This was your summer. After putting off last summer’s hopes to go visit your parents in Cincinnati, to finally taking the trip to Paris you’ve always dreamed of, to attending that yearly business conference in San Diego — this was the year you were going to do it all. Then it seems out of the blue, summer travel season has yet to arrive and gas prices are already astronomical.

Having a hard enough time at the pump, there really is no room to justify an extra hundred or so to fulfill these anticipated excursions. What do you do? After all gas prices won’t change. We can’t assure that you’ll get that flight at the same price you saw back in December, but here are five tips from USA Today to help you get it a little cheaper now.

1. Sign Up for Free Alerts – More spam mail? Maybe you should consider unsubscribing to the tons of shopping e-mails instead. This is an email blast you’ll not only want to open, but keep track of as it will help you buy that flight at a cheaper price. Signing up for notices from travel sites like TripAdvisor.com, Travelocity.com, Farecompare.com, and Hotwire will give you the heads up when prices fall.

2. Get Emails From the Airlines –  Most people would be suprised, but you can get a great deal directly from the airline. Many carriers are pulling their listings off of deal sites such as Orbitz.com in hopes of reclaiming their customers. Sometimes they will offer deals at even half-price.

3. Be Flexible – If you can, being a flexible flyer will work in your favor. If you are open to traveling on whim use the flexible traveling search on a website such as Orbitz, Hotwire, or Cheaptickets to get the best deal.

4. Best Days to Travel – When booking your travel look for flights that leave to your destination on a Tuesday or Wednesday at they are when flights are cheapest.

5. Last Minute Deals – While it’s always great to have your trip booked and planned way in advance, some of the best deals trickle in at the last minute. You can get a great deal by booking 7 to 21 days in advance.

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