There are millions of travel booking tips floating around and for every truth there is likely an anecdote that makes it seem like a myth.
Luckily for you, Hopper, an application that analyzes data and predicts when to book the cheapest flights or hotels, recently crunched the numbers surrounding some of travel’s greatest tips, letting you know which is fact or legend.
Myth: Flying basic economy is always cheaper.
Truth: One average, basic economy is 5% cheaper than your standard economy ticket , according to Hopper. While this represents some savings, if you want anything extra – from baggage to a seat assignment – you should probably just book the typical economy ticket.
“Upgrading to regular economy from basic is a good deal if the ‘extras’ add up to more than 5% of your basic economy ticket price or you think your plans might change,” said Patrick Surry, Chief Data Science Officer at Hopper, in an email.
Myth: Booking flights earlier saves bundles of money.
Truth: The sweet spot of booking a flight varies drastically from route to route. Booking too early can lead to big price increases, the same as booking too late.
The best way to get a deal on cheap flights is to start tracking your trips around three to four months in advance. Kayak publishes this travel hacking guide with tips on how far in advance to book flights to each region; Hopper’s app also offers flight tracking and predictions for specific routes if you want to get more granular. You can also sign up for Airfarewatchdog, a website that sends you an email when a flight hits the price you’re looking for.
Myth: Non-stops flights are much more expensive.
Truth: On average, one-stop flights are 5% cheaper than non-stop , says Hopper. But more and more non-stop flights are available for less money – Hopper estimates about one in every three queries. And if you factor in the extra time, or any airport splurges, opting for a non-stop flight could very well be less expensive.
The 3 Travel Booking Myths Costing You Money – Forbes