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How many times do you hear people saying that they need a vacation? All too often, right? Some will kick into gear and plan one. Others will sit back and feel like they just can't get started with putting a trip together. Which one are you?
I've spent time figuring out ways to save money when I travel - I'm always searching for great deals on travel. Once I decide where I want to go, which in itself is a difficult thing to do sometimes, I get started with finding cheap tickets so I can get to where I want to go! In that article, I've shared the steps I take to make sure I can find the lowest possible price on my airline tickets. I focus on being a little flexible whenever possible as I'm searching, and I've explained how I go about it.
One of my strategies for finding cheap tickets is to check alternative airports to see if I might be able to save money by driving a little further, especially for my departure airport. If I'm traveling to an area I know, I may also check for other airports near my destination - I tend to only do this when I'm flying in the United States and not internationally. But how do you go about locating these airports?
In the article I've shared above, you'll see that one way I find alternative airports from which to fly is to use Expedia when I search for my airfare. They make it easy to make changes to airports and to see the impact on prices. The other way is to do some advanced planning before hitting travel sites to determine which airports are the closest to you. That's where Travel Math comes in!
I'll continue with the example I did in the previous article. I was looking to fly from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California. On the home page of Travel Math, I'll provide this information and I'll click go. Let's see what I can find out by doing this.
I'm given all sorts of good information, including the distance if I fly and the approximate flight time if I could find a direct flight. On the right side, I'm told the driving distance, how long it would take if I drove straight through (not happening!), and the cost of driving. Just seeing this, I'm convinced driving isn't an option! The price of $462.54 that I was quoted as the cost of driving doesn't include hotel stays and food along the way - definitely not worth driving in my opinion! Here is some valuable information: on the left side, in the flying column, it lists airports that are near my destination city.
Now I'll head into Google Maps and I'll see how far each airport is from where I'm going.
In my example, I was given five airports to consider when traveling to Los Angeles. Three of them I'd consider, but the last two I would not because of the time it would take to drive from the airport to my destination.
Here's another way to use the Travel Math website to your advantage. Set your cursor on top of Flying and then click Closest Airport. Type in your home location for Near/In and then click Calculate.
On the screen that follows, scroll down to the list of International and even possibly Domestic Airports. This will show you all of your possible departure airports. You'll likely eliminate some because of the distance they are from you. Also, not all of them will offer flights that you can book (like in my case the New Castle Air National Guard Base!).
Your next step is to work at finding the best-priced airline tickets. Go through the steps I've outlined in Take Flight for Less: A Step-by-Step Guide to Booking the Lowest Priced Airfare and see how much money you can save on your flight! I promise you - cheap tickets are out there. You just need to learn how to find them!
In future articles, I'll be covering how to go about finding the best prices for the rest of your trip. I'll cover questions like "Do vacation packages always save you money?" and "What is better for me: a hotel or a vacation rental?" To follow along for more tips, here's what you need to do - download the Newsbreak app, create a User Account, and follow me at Lake County Florida - Here's What's Happening. If you liked this article, I appreciate your comments and suggestions and your sharing it with others.