Purchasing airfare is a tricky game.
One second, a flash sale on flights is happening, and the next, your plane ticket just doubled the cost of your entire vacation. Wait, what?
This year, in particular, consumers are seeing surges in airfare prices due to higher jet fuel costs, according to Bloomberg. So if you want to indulge in your wanderlust, you're going to need to be strategic about it.
We rounded up a few hacks to help you outsmart the system and save money on airfare.
1. Fly out during the week.
Forgo Friday and Sunday flights, since those are the most popular, and therefore, most expensive. It may be hard to adjust your vacation days, but try to fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday for lower prices.
2. Download travel apps.
there should be a "shop flights" button underneath the bunny on the prediction screen. Here's an example. Hope that helps! pic.twitter.com/Algzr1bIcF— Hopper (@hopper) December 24, 2016
Hopper is an app that notifies you when airfares for your desired flight are down. It also tells you if you should wait longer to book, or if that deal is the best one you're going to get. If you're flexible on your trip but just need to get away, Skyscanner will find you the cheapest flights from wherever you are.
3. Book early in the week.
4. Clear your browser history.
Fight the urge to refresh the page when searching for airfare. Your browser's cookies are driving the prices up. Either open up an incognito window or clear your search history and cookies.
5. Know the 54-day rule.
CheapAir found that a domestic flight purchased 54 days before its departure date was the best deal. But basically, the best window for booking is between three weeks and three and a half months, which isn't that helpful, I know. (Hint: Summer flights should be booked about 76 days in advance.)
6. Consider booking two one-ways.
Sometimes, two one-way tickets are cheaper than booking a round-trip one. Also, check out if flying from different airports in the area will save you money.
7. Keep to your budget by flying budget.
Especially when going international, look at budget airlines like WOW air or Lufthansa instead of the big names like Delta.
8. Pay in the local currency.
Converting the prices can actually drive up the prices, so open up two browsers, one with your language and another in the local language, and figure out which one is cheaper. Then book with a credit card that has no foreign transaction fee.
Booking a flight has never been so satisfying.