If you’re planning to get away this summer, you’ll have todig deep to land great airfare deals. Airfares are likely to be 10% to 15%higher than last year. In response to the increasing demand for seats andescalating fuel costs, airline companies are hiking up prices. To make thingseven worse, some of the industry big players are withdrawing flights frompopular online ticketing sites. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and foundsome tips to help you net serious savings on your summer trip.

1.       Instead ofusing major booking site like Expedia or Orbitz, first look at meta-searchengines that aggregate fares from a number of sources like online travelagencies and airline sites.  

Meta-searchengines will direct you to where you can buy fares at lower prices.  Fly.com, TripAdvisor.com and Kayak.com areamong the biggest meta-engines out there. You’ll need to search at least three meta-engines, because they coverdifferent booking engines. To make sure you find the best deal out there youstill have to look at a few airline sites individually. Some airline companieslike Southwest and Vision don’t play well with meta-engines or booking sites.

2.       Sign up toreceive e-mail alerts from sites like tripAdvisor.com and Airfarewatchdog.com. 

They will send you alerts once prices fall or to notify you if they havespecial deals on the dates you specify.

3.    Follow carriersthat travel to your destination on Twitter. 

Many major airlines tweet “flashsales” that are available only for a short time. Another good tactic is to bookyour flight no fewer than 60 days ahead.

4.       Shop for“opaque fares.” 

There are fares in which you don’t know the airline, thedeparture time or the number of stops until you buy. These fares can help yousave from 25% to 50% on publish fares and they’re worth a look. While thesefares are not new, few people take advantage of them. You can find “opaquefares” on Expedia.com’s “Bargain Fares”, Pricelline.com’s “Name Your OwnPrice”, or Hotwire.com’s “Hot Rates.” The downside with booking these fares isthat flights can leave any time between 6:00am and 10:00pm, may include alayover and you won’t earn frequent-flier miles for your trip.

So make sure you do your own homework to help find the bestdeals for your summer trip!

Do you have any strategies to find savings for your trips?Share your tips with us!

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