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How to save on your next flight

The cost of travel continues to increase, especially for those travelers who prefer to travel by air. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average round-trip flight in 2011 cost consumers $362, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year. What's more, that figure does not include taxes or additional costs paid at the airport, which can include potentially expensive baggage fees.

It's no surprise then that many would-be travelers are somewhat reticent to fly, especially if those travelers have kids in tow. However, there are ways to save on flights; it just takes a little flexibility and a willingness to shop around.

* Don't insist on nonstop flights. No one likes layovers, but they might just save you a substantial amount of money. Compare the cost of a nonstop flight to your desired destination to one that has one or even

multiple stops. Chances are the cost of a nonstop flight will be considerably more than a flight that includes at least one layover. Though connecting flights are not ideal, many international airports now offer a host of stores and restaurants that can help make those layovers more bearable.

* Don't necessarily choose a round-trip ticket. Though it's almost second nature for travelers to purchase a round-trip ticket, it might be more affordable to buy two one-way tickets instead. This allows consumers to compare prices of tickets from different airlines, which can make the overall cost lower.

* Be flexible with airports. Many online travel sites, including Orbitz and Expedia, allow consumers to search for flights departing from and arriving to multiple airports. This is done to give travelers more flexibility and ultimately to help them find the most affordable flight. Take advantage of this option. However, before booking the flight, consider the costs associated with getting to and from an airport that's farther away from home or your desired destination than the airport that's closest to both. The cost of transportation to and from an airport that's off the beaten path might offset the savings on the cost of the flight.