Summer is nearly here, which means it is time to start thinking about booking airfare deals for beach vacations, visits with friends and family, and holiday trips. If you want to take a break without breaking the bank, use these quick tips to make the most of your travel budget and find the best flight deals this summer.
1. Keep your travel dates flexible: You can often save up to 50 per cent on fares with midweek flights rather than limiting yourself to travelling only on Friday and Sunday.
2. Plan around holidays: Long weekends such as Victoria Day and Labour Day generally mean a spike in fares and long lines at the airport. Even Mother's Day and Father's Day can result in higher weekend prices. Try extending your trip for a couple extra days before or after the holidays to avoid the crowds.
3. Do your research: To find the best price, take the time to compare multiple airlines. Don't just rely only on published sales -- search websites yourself to find unadvertised low fares. Pay attention to average fares each week so you can recognize a good price. Use Travelzoo's Today's Best Fares to find the lowest roundtrip price over the next 90 days.
4. Consider regional airports: Flying to or from a regional airport can help you save money. When you use an airfare search engine, the site will often let you know if there is a cheaper fare available from a nearby airport.
5. See a good fare? Jump on it: Armed with research and knowledge, you'll know a good fare when you see it. Because the best fares are based on availability, book quickly when you find a good one.
By doing a little extra research, being flexible and booking summer airfare quickly, you can relax on your trip knowing you found the best deal.
Haifa Sweeny is a Travelzoo Deal Expert based in San Francisco. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.
As Steven W. Lockley, a member of NASA's fatigue management team, told the <em>New York Times</em>, <a href="http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/travel/a-battle-plan-for-jet-lag.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0" target="_hplink">the direction you fly makes a difference on whether you'll want sunlight earlier in the day or less sunlight.</a> This is due to the way time zones are spread across the globe. It's easier to add hours or daylight exposure if flying east because you'll be adding hours to the clock. Flying west means to set the clock back and it's harder to take away daylight unless you're already something of a night owl.
Lean protein (turkey, chicken breast and fish) tends to keep bellies full over a long period of time and will help passengers stay awake when they arrive at their destination, thanks to the constant energy released, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-kinosian/insomniacs-conquer-jet-la_b_198339.html" target="_hplink">writes Janet Kinosian</a>. Conversely, avoid fatty foods as they'll put you to sleep. After all, it's called the "meat sleeps" for a reason.
Try moving your body every two hours while on the plane. A walk up and down the aisle will help with blood circulation within the body. Exercise, whether done it's before, during or after the flight <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/23/jet-lag-tips_n_1167786.html" target="_hplink">will keep the body energized during the day and asleep at night,</a> notes Amy Korn-Reavis, a registered sleep technologist.
Think jet lag is bad? Try being exhausted <em>and</em> drunk. Staying hydrated will help keep the mind functional, whereas alcohol interferes with sleep, according to Vivek Jain, medical director of the George Washington University Hospital Centre for Sleep Disorders <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/8134744/Beating-the-misery-of-jetlag" target="_hplink">in an interview with Fairfax Media</a>.
The only thing worse than arriving half-dead with jet lag is being half-dead and having to deal with hotel accommodations. By anticipating how many days you'll need to recover from jet lag, you can plan accordingly; adjusting to whether you'll want to wake up later and staying up longer or going to bed earlier and waking up sooner to soak in more sunlight.
Follow Travelzoo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@Travelzoo