Whether you're a frequent flyer or an armchair traveler, there are certain details it's nice to review before making plans for that next big trip.
Search Flexible Dates
Avoiding travel on the busiest days of the week-Friday and Sunday-will do more than save you money; it also means fewer travelers clogging up airport lines and the chance of perhaps scoring an empty seat next to you on the plane. For this reason, I advise being as flexible as possible. A Saturday - Tuesday trip is often a huge value over Friday - Monday
Check Country Requirements
Of course this only applies to international travel, but it may mean the difference between you being welcomed into a country or turned away at the border, even after flying all the way there.
Open up your passport. Is it still valid? Will it have a good 60-90 days of validity left after your arrival date? This is something immigration officers look for when they stamp you in.
Then, do some Googling to find out if your destination requires US citizens to apply for a visa in advance or pay for a visa on arrival. A cheap last-minute deal to countries like China, Brazil or Russia may be foiled by the fact that these require you to apply and obtain a visa beforehand.
Compare the Aircraft Enroute
Here is when you refer you to our buddies at Routehappy.com, who have gone where no travel booking site has before. Namely, they've combed through a sea of data to rank flights by what each aircraft offers. This means everything from telling you the type of in-flight entertainment system to whether or not you'll have in-flight wifi, plus the style of seat and general airplane comfort for all classes.
Check Credit Card Perks
When it comes time to enter credit card details, think a few extra minutes about the pluses and minuses of your cards. Some, like the British Airways Visa, do not charge foreign transaction fees; this means you can use it to buy anything rung up in a foreign currency, like scoring cheap flights on an airline's Japanese site, in Yen. It also helps that the BA Visa includes 10% off BA flights—a nice perk. On the other hand, the AMEX offers trip insurance and a baggage fee reimbursement so long as we book the airfare on the card.
-Courtesy of JetSetCD