As most of us are no doubt familiar, there is a huge fluctuation in the prices of airline tickets. Depending on anything from season, how well traveled the route is, and other reasons that seem more mysterious, flight prices change constantly and radically. One of the most important things to consider if you’re interested in discount travel is the difference in cost between domestic and international flights, and to use this to your advantage when you want to travel internationally.
In the USA, a typical return flight from New York City to Montreal, Canada, for example costs about $300 for a trip that is just over 1 hour. For roughly the same price, one can fly domestically across the country from New York to Los Angeles – a much longer trip. With very few exceptions, flights are cheaper domestically – they are subject to less taxes and regulations for the airlines, and they are often on more traveled routes so the airlines can afford a discount.
So to take advantage of this – to truly get some discount travel – you should look into splitting your long international flight into 2 flights. Although it’s more indirect, and a slight inconvenience, you can save a lot of money this way. For example, if you happen to live in the northern United States and want to go to Latin or South America, you will probably find that it’s a lot cheaper to first get a domestic flight to a southern hub like Miami or Dallas and then taking a second flight further south. Even if you live in a big northern city, chances are the direct flight is going to be more. Taking two flights doesn’t have to be as inconvenient as you may think. Oftentimes, no overnight stay is required, and if your destination is a common one you may only have short delay.
When looking for discount travel solutions online, you’re going to have to use a bit of creative thinking. Most discount flight searching sights are not set-up to search multiple flight routes to your destination. Rather, they are designed to show you the cheapest direct flight between the two points you want to go. So whenever you’re comparing prices of a direct flight, it’s always a good idea to take a look at an indirect path as well – oftentimes you will be surprised at the savings involved.
It is harder to easily compare different 2-flight routes, and the combinations involved can quickly make things complicated. The two general rules to keep in mind when looking for savings are that you more or less want to fly as close to your destination as possible domestically, and that you want to fly between major hubs. The cheapest of all domestic flights will always be between major hubs (as our New York to LA example shows) so if you plan your trip with that in mind it’s likely you will experience significant savings.
Discount travel is as much a science as an art, and those that are good at it are able to come up with creative solutions – a great starting point for becoming an experienced discount traveler is to learn about airline hubs and patterns, and to explore taking to separate flights as opposed to one long one when traveling internationally.