Have you ever experienced this scenario? You tell a friend or colleague about the flight you’ve just booked to an exotic destination for your next vacation, only to have them tell you that they’ve booked flights to the same destination for hundreds of dollars less ! This can be infuriating; think of all the things you could do with that money when you get to your destination.
With the tips below, you’ll always get the cheapest flights no matter what.
Book early to save on your flights
It’s no secret, but like most things, the earlier you book, the more you can save. The magic number is 60. Prices increase on average around 60 days before the departure date. But don’t book too early. Studies on this subject show that airlines do not release their cheap seats for about four months.
Read also: How to travel cheap?
Be flexible with departure dates
If you’re not picky about the exact date you want to leave, you could significantly reduce your fare.
Midweek flights are less popular than weekends, and Wednesday is historically the cheapest day to fly.
Consider traveling to destinations during off-peak seasons. Not only will everything be cheaper, but you’ll get to experience a different side of your destination that most people never see.
The choice of airport
The airport closest to you might not be the best place to fly if you’re looking to save some money. Larger and busier airports often have cheaper flights, as there is more competition between airlines and a greater frequency of flights.
Compare the price of a cheap domestic flight to a larger airport versus a direct flight from your local airport.
Try using specialized websites to compare the price of flights to different airports near your destination.
Most budget airlines charge a low base rate and then charge extras like checked baggage. If you don’t need to take a lot with you, you could save a lot of money by only taking cabin baggage (this is usually included in the cost of all tickets).
Take advantage of online data
By using pricing tools like Kayak for example, you can determine whether your airfare price is more likely to go up or down. This tool will tell you if you should book immediately or if it is better to wait.
Not all comparison sites are created equal. Some have access to airlines and fares that others do not, and booking fees can vary widely from airline to airline.
It’s not because two. From experience, there is no better site than another. Whoever has the cheapest flight this time may not be next time, so it’s worth comparing at least two of them.
Book directly with the airline
Just as some comparison sites have access to fares that others do not, there are many special fares that airlines reserve for their own customers.
You can save hundreds of dollars by booking directly with the airline; subscribing to their mailing lists is an easy way to be notified of special offers. Be aware: Cheap deals are usually limited and go fast, so be ready to book as soon as you see them.
Avoid booking fees
Booking fees are pretty standard on most websites (even those that say they have no booking fees, in fact they will often build them into the price) but sometimes you can avoid paying a booking fee depending on the payment method you use. Payment by direct deposit/bank transfer, PayPal are often cheaper or free.
Cheap flights can get expensive
When looking at cheap flights, be sure to add all the options you need before comparing prices.
Flights that are a little more expensive but include things like baggage or meals may actually end up being cheaper the moment you add them to an economy flight.
Also, make sure you know where some cheap flights can be inflexible. If your plans change, or something happens, change fees can often be as expensive as the actual tickets. If you have good travel insurance, this might not be a problem.
Use your points
It might be obvious, but if you have loyalty points, you can use them to reduce the cost of your flight or to get a better seat.
Many airlines have partnerships with credit card providers that allow you to accumulate loyalty points for every euro spent.
Get your money back
Have you ever been the victim of a flight accident? Did you know that you may be eligible for financial compensation from the airline?
You may even be eligible for a refund if your ticket price drops after purchase.
Read also: Traveling without money: yes, it is possible!