You have decided it’s time to take your family on a Disney vacation. Maybe you’ve chosen Disneyland in California, Walt Disney World in Florida, a Disney Cruise or Aulani in Hawaii. You’ve spoken with your favorite Wishes Family Travel agent about park tickets, dining packages, hotel accommodation or port excursions. Your family is counting down the months and weeks until Disney, maybe you’ve even shopped the sales and found a Disney shirt for everyone to wear. Your trip is just a few months away and now it’s time to think about booking airline tickets. Your Wishes agent is always happy to help you with this portion of your vacation, however, it is important to be educated on how to find the best deals for air travel.
Here are some money saving tips:
**What is the best day to actually make a ticket purchase? Travel experts agree that Tuesday is the best day to buy airline tickets, because most sales are in place on Tuesdays. Wednesday is also a good day to buy tickets. According to online fare trackers and airline pricing executives, ticket prices are highest on weekends.
** When is the cheapest time to actually fly? Typically the first flight out in the morning will save you the most money. Of course the absolute cheapest time to fly is late at night on a “red eye”.
**Use your social-media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook. Some airlines will notify customers of a sale directly, or carriers may tweet an hour-long sale. As a result, airlines can match competitors, sneak in sales under the radar or send deeply discounted offers anytime to customers who sign up for fare alerts. It's smart to look at the airline's website and sign up for their e-mail newsletter. They will notify you of specials for certain routes or short-term promotions with reduced miles to certain destinations.
**Some airlines, like Southwest, will only offer their best rates on their website. They will not promote their fares on sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity or Cheap Tickets.
**Although signing up for another credit card is not always a good idea, airline credit cards are being used to pay for everything from gas and food, to college tuition and mortgage payments. It is now easier to earn miles than ever before, but it has become more difficult to redeem miles. It is getting tougher to find available free seats, and the miles required for many trips are also increasing.
One reason to book airline seats early when using miles or points is that the flights to the most popular destinations often book fast. Most airlines open up frequent-flier seats about 330 days in advance. It is important to check back frequently, as airlines will often open more seats.
**If it is possible with your vacation schedule, be flexible as to when you can fly. You may find possible flight alternatives that can save you several hundred dollars by arriving a day early. Experts suggest looking at different options for both your departure and return flights.
Look at alternative departure and arrival cities as well. You may find a cheaper flight out of or into an airport that is a bit further away.
**When checking flights and pricing, you should always be shopping for one passenger first. Due to airline computer systems, “if the cheapest price point has one seat less than the requested number of passengers, it bumps everyone up to the next price level that has enough seats. If the next price level doesn’t have enough seats to fulfill your ticket request, it will then bump you up to the next highest level.”
For example, if you are making reservations for 4 people, but there are not 4 seats left in price point $200 per seat, the system will bump your entire reservation up to the next price point with enough available seats, price point $250 per seat.
You may have to make two reservations (Mom with child on one reservation and Dad with the other child on the second reservation), but you could save hundreds of dollars.
**The most worrisome part of making an airline reservation is knowing when to stop looking and make a purchase. There are two websites that offer fare predictions and histories. Working with your Wishes agent and checking Bing.com/travel or kayak.com can help you make a decision.
Once you have purchased your tickets and you find a lower rate, ask for a refund! The airline may not always offer this due to policy restrictions, but it can’t hurt to ask!
**If Aulani is your destination, tickets to Hawaii will usually be less expensive from mid-April through May and from September through mid-December.
**It is always important to read the fine print. The charges for over weight bags (normally 50 pounds) or size limit can cost you an additional $25 to $80 depending on the airline.
These are just a few ways you can work with your Wishes Family Travel agent to make your Disney vacation cost effective and budget friendly. For more information on creating a magical Disney vacation, please contact Sarah!
Concierge Agent with Wishes Family Travel, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Agency
Enjoy the Wishes Family Travel Blog!