How To Book A Flight On The WAY Cheap

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Planning that summer sojourn to the beaches of Nice while it was still snowing would have been the responsible thing to do, but when scheduling dinner a week in advance feels restrictive, most people aren't rushing to buy a non-refundable ticket to Europe six months out. Luckily, there is still a way to travel serendipitously without having to settle on a road trip to a doily-ridden B&B two hours away.

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Brett Snyder, who runs air-travel blog The Cranky Flier, says that it’s helpful to patrol deal sites, like AirfareWatchdog.com and FareCompare.com. “But really, it’s a matter of just finding a market with cheap seats available." So, be flexible. You'll have to "go to places that are out of season or unlikely to have full flights: That means Florida in the summer, or anywhere in the line of a hurricane.”

Although there are worse fates than lingering poolside in Miami or slugging down piña coladas in St. Lucia in this most carefree of seasons, if you have your heart set on wandering through the museums of an urban cultural center, don’t give up on Europe just yet.
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George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com, says that while Europe is crowded and expensive in the summer, it’s not impossible. He points to a recent American Airlines glitch that was highlighted on his site in which fares to Prague, Budapest, Stockholm, and Vienna — with an unexpected, Saturday departure — were as low as $330 round-trip from New York. "If you're really hankering for an international getaway, you're probably looking at a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday departure. If you're cool with remaining stateside, leaving on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday are your best bets," he says.
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For in-the-nick-of-time plans that are still affordable, Hobica recommends placing a bid on Priceline. The uncertainty of exact carriers and schedules can be stressful for some rigid travelers, he says, but “now that there are far fewer airlines, on many routes you can pretty much narrow it down. For people who only care about price, it’s a huge benefit to use Priceline.” He adds that Kayak.com also frequently turns up discounted fares to Europe and Asia, for those impromptu jet-setters who can take off on the same day or the next.

The most important thing to remember, Hobica notes, is that there is “no general rule. There are always a few oddball dates that will be much cheaper than others, and we tweet those.” Sign up for alerts on any of these sites to get notified of unadvertised, discounted fares, and you'll soon knock that too-close B&B off your list in favor of Bangkok or Barbados.




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