Booking flights for travel can be the biggest expense we’ll have when travelling. And sometimes seeing the price for our vacation sky rocket, because of the airfare, can discourage us from even going.
Thankfully there are a number of hacks and tips to cut the price down dramatically when booking a plane ticket on your next trip. Keeping your budget can still be an option because flying doesn’t have to be expensive, especially when you’re doing it smart.
1. CHOOSING THE BEST FLIGHT AGGREGATOR
There are many different flight booking services out there and some come highly recommended. Kayak and Expedia are spoken for by many sources, but Skyscanner.com is one of the best ways to find a cheap flight.
Skyscanner allows you to find the cheapest months of the year that are best to book. And once you’ve found that, it will show you the cheapest days of that month to fly once you’ve settled on the airports you wish to fly out and into. It’s a great site to explore and get amazing prices when booking for a holiday or a getaway.
2. BOOK YOUR TICKETS AT THE CHEAPEST TIMES
People always seem to be in a hurry when booking tickets to go see family or plan a vacation. But you really want to think ahead of time and which days you’ll book on.
The cheapest days of the week to book on are Tuesday and Wednesday. Never book on a Monday or Friday, they are heavily booked with business-related trips so the prices will go up.
One of the best day to book though is on a Tuesdays at three in the afternoon Eastern Time and six weeks out. It’s a very cheap way to purchase a ticket and save a lot of money.
You can also buy a ticket months ahead of time. Airlines will charge you more if you book sooner because they assume you’ll pay the price. So be patient and plan that trip a bit further in advance.
3. AIRPORT LAYOVERS
Do no despise Layovers. They may be boring, and the airports may tempt you with their expensive food, but know that you will be saving a lot of money when finding trips with layovers.
Especially when you are booking a flight to different countries, it’s great to see what is offered in layovers. Certain countries have cheaper flights going through them, so you can be sure to find a cheaper ticket when you add on another leg to your journey. Stopping in other countries can shave around three to four hundred dollars off of your ticket.
Also, it’ll give you the opportunity to see the country you stopped into if your layover is long enough.
4. SEARCH FLIGHTS INCOGNITO
Certain sites will track what you’ve been searching and looking through. That’s why you see ads on the side of your screen that will be advertising products you were looking at recently. And in the case of airlines, they can look through your cookies and see what you’ve been looking at and then they will charge you a higher price for a ticket.
They see the demand and therefore calculate that you’ll buy at a higher price when you could have gotten the ticket cheaper. Use Google Chrome’s Incognito Window to search for tickets and stealthily get around jacked up prices.
5. FOLLOW AIRLINES & SIGN UP FOR THEIR EMAIL LIST
These two are very important if you want to see upcoming deals on ticket prices. Following an airline on Twitter or Facebook is a great way to see the prices for flights going to certain countries or areas of your country. They’re deals you have to keep an eye on and watch for, and sometimes, you’ll find great airfare for a place you want to visit.
The other option is to sign up for their email list. While it is a bit frustrating to get all the emails from sites you gave your address to, these airline websites can keep you abreast of the destination you want to go to and whether the price has dropped or there’s a special deal.
So if you’re looking to visit family or friends for the holidays and the price is not what you want, sign up and they’ll let you know if the ticket has become more affordable.
6. CHECK THE AIRLINE WEBSITES
Skyscanner and other sites like it can give you a great price on your ticket, but you still want to check the airlines actual website. The reason for this is because you may want to see the options for your flight. Flight aggregators like Kayak or Skyscanner will not account for this, so it’s important look at what’s given. So if you need to check in more baggage or you require one of their optional extras, then you’ll probably want to fly direct.
7. FLY CHEAPER AIRLINES BUT AVOID ADD-ON’S
A lot of the main airlines that people search for are very expensive and aren’t budget friendly when trying to fly cheap. But companies such as RyanAir or Spirit Airlines offer much better prices when purchasing a ticket. You can fly across the country or to a different country without being charged an arm and a leg.
However, these airlines make up for the money you didn’t spend by having your spend on extra fees. These add-on rates can be anywhere from choosing your seating to your meal. The best thing to do is to have them give you a random seat. Many times the difference between the classes don’t vary widely with the leg room.
When hungry, just pack enough snacks for the trip so you aren’t starved and you’re not tempted to buy one of their expensive meals.