Tips to save on airfare this summer - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Tips to save on airfare this summer

Posted: Updated:

TOLEDO, OHIO (WTOL) - If you're planning your summer vacation, you could be in for sticker shock. Airfares are taking off, just as the summer travel season does.

Everyone wants a deal, but finding cheap tickets is getting tougher.

"This year's different than any other year," said Sarah Rosenberger, a travel consultant with Central Travel. She says ticket prices are, on average, up $50 each and now fluctuate seemingly without rhyme or reason.

"It can change in a day, it can change in an hour, so it's all over the place right now," Rosenberger said.

Rosenberger says being flexible with your travel dates is key to getting a good deal. She recommends traveling mid-week - Tuesday or Wednesday - to save money.

"They are not only less expensive, but they tend to have better availability, so if you can avoid the weekends, that's your best bet," Rosenberger said.

Also be flexible with the airports you fly to and from. Instead of just looking at flights from Toledo Express or Detroit Metro, cast a wider net.

"We have so many airports that are in the general vicinity," Rosenberger said. "You may have to drive for two hours, but if you can save a couple hundred dollars, a lot of people are very happy to do so, especially if a family is traveling."

Booking at least three weeks ahead will typically get you a pretty good deal. Many sales are posted late on Mondays or early Tuesdays. To keep track of a specific route, consider signing up for fare alerts.

Some travel sites now have fare tracker tools.

Kayak has a fare chart that graphs historical prices, and Bing Travel predicts whether or not it's a good time to buy.

With the Orbitz Deal Detector, you can receive alerts if the price of a specific trip dips below a level you set. Farecompare and Airfarewatchdog are also good sites for finding cheap flights.

Copyright 2011 WTOL. All rights reserved.