With high demand comes higher airfares, making it harder to take that much-needed vacation, attend those holiday events and — most importantly — travel to see family abroad.

Rest assured you can still find travel deals. It will just take a few tweaks to your normal routine. Here are a few ways you can still score lower airfares for upcoming trips.


Flexibility is Key

Travel on off-peak days and times

It’s not possible for every trip, but if you have flexibility in your departure date and are open to flying at less desirable times, you could find significantly lower fares. According to experts, domestic flights tend to have the cheapest fares on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturday, while flying early morning, during lunchtime or overnight are the cheapest times. For international flights, flying during the week will save you more.

Be open to an extra stop

Non-stop fares typically ring in higher than itineraries with a stop or two along the way. If you’re open to connecting flights, you could find more reasonable prices, especially on international flights. Pro tip: Many airlines offer free stopovers on both ends of a vacation, allowing you to have two trips for the price of one.

Consider flying out of a larger hub

Major airline hubs like New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles usually boast cheaper fares — especially on international flights. (Bonus: you’ll likely find more direct flights, too.) If you can drive, bus, train or find a cheap flight to one of these major airports, you could save significant money.


Follow the Right Sources

Search the right sites

According to experts, Google Flights is the best search engine for booking the lowest fares. Here’s why: sites like Kayak, Expedia and other well-known online travel agencies buy tickets from the airlines and sell them back to you, often with an upcharge. Google Flights allows you to search and book directly through airlines, and has a bevy of filters to craft the itinerary you need. Plus, if you have issues, you deal directly with the airline’s representatives instead of a middle man.

Set fare alerts

Google Flights, as well as online travel agencies, offer a function in which you can get alerts when your desired airfare goes up or down. Additionally, travel discount expert sites like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Thrifty Traveler, Jack’s Flight Club and others send regular emails showcasing all the best travel deals to destinations around the globe — which is especially helpful if your travel goals are less specific.

Follow the right social media accounts

Keep tabs on airlines for immediate news of any fare sales and discounts. Additionally, travel experts like Scott’s Cheap Flights, Nomadic Matt and The Points Guy all have social media accounts where they share information instantly. (Pro tip: It’s the best place to catch wind of an airline mistake that results in deeply discounted international fares.)


Know the Tricks of the Trade

Remember the 24-hour rule

By law, any flight that touches down in the US is required to have a 24-hour refund window. That means for 24 hours after you’ve booked your flight, you can refund your ticket with no fees. If you book a ticket and find a lower fare 12 hours later, purchase the it and cancel the original flight. Just keep in mind that restrictions may apply, and individual airlines have their own guidelines, so do a little research to make sure your flight qualifies.

Find cards with airline perks

Many credit cards come with airline points for purchases. While there are plenty of rules and restrictions around airline points, there are plenty of perks, too, from discounted airfare to free checked bags to upgraded seats. Take some time and research the various credit card offers out there, and you could give your travel a boost while you pay for everyday expenses.

With a little extra time and effort, you can still find reasonable domestic and international airfares, helping you get that much-needed vacation or family time.