7 On Your Side has tips on how to find cheap airfares

If you've been eyeing a trip after being cooped up during COVID, now is the time to pounce on low airfares.

On Monday, the Biden Administration eased travel restrictions from 33 countries set during the pandemic, which means cheap tickets will soon start climbing higher.

To score a cheap ticket, give yourself plenty of runway as fares go up and down like turbulence. Ideally, six to nine months out from your trip is when you want start pricing out flights.

If you can, be flexible on both your departure and arrival airport, as a much cheaper option may be leaving from or flying into or out of a different city.

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Want to take off to the Eiffel Tower? Instead of flying direct to Paris, check out flights to cities nearby.

You may get a better deal, say, to Amsterdam or Brussels or even London.

"Once you get to Europe, you can take a train, a budget flight, anywhere to your final destination for pennies," said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott's Cheap Flights.

He says that when flying domestic, don't overlook leaving from a smaller regional airport like MacArthur on Long Island, Stewart in the Hudson Valley, or Westchester's White Plains, as all three have dozens of non-stops up and down the East Coast daily.

If you're traveling with your family, don't get dumped into a higher fare bucket. That's when the airline only shows a higher fare to keep your group together.

Instead, save by searching for one or two tickets. Snag the lower fare first, then purchase the others.

Remember, by law, you can always cancel within 24 hours at no penalty.

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But the best way to save is to search well in advance, like looking to book spring break now.

"Because flights are so volatile in price, you want to book when it's cheap," Keyes said. "But you want to be patient when it's expensive."

Three more tips:

--Search airlines separately, as even big carriers like Southwest won't show up on Google search, Priceline, Kayak or Expedia.
--Compare fares directly from websites, as small budget airlines like Breeze and Avella may have much cheaper flight you won't see in a big search engine.
--You also want to set price alerts, as websites like Hopper will watch a fare for you and notify you when it drops to the cheapest price

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