Tips to help you save hundreds on your spring break trips
MINNEAPOLIS -- It might be hard to believe, but spring break is right around the corner. If you're hoping to escape the Minnesota freeze with the best deal in mind, some travel experts say to book your flight before anything else.
"If you flip the normal travel plan process on its head and start in reverse, it gives you that flexibility to say, you know, what if we leave on a Saturday instead of Sunday, and come back on a Sunday, instead of Friday," Thrifty Traveler Executive Editor Kyle Potter said. "I kid you not, it can save you $200 per person round trip."
Potter has tracked deals with Thrifty Traveler since 2018. While buying your flight first is his number one travel savings tip, he's got a handful of bargain tricks up his sleeve.
"The good news is that the art of finding cheap flights comes down to you," Potter said. "And having the right mindset and using the right tools."
After his first rule of thumb, Potter urges traveler to be open and let discounted trips lead you to your next destination. His go to tool? Google Flights.
"The king of the internet is also the king of helping you find airfare," Potter said. "It just has so may powerful tools and features that can help you zero in on the best ways to fly, the cheapest flights, make sure you have the luggage you need on your trip included on your ticket or zero out airlines that you're not interested in flights. It's the best thing people can do is start their search right away by searching for flights and use Google Flights to do it."
Potter also suggests booking on low travel days to save a buck. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays tend to have cheaper tickets.
"Traveling on a budget is important to a lot of families," Minnesota Parent owner Katie Heruth said.
It's a concept Heruth stands by too.
"That's going to give you some flexibility with prices," she said. "Which will help you with budgeting."
She also suggests working with a travel agent to get access to different discount or promos.
Lastly, Potter said to not wait to buy your plane ticket.
In general, Potter recommends buying airfare a month in advance. If you're flying international, 45 to 60 days before flying.
"The days of getting bargains on airfare by waiting just a few days before are long gone," he said.
Heruth tells families that are working to stay in budget, to plan how much money they'll spend before getting to their destination. If it's not possible to travel this year – make it a priority next year.
"Plan early, plan frequently," she said. "If this isn't in the cards for this year, you can always think about spring break for next year."
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