This item -- a guest post-- from Kiplinger's contains some solid tips about affordable travel:
"With average round-trip fares now topping $325, you need to do some serious planning to get the best deal on your next plane trip. The May issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance names eight need-to-know sites—guaranteed to save you time and money when booking your next trip—including:
· Kayak.com. The Google of travel, it’s the fastest and most comprehensive search engine. In just a couple of minutes, it will fetch hundreds of airline fares, from Delta to Darwin Airline.
· AirFareWatchDog.com. Unlike many other sites, it lists prices for major discount carriers (notably Southwest) and some smaller airlines. It’s also usually the first to sniff out the lowest fares offered through unadvertised “fire sales,” when airlines try to fill empty seats by dropping fares and posting the discounts on their own sites.
· Farecast.com. It goes one step beyond ferreting out bargain airfares for travelers with flexible travel dates. Farecast.com even tells you whether you should wait to book because fares may go even lower.
· LastMinute.com. Aptly named, it tops the charts for best deals on spontaneous trips. Even buy your tickets and book a hotel simultaneously—just a few hours before takeoff.
The article in its entirety is available at: http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2008/05/best-sites-for-cheap-airfare.html."