The idea of hopping on a plane and jetting off to an exotic location sounds like an incredible idea for a vacation. Once you start planning, you get hit with the actual reality how much this trip is going to cost you. All the sudden you’re hit with all kinds of fares and restrictions and that’s before you even book your tickets. You also have to make your way through long security lines and crowded flights where your fellow passengers might not be the ideal travel companions. Does this mean you should give up on your vacation? Not at all. However, it will help mitigate the problems when you can save money on your next airline trip. Here’s what you can do:

Shipping Your Luggage

Not only are airlines overbooking flights to improve their bottom line, but they’re also looking for ways to charge extra for things that used to be free like luggage. Sometimes that cost can be as high as $50 for an extra bag. This is why you should look into shipping some of your luggage items. That works best for the longer vacations and when you need to bring bulky items like a stroller or set of golf clubs. Any private shipping firm like FedEx, DHL or UPS can pick up and deliver your items to just about any location. You can also get them insured for the full value of replacement costs. By shipping your excess items, you can stick to one carry on and avoid the baggage claim at the airport. As for the return, you can have those things picked up at your hotel. It might be worth pricing out.

Avoid Traveling on Sundays or In December

Of all the days of the week, Sunday is the most expensive day to fly on. If you can be flexible with your planning, then you could see some decent savings by booking a flight on a Tuesday or Wednesday. As for the time of the year, December is the most expensive especially the closer you get to Christmas. You might find the same flights you book in December up to a hundred dollars less in January. One way to get around this is to set up a “price-drop” alert for your destination. Just be sure to act fast when those prices drop.

Try the Hidden City Skip

Have you ever ordered from the “secret” menu at a fast food restaurant? This is a special way of preparing foods that only “insiders” know about. Frequent flyers have a few of these tricks, too. One is the hidden city skip. Suppose you wanted to fly direct to Chicago from Los Angeles. You might discover that a trip from Los Angeles to Miami with a layover in Chicago is actually cheaper. What you could do then is book the flight to Miami, get off in Chicago and “miss” you connecting flight. There are actually websites devoted to offering these kinds of itineraries. The caveats are that they only work if you have carry-on luggage. Also, if the airlines get wise to your trick, they might revoke your frequent flyer miles. Again, worth investigating.

BYOL

Much like the movie theaters, airline terminals charge a hiked price for snacks and water. This is why you want to bring your own lunch. This allows you to have exactly what you want without paying extra like you would on the flight. It also lets you eat when you’re hungry versus waiting to be served.

When flying, every bit you can save will certainly add up.