12 ways to get cheap flights for college students
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As a student, you probably know that you qualify for a variety of discounts on things like entertainment, retail purchases, electronics, and insurance. But you might not know that student discounts also extend to travel. The problem is that sometimes these discounts are not advertised.
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With airfares starting to rise, it’s important to take advantage of every possible savings when booking a flight. Rather than quickly searching online and taking what you can get, use these tips to get the best price available. From pulling out your student ID to looking for flights by day of the week, here are 12 ways to get cheap student flights.
Use your student card
“Many airlines offer student discounts,” said Fred Hoffman, founder and editor of The real desert. “Just show your student card when booking your flight or at the airport.”
Some airlines that offer student discounts include Delta, United, and Virgin Atlantic.
Use the student universe
“As a travel consultant, I encourage students to check out Student Universe for flight deals,” said Katrina Warren, CEO and Principal Consultant for Alexandrian Council. “This site is suitable for students who wish to travel during the holidays. Some schools, like Stanford, have partnered with Student Universe and have a portal just for their students.
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“This is one of my favorite student discount websites,” Warren said. “They offer discounts for a variety of online stores. They also have agreements with airlines like Qatar Airways where students can get up to 20% off. Students will also get discounts when using Booking.com and eDreams.
“Another student air travel site is ScholarTrip,” Warren said. “A unique advantage of this site is that it allows you to book your flights and pay for them monthly.”
Download the Hopper app
“For students who prefer cell phone apps for flight deals, I encourage them to check out Hopper, which will let you track flights in addition to having a colorful way to see which days are the cheapest,” said said Warren.
Find flights in incognito mode
“When you search for flights in your web browser, the prices you see may be tailored to your search history,” Hoffman said. “To avoid this, look for flights in incognito or incognito mode. This way, the prices you see will be based on the average price for that route and not inflated due to your browsing history.
Use the Explore feature of Google Flight
“This tool has saved me thousands of dollars over the years,” said Katie Cafaro, owner of Katie’s Cafe Tourist attractions. “With the Explore feature, you can see what any destination in the world costs to fly from your starting point.”
Cafaro added: “I remember using Explore in 2019 when I was trying to fly from New York to Marrakech, Morocco. If I searched for flights from New York to Marrakech they were all $1000 or more, but using Google Flight’s Explore tool I could see that a flight from New York to Amsterdam only cost $300. From Amsterdam, a flight to Marrakech only cost $200! I was able to save over $300 by booking my flight in two separate legs with Google Flight’s Explorer feature rather than booking a flight with layovers.
Fly in shoulder season
“The shoulder season is the period between peak and off-peak hours,” Hoffman said. “Flying in the shoulder season can often lead to cheaper flights as there is less demand from travelers. For example, flying to Europe in the spring or fall can often be cheaper than flying during summer.
Consider the day of the week when booking a flight
“Be flexible with your dates, if possible, to find a cheaper flight,” said Mark and Kristen Morgan, creators of where are these morgans. “For example, flying on a Saturday or Sunday will generally be much more expensive than flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Always check prices for different days before booking.
Consider the time of day when booking a flight
“Another tip to save on flights is to book the first or last flight of the day as they tend to be cheaper, according to the CheapAir.com 2022 Domestic Airfare Study,” said Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com. An added benefit of early morning flights is that they also tend to be on time more often.
Consider booking flights sooner rather than later
“The best day to buy flights fluctuates from year to year,” Klee said. “This year, the best day to buy a domestic flight for the best deal is approximately 76 days from your travel date, according to the CheapAir.com 2022 Domestic Airfare Study.”
Consider low-cost airlines
“Fly with budget airlines when possible,” the Morgans said. “But understand that you always have to read the fine print. These low-cost airlines make their money by charging extra fees for carry-on and/or checked baggage. Budget airlines work best for minimalist travelers.
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