Cheerleading can be expensive. There’s a lot you can do to minimize the costs of cheerleading apparel and gear, but travel costs are harder to control. If your team flies to a competition or other cheer event, take these tips into account to help you get the best price possible on your plane tickets:

  1. Plan ahead. This can be hard with cheerleading because you may not know if you get to go to a competition until it gets closer, but planning ahead as much as possible can save you money on airfare. A study by CheapAir.com found that people who booked their flights 47 days ahead of their departure date got the best prices on airfare last year. So, whenever possible, book about seven weeks in advance. 

  2. Buy and fly on certain days. While there is some debate on the best day of the week to purchase plane tickets, it’s pretty clear that the days you don’t want to purchase your tickets are Saturdays and Sundays. Analysts also say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly. If possible, avoid flying on Sundays and Fridays. Of course, flying in a couple days early might save you money on plane tickets, but then you’ll have to pay for lodging for an extra night or two. Make sure you add up what the total cost would be to make sure you really are saving money.

  3. Shop for airfare anonymously. Some experts say that airlines show you a higher price when you’ve been visiting their website frequently to check prices. You are just waiting for prices to go down, but they know you are eager to buy a ticket so they count on you needing to buy the ticket no matter what the price. You can keep them from knowing you are visiting their site by setting your browser to private, clearing your cache between visits to the site, or using a different browser. Some frequent travelers also advise not putting in your frequent flyer information until the very end so that the airlines don’t know you are someone who is likely to buy from them regardless of the price. 

  4. Check discount sites. When you’re searching for plane tickets, don’t just go to the main airline websites. Try sites like Kayak.com, Expedia.com, and others that search the web for you to bring you the lowest fares.

  5. Fundraise. Of course, you and your squad can do traditional fundraisers to raise money for a trip just like you might to purchase new uniforms, but you can also do a more specific fundraiser. Try a crowd-funding website to set up a way for people and/or businesses to sponsor your trip. Another idea is to pledge to do something if you reach a fundraising goal. Maybe your squad will post a fun video of a dance you choreographed to a popular song, or maybe you can get a well-known local figure to volunteer to do something big if you hit your goal. 

What are your tips for getting good deals on plane tickets?