We all love going on holidays, and booking plane tickets is usually a part of that. That exciting moment when you click on “Enter Destination” and scroll through all the wonderful options. You decide on an airport, click on the right number of passengers, and then choose the economy, business, or first class. Then you move to the next screen, ready to begin your adventure and- hang on, how much?!
We’ve all been there. So if you want to find out all the tips, hacks, and secrets of how to get the cheapest flights possible, this is the post for you!
1. Use a ‘Private Mode’ or ‘Incognito’ Web Browser
When you search for a flight on Monday, your browser will remember that on Tuesday. As a result, airlines know that you’re searching for a flight and may increase their prices. If you’re searching on Google Chrome, then tap the three circles on the top right of the page and select ‘New Incognito Window’. Clearing your cookies and search history will also help reduce ticket prices.
2. Compare Multiple Flights
Don’t be afraid to shop around. Look for the same flight from multiple airlines to see if they offer different deals. If you don’t want to do this yourself, then use a flight comparison search engine. Sites such as Expedia automatically compare flight prices for you to help find the best one.
3. Check for Discounts
Search for discounts that may apply to you. If you’re a student then there are many options when booking flights, usually resulting in 20% discounts. There are similar opportunities for senior citizens and children. Discount airlines are also an option. They usually have smaller planes and far fewer passengers, but they can help you save money.
4. Pay in a Foreign Currency
If you use a credit card that doesn’t have international charges attached, then you’re guaranteed a saving by paying with a different currency. If your own currency is strong, then search for plane tickets in the weakest currency possible.
5. Airline Errors
Sometimes airlines make mistakes and put up the wrong prices. There are sites dedicated to pinpointing these ridiculously low fares, such as Secret Flying. They will inform you when flight prices reach an all-time low, just in time for you to take advantage. You can search for these errors on specific dates or specific destinations to get your holiday off to a great start.
6. Mix and Match Flights
Don’t box yourself into the ‘Round Trip’ bracket. While booking return flights might work out cheaper sometimes, it’s equally likely that you could save money by booking single flights. When you book a round trip with a particular airline, then you’re limiting yourself to that airline and its partners. By booking individual flights, you can use whatever airline you like, and two single flights might work out cheaper.
7. Don’t Fly Direct
The easiest way to get cheaper flights is to be flexible with dates and destinations, but this isn’t always a desirable option. If you have a definite holiday site in mind, and you know you only have two weeks to see it, then at least consider not flying direct. It’s often cheaper to fly from London to Amsterdam to France than it is to fly from London to France directly.
8. Book Well In Advance
Always book your flights a few weeks ahead of time. Not only is it cheaper, but it also gives you time to sort out any problems or to change your mind or cancel if needed. Airline prices are at their cheapest six to eight weeks before your departure. Be careful not to book too early, however, in case a better option emerges.
9. Book Flights Separately
This is crucial for families or friends travelling together. You should always compare single versus group bookings, as sometimes, booking individual tickets one by one works out cheaper. Most airlines list every single ticket at the same price. However, if there aren’t enough cheap tickets available, the prices will start to increase. So by booking flights separately, you’ll get each ticket at the lowest price.
10. Avoid Tourist Season
This is the number one cause of high flight fares, but not always one that you can avoid. If you can, then try not to travel during peak tourist times. This varies from country to country, but is usually between April and August, especially for Europe. Booking during these busiest times could cost twice as much as the same flight out of season. So be careful when you travel.