The cost of flying has risen 12% in the past 5 years, and the price is set to keep on growing. Remember when baggage check was free? When blankets, headphones, and in-flight meals were just one of the perks of flying? If you don’t want to spend all your pocket money before you even reach your travel destination this year, keep the following quick tips in mind before you get on the road.

 

Compare Airports

Airport prices can vary by as much as $200. Instead of booking the first flight that you find at your local airport, check the prices of the closest big-city airports, even if you have to travel to get there. For example, a flight from  Burlington, Vt to Miami, Fl is $650, whereas a flight from Boston, MA to Miami is only $470. With Megabus fares starting at just $1, it’s possible to save $180 before you even arrive at the airport. If the airport closest to your landing destination is particularly pricey, check the local public transit costs. You may well be able to take a bus or train from your airport to your hotel for much less than the cost of flying to the closest landing strip.

 

Time Your Departure

Did you know that flying on a weekend can cost you just as much as staying in your hotel for an extra night? Because weekends are such a popular getaway time, airports can price weekend flights at demand premiums. To find the best flight deals, try downloading a flight app such as Skyscanner. Skyscanner can help you to find the cheapest day to fly, and compare deals offered through different websites and airlines.

 

Check for Hidden Fees

Most flights are non-refundable, so before pressing that “book now” button, check that the price you see is actually the price you get. Many airlines no longer include baggage check in the initial flight cost, and Spirit Airlines has even begun charging a $100 fee for carry-on baggage. Also keep in mind that different airports charge different landing fees, a charge that will be tacked on to your flight cost after the initial seat charge. If the “taxes and fees” levy on the flight you’re about to book seems unusually high, check around. It might be that by landing at a different airport you can save a few $$.

 

Book in Advance

It’s a common misconception that last minute bookings are cheaper. Unless you want to wander over to the airport on the day of your flight in the vague hope that the plane you’d like to be on has a no-show, you’re not going to save any money by procrastinating. To get the best value for your money, book at least a month in advance.

 

Get a Package Deal

Many resorts and hotels will offer flight discounts if you book your accommodation and your airline ticket at the same time, so always look for good package deals before making reservations. Some resorts offer flight discounts as high as 18% during off-season–a worthy markdown for even the most frugal of travelers.