NEW YORK — To snag the best airfares, travelers need to be adventurous and willing to pick up at a moment's notice.
OK, now let's be realistic. Most people making summer travel plans need just that: plans. They get a week off, maybe two, and aren't going to spend hard-earned cash on a last-second whim.
But great deals are still within reach for those who have even a little flexibility in choosing where and when to travel.
The average roundtrip domestic ticket will cost $431 this summer, an increase of 2.6 percent from last year, according to Kayak.com. But remember: that's an average. One trip might cost $800 while another can be found for $200.
"Airfares are high but there are pockets of cheap out there," says Seth Miller, an information technology consultant who writes a blog under the name The Wandering Aramean. Miller does his best to beat the system by connecting in strange cities, flying at off hours and taking advantage of sales often offered when an airline adds a new destination.
Here are some tips from Miller and other expert travelers on how to combat rising airfares.
When airlines don't fill planes for an upcoming weekend, they slash prices.
Each Tuesday, they email offers for that coming weekend or the following one to fliers who have signed up online for the deal alerts. Travelers have to depart late Friday night or anytime Saturday and come back Monday or Tuesday. An added plus: weekend getaways save precious vacation days.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
Airlines are experimenting with sales on Twitter. At the forefront is JetBlue, which tweets last-second fare sales and vacation package discounts from (at)JetBlueCheeps. Some deals apply to just a few seats and are gone within hours.
"If you find something, jump on it," says John DiScala, who each year flies around 150,000 miles, visits 20 countries and writes about it at JohnnyJet.com.
- Asian stocks mixed as markets await Brexit...
- Stocks, pound fall again due to UK vote...
- US economy grew at slightly faster 1.1...
- 'Avatar' mobile game landing ahead of film...
- US home prices climb in April; 7 cities set...
- Volkswagen settles emissions-cheating cases...
- How Amazon's Dash buttons can thwart smart...
- Costco begins new credit card agreement
- Stocks, pound fall again due to UK vote... 8
- Costco begins new credit card agreement 5
- Gap between Salt Lake renters, owners... 3
- Volkswagen settles emissions-cheating... 3
- Allegiant Air adding flights from Provo... 3
- Community leaders share growth... 3
- Tesla wants to be the ultimate... 2
- Millennials are sparking the next... 2