With so many airlines competing for business, there’s no reason to pay top dollar for flights in today’s day and age. If you’re willing to devote a little extra time, effort and creativity to the planning process, there are plenty of tricks and travel tips for finding cheap flight deals.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the cost of airfare is out of reach. Find yourself a great deal on one-way tickets and take in all the beauty and wonder that our magnificent world (European destinations such as: flights to Rome or flights to Amsterdam) has to offer.
By following our 5 guidelines below, you can get the latest information on how to find cheap flights this coming year from your departure city.
1. Be Willing To Travel (Partly) On Wheels
If you can drive (or get a ride) for a portion of your journey, you will have more flexible options to save money on flights. Flight prices usually go up as the distance that the plane has to travel increases, also known as long haul fights.
This makes sense-- longer roundtrip flights mean longer employee shifts for the pilot and crew, more fuel needed for the engine and potentially more meals and complimentary beverages being served during the flight. If you can spend a little extra time on land getting yourself to an airport, you can save big on your overall trip.
It’s worthwhile to compare the best fares from a variety of travel sites before ruling out the possibility of flying from a different starting point.
Bus trips tend to be a cost effective way to get around on land. Many bus routes will bring you directly to the airport.
However, depending on the circumstances, driving your own vehicle, using a rideshare service or taking a train to a nearby airport that’s further from home might also be worth it. If you drive your own car, be sure to factor in the cost of long-term parking at the airport.
Generally speaking, convenience is always going to come with a premium price. You have to weigh the cost and benefit of adding extra travel time to your airport journey when looking at your overall travel budget and plan.
2. Be Mindful of Your Timing
If you’re able to be flexible about your specific travel times, you can make the most of your vacation expenses and find the lowest prices.
Playing around with the different days of the week for your flight can make a big difference in price, while having minimal impact on your overall trip experience (especially if you’re staying for a while anyway).
Don’t just book the first cheap flight you find. Spend some time playing around with travel dates and times to compare rates.
Booking a Tuesday or Wednesday flight is usually a good bet. These are generally less expensive travel days and yield the cheapest flights.
With different airlines updating flight deals on a daily basis, there is no longer a suggested day to book your trip. (In the past, booking on a Tuesdays was thought to get you the best deals.)
Prices go up and down on any day of the week, depending on the sites you do your flight search and the dates you wish to travel on. We recommend to our subscribers using Skyscanner, Google Flights and Momondo.
Timing is also important when getting ready to research your flight options in the beginning planning stages of your trip. Avoid booking flights too far in advance or too last minute.
For domestic flights (flights to Florida, flights to New York City or to Las Vegas), it’s recommended to start looking 3 months before your trip and make an advance purchase, but advised that you book no later than 1 month ahead of your anticipated travel date. For international flights, begin searching around 8 months before you plan to go and book no later than 2 months prior to your departure. In some cases, expect a stopover, before you reach your final destination.
If you plan to fly during peak times, be sure to book a couple of extra months ahead of these guidelines just to be on the safe side.
On that note,
3. Be Wary of Holiday Travel!
No matter how you slice it, the holidays are an expensive time to fly. Across the board, airlines upcharge during peak seasons because... they can. It all comes down to simple economics.
When demand goes up, so does the price. Airlines can get away with charging top dollar at holidays or during summer breaks because so many people want to travel during that time.
Without the option to shop around for deals, travelers end up footing the higher price.
If you have no choice but to fly during the holidays, be extra vigilant about our other savings tips.
It’s no secret that travel is pricey during these times, especially flights to New York or flights to Los Angeles, so maybe talking with your loved ones about celebrating a day late or a week earlier would be worth a mention. Compare prices for flying on Christmas morning (rather than December 21st or 22nd) to see if you can save on ticket prices.
Be sure to pack a few extra stocking stuffers for your gracious (and flexible) host if you end up doing this. If you’re going to Europe or North America, Christmas, New Years and summertime (June through August) are the busiest and most expensive times to fly.
When traveling to somewhere new or exotic, do you research ahead of time on their busy season. You may not realize that your planned trip is right during a popular festival or an event that is inflating the price.
Take some time to learn about the areas you’re traveling to and read reviewers from other foreign travelers to help make an educated decision on when to go. You could also opt for a different destination if you can’t be flexible on the timing (instead of Spain, consider Portugal).
Going to the Caribbean during hurricane season will likely get you a better deal than other times of the year. It’s up to you if you want to make the gamble, pay for flight insurance and hope for the best. Taking on some risk with the time of year that you travel can be a big win.
4. Be Careful with Budget Airlines
Budget airlines can be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, sometimes their featured deals are nothing more than a misleading marketing scheme.
Some airlines will advertise as being low cost, but make up the difference in extra fees that would otherwise be included in a normal ticket price. You can be charged extra for baggage, preferred seating or meals.
Be sure to read the fine print and look at 3rd party reviews anytime that a deal seems too good to be true.
Well-rated low cost carriers include: Air Canada Rouge, Norwegian Air, Level Airlines, JetBlue, Ryanair and AirAsiaX.
These are noted for their comfortable seating, legroom, straightforward fees, ample flight schedules and quality customer service. Even though their rates are lower than other major airlines, most customers seem happy with their flight experience.
Among the not-so-well-rated include: Sun Country, Allegiant, Spirit Airlines, Scoot and Frontier Airlines.
Try avoiding these companies if possible, or at least adjust your expectations if choosing one of their deals.
Older planes, uncomfortable seats, high hidden fees, delays and cancellations have been noted by unhappy passengers. If you’re looking for a sound, smooth flight with less room for unexpected surprises, opt for a well-reputed airline from the start.
5. Be Quick!
Great travel deals don’t stick around for long. If you find an awesome price, read over the details and go ahead and book it that day.
Waiting too long to mull it over can cost you. If you were fortunate enough to find a particular deal, plenty of other thrifty flyers probably have as well. Grab it before someone else steals it from under you.
It may not happen often, but airlines do make mistakes, even the largest of them. If a low price was posted by accident, go ahead and try to buy it.
They may not always honor a price that was posted in error, but you might get lucky. Either way, if you wait too long, the mistake will likely be corrected before you can give it a chance.
No matter what’s being advertised, the price of airline tickets are not really yours until you actually buy flight tickets, so don’t delay if you find a dream deal.
There are loads of great ways to save on flights in 2019/2020. Whether you're looking for cheap flights to Europe, like London Flighs or Bangkok flights, search and compare the cheapest days to fly, as mentioned above.
The old trick of logging into your computer on Tuesday afternoon to book the best flight deals isn’t really relevant anymore.
In our fast-paced modern world, deals are ongoing and prices change by the hour. If you are thinking about a trip for the future, setting up flight alerts to track a specific route will enable you to monitor fluctuating prices over time.
This information will help you recognize a good deal when it becomes available.
Ultimately, getting a cheaper flight often means sacrificing on certain things. Choose aspects of the trip that you don’t mind compromising on. Driving part of the way, or leaving on slightly different date than initially planned, can definitely save you money on cheap airfare.
It’s important to keep a level head while booking and think about how you’re actually going to feel as you’re traveling on the itinerary as you booked it. It’s one thing to see a great deal on a computer screen and another to spend the day enduring a bunch of unpleasant layovers.
Never get so caught up in the price that you sacrifice your overall travel experience. A bad budget airline or round-about route are not always worth the savings, especially when your travel time is very limited.
Depending how often you get the chance to “fly away” might be a deciding factor on how much you are willing to trade for that lower price tag.
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