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Fare Well Before taking off, learn how to get the best deals on airfare.

By Christopher McGinnis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Busy entrepreneurs rarely have time to shop online for airfaredeals and sometimes end up paying too much. Follow these rules nexttime you book a ticket, and you'll save--or at least feelconfident you covered all your bases.

  • Learn the range. Once you know your travel dates, checkfares for several days at travel agency sites like Expedia, Orbitzor Travelocity. Fares can vary greatly from day to day based ondemand. Once you know the range, you'll feel more confident inyour final decision.
  • Dig deeper. If you live near a city served by JetBlue orSouthwest, check their websites, because these carriers don'tparticipate in the travel sites listed above. Another option: newairfare meta-search engines like or, which search various sites forlow fares, including travel-agency, last-minute and low-fareairline sites.
  • Know time limits. If you can book during a fare sale, doso as early as possible, since airlines only offer a handful ofseats at the advertised fares. If there's no sale, keep in mindthat the best deals are for those who book at least 21 days inadvance. After that, fares increase at 14, seven and then threedays ahead.
  • Adjust your schedule. Cheap fares are more plentiful onlow-demand days like Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. You'realso more likely to find deals during slower travel times likeJanuary, February, September, October or the first two weeks ofNovember or December.
  • Book on airline sites. Once you've found anacceptable fare, use the airline site to book. This way, you earnfrequent-flier mileage bonuses.

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