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With ticket prices rising steadily for the past few years, it may seem like getting a good flight deal is part luck and part timing. But there are a few tricks travelers can use to save no matter their destination.

RELATED: 7 Latin American alternatives to pricier U.S. alternatives

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Know your booking window

Book just far enough in advance: Three weeks out is consistently the cheapest time to save on flights.

Tack on a weekend: Additionally, if you’re booking a weekday trip for work, consider adding on a weekend stay to unlock extra savings. Data from the Airline Reporting Corporation and Expedia shows that adding a Saturday night stay to a mid-week trip can save travelers up to 25% on fares.

Which day to book: Finally, consider booking your flights on a weekend. It used to be that Tuesdays were the cheapest time to purchase flights, but now weekends are emerging as the best with Sundays showing up to offers as much as 36% in savings.

Find a last-minute cheap flight

Consider a package: Waiting until the last minute for standalone flights can be a gamble. However, where there are great getaway deals is with vacation packages. Travelers can save up to 43% on average by booking flights and hotels together through an online travel agency like CheapTickets. In fact, when CheapTickets looked at booking data for spring break travel this year, the cheapest time to buy a vacation package was just one week out!

Get all the right apps and emails: Last-minute travel is becoming more popular overall, and lots of travel providers are catering to meet this growing demand. We suggest downloading mobile apps that let you easily search for last-minute deals in addition to the tried and true method of getting on email lists. It sounds old school, but online travel agencies and even the airlines themselves often run limited time sales that offer some really great fares. For instance, CheapTickets has curated pages that pull in last-minute flight deals and flights under $149, both of which are great ways to identify affordable flights within your budget.

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Get flight deals to Europe

When to book: Traveling to Europe during the high season will certainly cost you more, so if you’ve got your heart set on Paris in the summer, try some of those tried-and-true airfare tips like leaving mid-week and flying home on a Sunday or searching on weekends for fares.

Where to fly: Another great tip is researching flights to cities outside of the traditional hubs, such as Nice instead of Paris. Starting or ending your trip in Eastern European cities like Budapest or Warsaw can also be a great way to save on the international fare part of your budget, since prices tend to trend lower.

When to go: However, if you truly want the best rates to Europe, visit during the shoulder season or winter months. We’ve seen some rock bottom deals on quality airlines to parts of Europe, London and Scandinavian countries January through March. In fact, London, Barcelona and Dublin were on our list of cheapest places to travel to in the new year because of their low airfares and vacation package prices in the first part of the year.

Tips based on this report from ARC and Expedia.

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Tagged: Tips & advice

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