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The Bootstrapper's Guide to Airfare
 

Want to know where and when to fly for the biggest bang for your buck? Check out Kayak.com's recent data dump.

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On Tuesday, Kayak released data drawn from more than one billion search inquiries on its site last year. The cheap airfare finder used this data to do what it does best: determine the cheapest dates to fly, the most popular destinations, the busiest airports, and the best overall value. And now they've published the results.

Why should you care? Sure, you can't always choose when and where you travel for business. But here these bootstrapper-friendly flying tips could come in handy.

Timing is everything.

It turns out the cheapest months to fly vary by location. Domestic flights hit rock bottom in September with an average fare price of $297. January and October are fairly cheap, too--$306 and $311 respectively.

International flights, on the other hand, are cheapest in February and March. Each month has an average fare price of about $950.

And when it comes to avoiding the crowds, January might be your best bet. The first month of the year accounted for just 5 percent of all flight queries for 2012. Perhaps not surprisingly, February was next in line with only 6 percent. 

Location, location, location.

Flying north for the winter? Toronto, Canada was the only popular destination--so determined by the number of city searches on Kayak--that didn't increase in price as well as popularity. In fact, fares to Toronto actually decreased in price despite increased attention.

Business hot spots like Tokyo and Beijing also increased in popularity last year, though only the former remained low in price. Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, and Nashville also proved cheap but underrated places to travel, increasing in popularity without a major spike in fare prices.

Finally, London proved to be the "it" city of 2012--helped, perhaps, by the summer Olympics--increasing in airfare price by about 30 percent. That's great for London, but perhaps not for an entrepreneur on a budget. Other cities to steer clear of for a while include New Orleans, Anchorage, and Lima, which all saw price increases in airfare.

Last updated: Mar 22, 2013

FRANCESCA FENZI reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle.
@FrancescaFenzi




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