Does living in a smaller city mean you’re destined to pay more for flights? It can feel like you pay a built-in “travel tax” if you don’t live a hop, skip away from a major hub. After all, most of the flash sales and rock-bottom specials that airlines throw around only apply to tickets that originate in major hubs like New York and Los Angeles. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to enjoy the bounty of deals waiting out there for you. Take a look at some ways to enjoy cheap flights if you call a small city home!
Know What’s Available
It’s important to actually know what’s available at your city’s airport before you feel defeated about finding cheap airfare deals. Don’t just rely on third-party booking platforms to present you with deals out of your city. Your best resource is the webpage of the airport you’re hoping to use for your trip. There should be a page somewhere on there that lists all of the carriers that actually fly in and out of your city. Scan the list to spot any budget carriers that you may have overlooked. You can then go to an airline’s page directly to hunt for deals on flights out of your city. Don’t forget to refresh often and play around with dates to try to catch the best deal.
Look for New Airlines Coming to Your City
Carriers will sometimes move into smaller markets. The good news for you is that carriers often offer some really incredible introductory deals whenever they begin serving new cities. Keep your ears open for any new airlines or airline routes that are coming to your city if you want to be able to pounce on some once-in-a-lifetime introductory fares.
Keep One-Way Flights on Your Radar
You may never be able to find rates in your city that are as low as the rates being offered in major hubs. That might be okay if you use one slick trick to technically depart from a hub. Consider checking out cheap one-way flights from your city to a larger city that routinely offers cheap fares to your endpoint destination. Of course, you’ll need to do the math before you jump on anything. Is the price of that one-way fare to a larger city combined with the cheap rate you’re getting to your destination going to be less than what you’d pay for a full ticket from your own city? There’s a good chance that it just might be! You should also be flexible and open when it comes to choosing which hub you want to visit for your “true” departure. Don’t be afraid to play around using several different combinations of flights until you find the best deal. You should also remember that a shorter distance doesn’t always mean a cheaper flight. The one thing that surprises many travelers is that longer routes can sometimes be cheaper than shorter routes. It all comes down to factors like demand, time of year and airline-specific pricing rules.
Use Alternate Transportation
We sometimes find cheap rates to great destinations out of hubs that we simply cannot walk away from! It’s pretty tough to walk away from things like $99 fares to Caribbean destinations. However, you may feel like you’re in a pickle if the airport that those fares are being offered from is several hours away from your home. Using an alternative method of travel to get to that hub is often more than worth the effort when we’re talking about airfare below $100 or $200. How can you get to an airport in another city? You might want to look into the idea of trading in some loyalty points for a rental car that you can take to the airport. The price of the rental will probably be less than what you’d pay to park your car at the airport. In addition, Amtrak and other train lines offer some pretty plush accommodations at reasonable rates these days.
Use the Distance for a Bonus Vacation
The best airfare bargain you can get may just require you to actually extend your vacation. Why not build in a few extra days for fun, leisure and sightseeing if you’ll be taking a connecting flight, rental car or train to get to a hub in search of cheap airfare? Of course, this only works for people who aren’t up against tight time constraints. The bottom line is that it’s important to keep an open mind regarding just how exciting you can make your trip as you seek out the best airfare deals. Many curious travelers actually discover that they can see and do more using “creative” planning than they’d be able to pull off if they simply used “perfect” tickets from the start.
You really have two choices if you live in a city with a smaller airport. The first is to simply decide that you’re going to skip town by rental car or train to get to a larger hub that provides consistent, easy-to-find airfare deals. There’s really nothing wrong with this strategy. In fact, you could use it as an excuse to plan an extended trip that includes a dash of extra adventure. Your second option is to fully embrace your city’s airport. This means doing everything you can do to squeeze opportunity and savings out of this airport. The best way to do this may be to simply use connecting flights out of your local airport to get to bigger hubs that offer better deals for getting to your destinations. You also have the option to utilize any and all budget options that serve your city. There’s really no wrong answer. A big part of your decision will come down to just how willing you are to travel a little before you step on the plane that will bring you to your holiday destination.
Source: frugal travel guy