Airlines are often the biggest travel expense. Plane tickets can be very expensive, and this can sometimes force you to choose a cheaper destination or spend less during your vacation so you can stick to your budget.
At the same time, airlines provide thousands of incredible bargains every day, ranging from special offers to price cuts to compete with other airlines. Cheap flights are available, and if you know where to look, you can make your dream vacation a reality.
Prices depend on a lot of factors like how many days before your trip you buy your flight or how many seats are still available. This means that passengers can board the same flight in the same class yet pay drastically different prices.
If you’re looking for a good deal or just some information to get you started, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Usually, three weeks before departure, plane tickets go up in price. Booking early is one of the easiest ways to get a good price. The best rates should be available three months to 30 days before departure.
Also, travel search engines like Google Flights and Kayak feature a price predictor tool that examines previous price trends to estimate ticket prices. These predictions aren’t always right, but they’re generally quite accurate because they use data from thousands of flights.
Another reason to book early is to get the seat you want, especially during high season. If you wait too long, you may be required to pay a premium for popular seats.
Set Price Alerts
If you’re not ready to buy the flight tickets this early, you can set up a price alert so you’ll be notified if the price starts to rise or falls. Ticket costs fluctuate on a daily basis, and even a modest decrease might result in significant savings if you’re getting tickets for your whole family.
If you want to get the cheaper business class flights, it’s better to use specialized platforms. Airlines frequently lower their rates in order to fill First and Business Class cabins, but they don’t want to advertise these lower rates online to avoid upsetting customers who paid full-price.
Another strategy to save money on travel is to make your travel arrangements as flexible as possible. For example, you can get cheaper flights if you travel on holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas since fewer people choose these flights. You should also think about going to a different airport.
It might not always be possible to go to a different airport or travel at a different time, but being flexible is still one of the most effective ways to cut down on your airfare costs.
Flight rates fluctuate substantially based on the day of the week, the season, and upcoming holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In other words, if you want to fly when everyone else is, your ticket will be more expensive. If you really want to go to Paris, go in the spring or fall when there are fewer tourists and flights are cheaper. Check different dates and see which one offers you the best deal.
Also, flying during the week is usually cheaper than flying on the weekend, when airlines raise their prices because the demand is higher. Early-morning and late-night flights tend to be cheaper because people don’t like traveling at these times.
Fly Budget Carriers
Until recently, the only way to fly across continents was to pay a hefty fare with a regular, high-priced airline. This is no longer the case. Budget airlines now offer short and medium-distance routes all over the world.
You can fly from Australia to Thailand for less than $150 USD with AirAsia, and Indian and Middle Eastern airlines offer low-cost flights across Asia and Africa.
Nowadays, you can travel with a budget airline almost anywhere in the world. They may not be as comfy, and you need to pay extra for meals and checked luggage, but they allow us to see places we could never afford before.
Just keep an eye out for fees. Budget airlines often turn a profit from customers not finding out about fees until it’s too late. It can end up costing you more than a ticket with a larger carrier so make sure you check everything and do the math. They charge for checked luggage, carry-ons, printing boarding passes, using credit cards – whatever they can get away with.
Use Several Travel Portals
Before making a direct booking with the airline, you should shop around and check at least one third-party booking site. Sometimes they have better deals.
Keep in mind that major travel portals may not list budget carriers or less known foreign carriers if they don’t get a booking commission from them. Others do not include non-English booking sites in their listings. There’s no perfect travel portal we can recommend, and that’s why you should check several.
The most popular ones right now are Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights.
Book a Connecting Flight
If you’re not in a rush to get to your destination, you can save money by booking a connecting flight. They’re cheaper and they often only add a couple of hours to your travel time. Travel portals allow you to search for flights with one, two, or more stops. Flying with a combination of carriers may also save you money.
Break up Groups into Separate Purchases
This one might seem a bit counter-intuitive because we know that we can usually get a better price if we buy in bulk. But it doesn’t work like that with plane tickets. Airlines usually have a cap on how many tickets per flight they’re willing to sell at a lower price.
For example, let’s say you want to travel with your family, so you’re a group of four. On the flight you want to book, there are two seats going for $100 each and several others for $150. But when your search shows that you want tickets for a group of four, you won’t be shown the two seats at $100 each, so you’ve essentially filtered yourself out of a better deal.
Whenever you’re buying tickets for a group, double-check the prices with smaller groups or single tickets. It will take you a few minutes longer, but it can help you save money.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.