November 8, 2009 by USA Post
Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away and the winter holidays are just around the corner and after almost an entire semester with little more than a day or two off, a lot of you are jonesin’ to get out of Grand Forks, go home or set off on a little adventure.
Ticket prices may be on the rise-both Delta and American Airlines along with other major US carriers have announced more than $10 increases on holiday flights-but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a reasonable ticket.
A little Internet searching and some luck and you’ll be jetting away for the price of a good winter coat (which you won’t need when you’re sunbathing in Cali).
Here are some tips:
First of all, try the normal internet air fare sites like Orbitz, Hotwire, Expedia and Travelocity. Those are great places to get an idea of how much you could pay for a flight, but don’t stop there. These are great fallback places, but expect to pay a tad bit more for the convenience. On these sites, if you’re traveling domestically, you have the option of choosing flexible travel dates. Often traveling on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday is the cheapest.
First stop, try www.bing.com/travel. Enter your departure and arrival city in the “Plan Trips” section towards the bottom of the page. The site will give you average prices over select dates as well as show you whether the price is on the rise, or if a discount is on its way.
Once you do that, check out some new sites that have popped up in the last couple of years which do a fantastic job of doing the site-by-site search for you: www.Mobissimo.com. This site searches a whole host of other sites to find you the best deal.
www.Kayak.com does the same thing with airlines as well as other travel sites. Yapta.com allows you to track prices to know when to buy at the lowest price. Momondo.com is a great site that appears to be one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use sites so far-the downside, they essentially look for fares, but you can’t book directly from their site.
If a hop, skip, and a jump over to Europe or some other international destination is on your horizon, check out www.travelpapa.com or www.Vayama.com. They specialize in international travel and will combine both flights and train trips to give you the best price to your destination (i.e. if you’re off to Brussels, they’ll find a cheap flight into Amsterdam, London or Paris and schedule a quick trip on high speed rail into Europe’s “capital city.”
Going to the airline sites themselves is often not the best way to go, but it can be. According to the AARP, if you do choose to buy directly from the airline’s website, it’s best to purchase the ticket on Wednesday from midnight to 1 a.m. in the time zone of the airline’s home base-Delta: EST, United: CST, Continental: EST, USAirways: MST-when the computer systems refresh with new fares.
Last minute deals are often costly, but try lastminute.com and you might just get lucky-but don’t expect a miracle.
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