A couple of years ago, I would buy a plane ticket right after the first search, the first click, and I didn’t even know there are actually so many ways to save up money and find cheap flight deals. I have learned from different people and from researching a lot, but here is how I manage to book trips to exotic places for cheap.
How Do We Do It?
When you are planning a trip, one of the biggest expenses you will incur or at least the one you consider to be, is flights. Then you think you are adding to that the cost of accomodation, food and other expenses. And sometimes, you might end up not even booking the trip because it seems impossible.
Well, it did seem impossible to me as well, some time ago. But digging deep and learning a few things will help you get that cheap ticket you are waiting for.
1. Don’t buy into all that’s being said on social media
Well, that being said, here I am, writing a blog post on it. However, there are many rumours going around that it is more expensive to buy tickets on a Monday (though I sometimes experienced that), or it is cheaper on a Tuesday.
There is NO good day of the week when prices go up or down, we simply cannot have that data. Anyone who says they can predict or they know when airlines change their prices is wrong. No one can. Nowadays the systems behind the pricing are so complex and make use of so much data.
2. Know Where You Want To Go, But Know That You Might Get Near It
What I’m trying to say here is that, if you have chosen a destination, sometimes the trick with finding cheap flight deals is to arrive somewhere closer to your initial destination. As for example, Amsterdam is more expensive in general if you’re flying from London, you can however, land on Eindhoven or another airport for half the price, get to see that city for a bit, then take a train or a bus to Amsterdam.
If you’re visiting Cancun, but there’s a cheaper flight landing in Mexico, consider being open to landing close by, and visiting another place before your destination. If of course you are settled on the destination, wait no more.
3. How Do I Search?
Whenever I decided on a destination, I go on Skyscanner and type it in, as well as the period. If I don’t know my dates yet, I select “entire month” and see on what day I can get the cheapest flight.
If I am decided on the month, I click on the country of that destination (e.g Spain), and see which cities are the cheapest. If I want to go to Barcelona, but Madrid, Alicante or other cities are visibly cheaper, I tend to choose the cheaper one. It is of course a bit of a hassle then organising the rest of the trip, but at least I got the cheapest flight deal.
4. Be Flexible With Dates & You Can Get Incredible Deals
One of the most important element in finding cheap flight deals is being flexible with your dates. This will allow you to search for true gems and get you the best deal possible. And the good thing is, if you’re flexible, you will always get a deal!
One of the places I go to in order to see error fares, last minute offers or just good deals for any part of the world you are in is Secret Flying.
Sometimes they have crazy good business class deals, or just Europe to Asia for as little as 200$, or cruises for 50% of the price. Last week, there was an offer for 2.99$ for Luxembourg to London.
5. Go On These Websites With Good Flight Deals
Skyscanner and Secret flying aren’t the only good websites on finding deals. Another one that I really like is Holiday Pirates. You can find complete deals with accomodation and meals and it is pretty good at offers to and from the US.
5. Use Different Airlines In One Booking
To me, sometimes it is like playing a game online. You need to find the right gaps, then mix and match airlines, then try to see which is cheaper, booking two separate tickets or not. Sometimes, a return ticket is cheaper than a one way. But sometimes, if you are flying low budget airlines, it can be cheaper having two separate bookings.
6. Be Aware That Different Search Engines Show You Different Prices
You might think that only Skyscanner or Expedia show you the best prices, but the truth is, it depends. Sometimes Expedia shows you the lower prices, sometimes Momondo (though I always find this one to be more expensive), so you need to be aware that different search engines show you different prices. And there is absolutely no website that has the cheapest prices.
Take for instance, yesterday, in my case, I wanted to book London to Bucharest, and I went on Skyscanner. It showed me the cheapest options with Ryanair and Wizzair, however, when I went on the official British Airways website, it was way cheaper. And upgrading to business class would have cost me a mere 100£ for a return flight. So, the moral here is, you need to do a LOT of research. I usually spend a couple of hours before booking a flight just researching.
7. Travel in Low Season and With Budget Airlines
You might know this already,but traveling in low season really increases your chances of getting that cheap flight deal you were waiting for. For the travel industry, there are basically three seasons: peak season (roughly mid-June through August), shoulder season (April through mid-June and September through October), and off-season (November through March).
During the off season you will get the cheaper deals. In Europe, summer is high season, and prices won’t be that low for traveling within the EU, but neither to other continents. So if you want to plan more travels, have a look with a couple of months in advance for the off-peak season tickets, you might be surprised what you find.
8. Know When The Ticket Sales Happen
I am not a person who likes newsletters or being bombarded with sales. However, the newsletters I am subscribed to and that I religiously follow are the ones of airlines. I usually follow Qatar (they have 1-2 big sales per year), Ryanair (multiple sales a year with flights as low as 5£), Wizzair and British Airways, mainly. When I lived in Asia, I was also subscribed to Air Asia and Scoot, for their big sales. Keep an eye out, however, I check weekly their websites to see what new deals are in. For example, this week there are cheap flight deals leaving from London, but from other cities in Europe as well.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to find cheap flight deals and let me know your thoughts below! P.s if you book anything through my advice, let me know! Check out my travel inspiration and tips in my Travel section.