Choosing a flight with a layover can actually cost you more money. Last spring, I delayed booking a flight to Orlando, Florida until just weeks before I flew out (I have commitment issues when it comes to airfare). While shopping for my flights, I begin noticing that the layover flights were not always the cheapest way to go; sometimes they actually cost hundreds of dollars more – seriously, who pays hundreds of dollars to sit in an airport?
To get the best deal, it’s essential to shop around and look closely to the prices, departure times, and amount of time that you are sitting in the airport. Here are some things you must consider and add into your travel budget before you book the flight.
Price of the ticket
When ticket shopping, glance over all the airline companies websites, and do not eliminate sites like Orbitz.com, Expedia.com, and Cheapflights.com – they offer good deals. Just be aware of their handling fees they sometimes add in at checkout.
Time of flight
Here is something you must pay attention to: flights that leave out at mid-morning and mid-afternoon are typically double the price of other flights. If you are willing to get up at 3 am or fly in the middle of the night, you can save some serious dollars.
Depending on where you fly from, and how prepared you are, parking can cost you some money. Before you fly, check the airport parking options. If you are staying at a hotel the night before, ask about leaving your car there.
Ever noticed how the price of your hamburger tripled the minute you got through security? If you are sitting for hours, you will eventually have to buy something – or a lot of somethings if you get bored easily. Be sure to add this expense into your travel budget.
How long you are waiting
How much is your time worth? Is this your only vacation a year, are you losing money by sitting there? Think of your time in the airport as the same as your time would be worth if you were working, then figure that amount of money into the price of your ticket.
Having a budget from the time you book your flight until you return home is a good idea. I suggest make a list of all your expenses, carry it with you, and stay on track.