How Can Students Get The Most Affordable Air Fares?
Being a student is not just about studying but also involves major lessons in life of how to manage on a budget and how to travel when broke. Finding a cheap and affordable airfare for commute is a big challenge for any student.
But do not lose heart. There are methods for you, as a student, to get cheap airfares and travel to all those places you always wanted to. Just follow the points given here, and you might find the airfare just right for you.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: As a full-time student you have the prospect of booking student-only fares. You do not have to book the same tickets as everyone else. Generally speaking, student fares are often cheaper for foreign travel while regular fares tend to be lower for domestic travel.
Do remember that student fares are usually more flexible, allowing you to change your travel dates or cancel your flight at a small fee. You can also and stay in your destination for up to a year before returning. Regular tickets, on the other hand, are nonrefundable and non-changeable, and cause you to return within 30 days.
BUYING SPREE: Dont expect to book your student tickets anywhere. The highest quality places are student travel agencies, the airlines, and online travel-booking sites.
The student travel agencies allow you to speak directly with their travel agents and they will advise you on the the very least fares, the many options, and even help you finalize your itinerary.
The cheapest regular fares are often sold directly through the airlines' own websites, where you can access sale fares that might not be available through other providers. Several low-cost airlines offer lower fares than the regular airlines. However, the downside to low-cost carriers is that most have more tight flight networks and may not offer the destinations you want.
As a student you can also compare fares on a large amount of airlines at the same time by using an online travel-booking site such as Orbitz, Expedia, or Travelocity. These sites are good because they help you to set a price benchmark for your itinerary. They will help you choose the cheapest days to fly. Orbitz, for instance, has partnered with Student Universe, an online travel site for college students and faculty.
Students or teachers register with a ".edu" e-mail address, which is confirmed before they qualify to receive travel discounts. Choices of airline or departure time may be tight, but the savings can be worth it. They also have useful tools that can help you determine the cheapest days to fly.
These sites are fairly limiting in that they do not always have access to the airlines' cheapest fares, and all add a booking fee to each purchase. So, these sites can be used just get an idea of what's accessible and then go to airlines' websites to book.
SHOP All over: Never make a choice immediately. Shop around and compare all options available before making a decision. As a student you should consult with one or more of the student-travel agencies to check the prices of student fares and then do an online search of the airline websites and online travel-booking sites to find regular fares.
Remember that being flexible is the key to the game. The more flexible you are about when you fly and which airport you use, the better your chances of finding an affordable ticket. When searching for the right fare for you, try looking for flights on several dates; sometimes flying even a day earlier or later than your original travel dates.
This can save you a lot of funds. You can also consider searching for fares from alternative airports or smaller secondary airports. Although secondary airports may take a bit of travel to get to, you'll often pay much less to fly to or from these places.
POPULARITY DOESNT PAY: You can find cheaper flights by flying to a place during a less busy time of the year and less busy times of the day. Do remember that popular destinations such as Europe and Australia have distinct high seasons for travelers. It is at times like these that the prices of the air tickets go up If you can fly to a place when it's less well-known to visit, you may be able save over half the cost of the ticket or even more!!
Similarly, which days of the week you choose to fly and when you choose to travel during the day can also make a difference? Midweek flights Monday through Thursday are liable to be cheaper, and red-eye or midday flights can also cost a reduced amount of.
Web-only fares are another category of special deal fares available only through the Internet. For even deeper discounts, look for Weekend Web Fares. Airlines trying to unload inventory release these fares early Wednesday morning for travel beginning Thursday, Friday or Saturday and coming back Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM: Being an early bird does pay. Flights on widely known routes fill up quickly. If you book early, you may be able to lock in a fare with a lower surcharge. For general domestic travel, it's a good idea to book at least 21 days in advance.
By mastering these essential lessons you, as a student, will be able to plan cheap air trips over the years, without having to bother about your financial situation.
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