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Summer is looming and flying cheap is an art form. Here are some tips to try while finding flights:

  • Sign up for e-mail alerts for specific routes on sites like Kayak.com, Priceline, Sidestep and Mobissimo. You can also search by fare history on these sites to see when specific routes are usually expensive or cheap.
  • Farecast has an especially cool feature: it predicts whether your flight will go up or down in price over the next few days. They are so sure of their predictions that for $10 you can buy “FareGuard” insurance that will guarantee the fare for 7 days.
  • Sites like Orbitz and Expedia attach additional fees to your fare to make money. If you find a cheap ticket one of these sites, you’re better off buying it through the airline’s official site to bypass the fees.* Buy tickets early and search for several days before buying one.
  • The best time to shop is Monday or Tuesday — fare sales usually start Sunday night or Monday morning, so by Monday or Tuesday other airlines have matched the sale prices.
  • Wednesday is the cheapest day to fly because airlines are usually trying to sell seats.
  • There is no way to “beat the system” as if it were the stock market. The best tactics, most travel experts say, are patience and advance planning.
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