Frugal Flyers Are Flexible With Airports!
The key to being a frugal flyer is being flexible! If you're like most people, you request time off work between certain dates. You sign in to your favorite travel site (probably one that has a catchy TV commercial), click around for 10 minutes, let out a huge sigh and click. This is exactly why so many people think traveling is expensive and I am here to tell you that doesn't have to be the case!
Living in Seattle, I generally fly out of Seatac International Airport. After all, I live 10 minutes away. But sometimes, it makes a lot of sense to research flying out of other nearby airports to save money!
My personal obsession with frugal fares began at Bellingham Airport in the winter of 2012. I found a hell of a deal through ultra low-cost carrier Allegiant on a flight from Bellingham, WA to Honolulu, HI for $217 round-trip! I made sure to read all the fine print and learned about their strict luggage policy. Packed my board shorts, t-shirts and slippers and wore my light jacket on the plane. I was hooked on cheap travel! (Click here for more details on luggage policy of ultra low-cost carriers)
Bellingham Airports two carriers Allegiant and Alaska, offer non-stop flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Palm Springs, Phoenix-Mesa, Reno, San Diego, Honolulu, Maui, Portland and Seattle.
With the rapid growth of the Puget Sound region, another regional airport is scheduled to have commercial flights beginning in the fall of this year out of Paine Field in Everett, 30 minutes north of Seattle. Regional powerhouse Alaska Airlines announced 13 destinations up and down the west coast. United Airlines has also announced several flights per week to their hubs in San Francisco and Denver. Today, low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines announced five daily flights serving Paine Field but have yet to confirm destinations.
If you cannot be flexible with your home airport, sometimes it's easier to be flexible with the airport you're flying to. The eastern seaboard of the United States and Europe are the easiest options for this. Due to having many international airports in a very condensed area, often it makes sense to search several other airports for frugal fares. Most of the major cities are connected by high speed railway and flying to a city 120 miles away to save several hundred dollars can be remedied with 50 minute train ride!
Later, I'll talk another strategy called open-jaw flights. These flights can be tricky to book but can save you a ton of money if you can be flexible!