyour home auto insurance company to see if your coverage includes car rentals,and ask your credit card company what, if any, accident coverage it provideswhen renting a car using its credit card. If renting a car overseas, find out in advance the local customs andrules of the road.
  • Insteadof feeling chills down your spine after learning you have lost your passport,make a hard or digital copy of your passport before your departure. Keep that copy and your drivers licenseseparate from your passport.
  • Findout in advance if your medical insurance will cover you on your trip. If not, investigate emergency travelinsurance. If injured, your hotel and/orlocal consulate or embassy often will be your best source forrecommendations. Packing a modest firstaid kit is wise.
  • Dealingwith lost luggage is frustrating. Youcan minimize the odds that your bag will be misplaced by writing your name andaddress not only on an outside tag but also inside your bag. By leaving a copy of your itinerary in yourbag this will help someone re-route your bag to the correct destination if itis accidentally shipped to the wrong city. Further steps you can take include arriving at the airport and checkingyour bag at an airline desk at least one hour prior to takeoff. Curbside check-ins and checking in less than30 minutes before scheduled departure are more likely to result in bags beingmisrouted.
  • Nothingis more upsetting then realizing you do not know what your child is. Remaining calm and seeking help of qualifiedauthorities is your best approach. Police officers or amusement park security have handled missing kidsituations before and are understanding and helpful. A current picture of your child is importantas well as knowing the clothing he or she is wearing. Make certain that your children carry IDcards that include your cell phone number.
  • Beforeheading overseas familiarize yourself with the laws at your destination. Possession of prescription opioids, takingpictures of certain buildings, and other seemingly harmless acts can result injail time. If you find yourself in aforeign jail, contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. While they cannot necessarily get youreleased, they can make certain that your rights are observed and that you getlegal representation.
  • If youfind yourself in the middle of a monsoon, quake, tsunami, or flood, obey thelocal authorities and keep yourself informed via the State Department websiteor those of local consulates, embassies, or via social media and email withfamily and friends.
  • Whendealing with a missed connection or a delayed flight interact positively withairline representatives. Smile, make eyecontact, and offer the gate agent a bar of chocolate. While such actions will not guarantee you aplace on the next plane or a free hotel room, you will definitely be givenpreference over passengers who are wigging out.
  • Leavingsomething important behind on a plane happens frequently and the major airlineshave very efficient procedures for reuniting passengers with their stuff. Contact the airlines baggage service officein your arriving city to see if your lost item has turned up. If not, go online and file a report. Usually you will get your item back within afew days. Always double check the areaaround your seat immediately prior to exiting a plane.

Pet Travel Tips

Often people are more conversant as to how to find cheap traveloptions such as cheapairplane tickets, cheapfares, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, cheap auto rentals, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, thenthey are in properly preparing to take a pet on a trip with them.

Before deciding whether to travel with a pet think aboutyour pets condition. If your pet isgetting older or is anxious, he or she might be happier laying on a couch athome or enjoying some time at a doggy spa.

When planning a trip with a pet call your hotel, airline,rental car company and any local establishments that you will want to have youpet join you. Dog friendly means manydifferent things ranging from dogs will be tolerated to welcomed with treats ortoys or dog specific facilities.

The following are pet travel tips that help save time andmoney, keep pets safe and happy, and can help travelers really enjoy theirtrips with their animals, according to Celia Shatzman:

  • Packthe right supplies including a leash and harness, bed, crate, shot records,litter box, familiar toys, food and water bowls, bottled water, food, treats,any prescriptions, and poop bags. Writeyour cellphone number on your pets collar in big numbers. If your pet likes to be next to you in bed atnight, pack a towel or bedsheet to protect hotel linens. If your pet has a sleeping bed or blanket,bring it. Any reminders from home lowerpets stress levels on the road.
  • Beforedeparting make certain that all of your pets tags, including hisidentification and rabies are current. Bring copies of medical records and vaccinations. Air travel requires a health certificate andother documents depending on the airline and destination. Have your pet microchipped in case you getseparated.
  • Bringa first aid kit with essentials such as gauze, gloves, medical tape, bandages,cleaning wipes, and disinfectant. PackBenadryl for possible allergic reactions, cornstarch to stop bleeding, andhydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting in case your pet has eaten something heshould not have.
  • Carrya printed photo of your pet which will be helpful if your pet is lost or youare trying to find your pet at an airport cargo pickup.
  • Reservethe right hotel by confirming not only that your lodging is pet friendly, butwhether there is a weight restriction. Let your hotel know when you would like your room cleaned and at suchtimes have your pet elsewhere with you or in his cage. Inquire into dog walking areas in advance. Also ask if there are any additional hotelfees because of your animal.
  • Unlessflying is mandatory, you should leave your dogs at home or find another type oftransportation. Usually only dogs andcats weighing under 10 lbs are allowed in a cabin. If your dog is going to fly in a transport crate,freeze treats and kibble in a water bowl so that the water does not spill andencourages your dog to work on the ice block to get to the treats.
  • Tohelp your pet be calm and comfortable flying in a crate, do trial runs whereyou reward your animal for getting into the carrier. Do this frequently and increase the amount oftime he is in the carrier each time. Then take your animal in the carrier and drive him around in your car.
  • Bringwhatever device you prefer (such as harness, booster seat, or special seat belt)to secure you dog or cat in a car. Loosecats tend to go under gas pedals while dogs can affect a drivers field ofvision.
  • Keepyour animal entertained by giving him an interactive toy, such as ones thatdispense treats when certain acts are performed, that will occupy him on longtrips. If your dog will be by himself inthe backseat while you are driving, do not give him anything that he mightchoke on such as bones or hooves.
  • Planto take plenty of breaks when driving. Dogs, like humans, usually need a break every two and a half hours on aroad trip. If possible, stop at dogparks to let your dog stretch his legs. The BringFido app locates dog parks near you when you travel.
  • Ifyour dog or cat gets motion sickness easily, they likely will be happier ifleft behind. To minimize the likelihoodof motion sickness, avoid feeding your pet within three to four hours of traveland give him controlled amounts of water. Ask your vet if he recommends any medications or supplements for motionsickness. Motion sickness is more commonin puppies than older dogs. Encourageyour dog to face forward by lowering a window a bit or distract him with a toyto help alleviate nausea.
  • Do notsedate your pet, especially when traveling by air, because cargo holds havedifferent air pressurization and temperatures than cabins. Your pet needs all of his faculties to handlestress.

Stop Throwing Away Money While on the Road

If you wisely plan an affordable trip by thoroughlyreviewing your cheaptravel options, including cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages, thenyou would be wise to avoid paying common travel expenses than can be avoided.

The following are seemingly tiny travel expenses that canadd up quickly, according to Shannon McMahon:

  • Foreigntransaction and ATM fees often surprise travelers once they return home. Avoid foreign transaction fees by signing upfor credit cards that do not charge you to use their cards overseas. ATM fees can be minimized by being careful asto when, where, and how often you take out money. Usually the most desirable option is to visityour bank prior to departure to exchange currency. If you have to withdraw money at yourdestination, do it in as few transactions as possible.
  • Notrechecking airfares after buying airline tickets can mean that you miss out onlower fares that you could have booked within 24 hours of your initialpurchase. Likewise hotel prices oftendrop after initial reservations are made.
  • Overpacking is common and costly because of checked baggage fees. Traveling without checking a bag is usuallydoable if you maximize your carry-on and personal item capabilities. Choosing the right carry-on bag and/orchanging your packing approach can help having to check a bag. Sometimes only by reducing the amount of stuffyou pack can you make everything fit in a carry-on bag.
  • Stayingin expensive hotels can jack up your travel costs. Look into joining a house or pet sitting sitesuch as TrustedHousesitters for under $100. If you would prefer a pet free residence, Airbnb tends to be a cheapalternative to hotels in many expensive cities.
  • Eatingexclusively at restaurants while traveling often is unhealthy as well asexpensive. Housesitting and Airbnbusually provides access to a kitchen and opportunity to cook meals. Save money when eating out by subscribing torestaurant deals near your destination through websites such as Groupon andLivingSocial.
  • Drivingor taking cabs tends to be expensive. Usually the best way to explore a city is by walking or taking publictransit. If you plan to take publictransportation at your destination, find out what the cheapest payment optionprior to departure. Many cities offerdiscounted smart card passes. Uber isusually a more cost effective way to travel than cabs when publictransportation is not an option.
  • Nottaking advantage of rewards programs is a sure way of spending more on travelthan otherwise would be required. Alwayssign up for airline and lodging rewards. Even if you are an infrequent traveler, many programs offer inside dealsor freebies (such as free Wi-Fi) just for signing up. Always inquire whether your existingmemberships (such as AAA, student, active military, senior) might qualify youfor discounts.

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