When you book your first domestic flight, do you expect it to be by air? 

Or do you need to book it in advance? 

The answer depends on where you live. 

Air travel is a lucrative business, but not everyone is comfortable booking it on a weekend. 

The cost of travel is rising as more people have become accustomed to flying and are prepared to pay more for the privilege. 

There are plenty of ways to ensure you get the cheapest ticket possible and there’s always room for improvement, says James Smith, director of international travel at global travel consultancy JCT. 

If you are travelling in a large city or metropolitan area, you may find yourself paying more for flights. 

When you book a domestic flight with a domestic airline, it is likely you will be able to book a seat on the plane, says Smith. 

In some places, the price is even higher. 

For example, if you book on a domestic carrier, you will likely be charged between £7.40 and £12.80 ($9-$12 US) for a domestic seat on a Boeing 737-800. 

That figure is slightly lower than what you can usually find in a private cabin or private charter flight. 

Smith says you should expect to pay between £10-$15 ($14-$21 US) to buy a ticket in advance. 

Some airlines charge a fee of £1 ($2.40) per seat, so if you are buying a ticket on an international carrier, the fee will add up. 

On a budget, there are plenty that offer free domestic flights.

JetBlue has a loyalty program that offers discounts on domestic flights, but Smith says it is usually best to look for a cheaper alternative. 

As a general rule, if your budget allows, it would be best to book your flight on an airline that is cheap and offers frequent international flights.

If you are booking on a budget airline, you should also check the prices of domestic flights before making a booking. 

Travel insurance may also be a better option. 

While you can often avoid most of the risk of travel by air, Smith says you can still be left exposed to claims. 

“If you travel by airplane, there is the risk that your flight may be cancelled, which can lead to loss of income and money,” he says. 

Although most airlines offer free air travel insurance, Smith recommends getting it for yourself. 

To get the best value for money, Smith suggests you consider whether you are willing to pay the extra cost of insurance to ensure your safety. 

Also, if a claim is made, the airline should provide you with an opportunity to dispute it, but if you refuse, it can still result in a loss of travel. 

It is important to consider whether your airline will accept your insurance before making any booking.

“It’s always a good idea to check with your airline about whether they will accept insurance, but they don’t have to,” says Smith, adding that if you cannot afford to pay, you can try contacting your airline to find out what other options they offer. 

Should you book through an agent? 

If your travel is booked through an agency, you do not have to worry about being covered by insurance. 

A travel agent will arrange your itinerary so you can book your ticket in a timely manner, says Adam Staggs, director at travel agency Travelodge. 

However, it may take longer to book if your travel agent has been working with an airline for a while, so be sure to ask before booking.

Staggs says if you do decide to book through a travel agent, it’s a good practice to make your booking in advance, so you know the price and are aware of any restrictions. 

Check the terms and conditions of your travel agency before you book. 

You may be able a free or reduced-price ticket, and if you don’t want to pay a hefty fee, you could also be able buy a second ticket for the same amount. 

Be aware that you may be paying more than you should if you decide to use an agency.

“If it’s something like you can’t find a cheaper airline, ask them to make it easier for you by providing you with a discount on your ticket,” says Stagg, adding it’s best to ask if the agency will accept a credit card or cash, as they may not be able give you the best rates for their travel agents. 

How do you make sure you can afford to fly when you have a budget? 

Travelers can be more aware of the cost of flights, says Stans. 

With the increasing number of people moving around the world, a large part of their spending is for international travel, says Mr Smith.

You can also look into your local budget to determine if there are any savings you can make. 

Consider whether you need a cheap ticket or if you want to be able travel with a