Flexible Travel Date Airfare Search
Some airlines and sites have very useful flexible travel date tools. Among airlines, JetBlue, United, Southwest; for third party sites, Kayak and Google Flights are best. On United.com check the "my dates are flexible" box and choose a length of stay. On Kayak, register your email address and select "Show flexible dates"; search for "Southwest Shortcut" to see Southwest's tool and "JetBlue best fare finder" to find JetBlue's.
You Might Not Need Travel Insurance
Your credit card might already have free, built-in travel insurance up to $5000 per trip for the most common reasons people use insurance, which include canceling before or during a trip due to illness or injury, and lost or delayed baggage. The Chase Sapphire card, United Explorer Card, and some Citibank Aadvantage cards offer the best protection.
Check for Price Drops after You Book
After you pay for an airfare or a hotel, the price may have dropped, but most people never check. You can get either cash or a credit for future travel if you know how. Yapta.com is useful for airline tickets, Tingo.com for hotel rates.
Air+Hotel Really Can Save Money But Not Always
You've seen those package prices from tour companies and airlines. But how do you know if they're a deal? Sometimes a quick search will give you a very convincing answer. Last fall, British Airways had airfare plus 5 nights hotel from San Fran to Dublin for around $780 per person. With airfare alone going for $954 or more, these types of air+hotel deals are a no-brainer!
Heading to Europe? Focus First on Crossing the Atlantic Cheaply
In general, fares to Vienna tend to be on the high side. Meanwhile, Milan is much cheaper these days. So? Make your way to Milan and enjoy a train trip to Vienna, or even book a second flight in advance on a budget airline. Think of it as two cities for less than one. And be sure to check out under-the-radar airlines such as Norwegian, Wow air, and Condor, all of which sell super-discounted tickets from the U.S. to Europe, as this explains.