Even if your WV airport of choice is great, booking a flight can be a challenge — doing it too late can cost you hundreds of dollars more and doing it too early can make room for unforeseen issues. If you’re looking to use up some of your vacation time, here are the best tips and tricks for finding the best deal.
Book in Advance
You’re always told to book in advance, but you don’t know how early is too early. If you’re looking at air travel, booking your flight 70 days in advance is a good rule of thumb. However, there is a seasonal component to keep in mind: spring bookings should be made 90 days in advance; summerflights should be booked 47 days early; autumn trips should be booked 69 days in advance; while winter trips need about 62 days in advance to get you the best deal. While you’re booking, consider the locations you’re traveling to as well to prevent flight delays. A trip to Florida may be delayed due to weather in the late summer while a trip to a WV airport often isn’t affected by summer weather.
Book the Flight Before the Hotel
Not only does this give you great options for travel bundles, this also ensures you’re getting on the cheapest flight. If you book a hotel first, you’ve officially locked yourself into a date where you need to be there. This greatly limits your flying options as you try to get there on time. Flights can cost much more than hotels and you might end up shutting yourself out of a great deal by booking the hotel first.
Book on ‘Cheaper’ Days
This seems weird, but most people fly on the bookends of the weekend, making Friday and Sunday the most popular — and expensive — time to fly. This is because people often leave for vacation after work, and many others want to arrive home in time for their shift on Monday.
By 2020, it’s estimated that 478.2 million people within the United States will travel for business alone. Use the flexibility of your vacation schedule to your advantage.
Book at Weird Times
Don’t be afraid to spend some time in a WV airport by choosing a strange time. If you leave during dinner time or very early in the morning, you’re more likely to get a deal since these aren’t peak flying hours. Look at a WV airport near you to scope out meal selections if you’re worried about getting a little hungry. Airports often contain a variety of meal and comfort options for early flyers and layover passengers.
Despite the fact that 79% of domestic trips are for leisure purposes, most families realize that travel isn’t very relaxing at all. Though you might be hoping to get some much-deserved rest and relaxation while you’re on vacation, the stress of planning, traveling, and coordinating can make you so anxious that you can’t even appreciate your surroundings. If you’ve got a family trip coming up and want to reduce your stress levels as much as possible, you might want to check out the following helpful tips.
- Make a packing list: The idea of leaving important items behind or paying astronomical fees for overweight luggage can make your heart rate go up in a mere instant. That’s why it’s important to start packing early and make a list of everything you’ll need to bring on your vacation. That way, you’ll have a visual reminder of the essentials and can think more clearly, even amongst all the clutter. This can be an excellent way to keep track of what every family member is bringing and make adjustments if needed. Anything you can do to avoid those feelings of panic and dread while packing and traveling will be to your benefit.
- Try to be flexible: There are some parts of your vacation itinerary that you can’t leave to chance, such as flight reservations, restaurant bookings, and event tickets. But resist the urge to schedule everything to the last second. If you’re a natural planner, doing so might make you feel more at-ease before you leave. However, it can be a real cause of stress once you’re actually there. Allow yourself a bit of wiggle room and permission to deviate from your schedule if need be. Keep in mind that the well-being of your family (including yourself!) is more important than trying to squeeze in that last sight-seeing tour or museum.
- Plan around routines: That said, there are things you shouldn’t deviate from, particularly if you’re traveling with younger children. Infants and toddlers do need their rest and can get cranky if they’re being forced to do too much; straying from their normal meal times can also result in a meltdown. If at all possible, try to book your flights and schedule your activities with these routines in mind. That’ll give you some framework for your days and will make both kids and parents much less grumpy.
- Give yourself plenty of time: Generally, it’s a good idea to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes ahead of domestic departures. For holidays and international flights, even more time is required. When you’re going on a family vacation with younger children or if you’re nervous about getting through security, you may want to give yourself as much breathing room as possible. Larger airports with multiple terminals can be confusing, particularly if you have to deal with last-minute gate changes. If you end up having extra time, that might even to be everyone’s benefit; you’ll have a chance to grab some food, read, listen to music, or relax before takeoff.
- Plan for airplane storage issues: Always operate under the assumption that the overhead baggage compartments will be full. If you plan ahead to gate-check your luggage or are able to store it under the seat in front of you, you won’t feel your anxiety levels rise when you realize you’re on a full flight and you’re in the last boarding group. (Of course, if you’re able to board the plane early, this might be a plus for your family anyway.) Be sure to transfer any essentials from gate-checked bags into your personal item just in case!
When it comes time to plan your next vacation, you’ll relieve some stress if you #flyCRW with your family. We aim to make the travel experience convenient and hassle-free. And with our array of amenities and airline carriers, we’ll help start your trip off on the right foot!