Finding the right air travel deals and booking cheap flights is sure to set your trip off on the right foot. Travelling can end up being one huge expense; accommodation, travel/transport, spending money and insurance, the list is on-going! But learning how to save money from finding the cheapest flights across the globe can help reduce the large expenditure of travel.
There are many strategies and tips we can apply when searching for cheap air travel!
5 Cheap Air Travel Tips:
1. Start searching as early as possible!
Most airlines generally release tickets 10-12 months in advance. So once you have chosen your destination and travel date, start searching for tickets immediately.
Check the ticket prices each week, as the prices fluctuate constantly due to supply and demand, so have a rough price in mind that you are comfortable paying and be ready to buy. Last minute flight deals can be cheap, but are not guaranteed. Waiting around for a bargain is not a good idea, especially if you have a fixed destination in mind…
2. When to FLY/buy an airline ticket?
There isn’t really a dodgy time when buying international airline tickets, however there are some general trends to be aware of.
Peak season and bank holiday weekends have the highest demand, so expect higher prices. Unless you plan and book in advance.
It is recommended to book anyway from 7 weeks in advance (to domestically fly), whereas others say 3-7 weeks is alright. International flights vary from 11-12 weeks prior to departure, as for specific days to book it doesn’t really matter.
3. What is the best DAY to fly?
It is thought that specific days to fly save significant amounts of money on plane tickets… whilst it doesn’t really matter when you buy your tickets, cheap flights certainly DO depend on the DAY you choose to fly!
The general rule is that flying out on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday can save. As these are typical off-peak days with airlines carrying fewer travellers, which correlates with lower fairs and a surplus of seats.
Fridays and Sundays are usually the most expensive days to fly.
To conclude, the day you book your tickets does not affect the pricing, but the DAY you actually wish to fly out and return home will have a significant impact on your travel fare. It is recommended to follow certain ranges to save money:
- Domestic: depart Saturday, return on a Monday.
- International: depart Tuesday, return on a Wednesday.
4. Be flexible with your flight dates
Unless you have to travel between 2 specific dates (departure and return) it is advised to be FLEXIBLE with your travel dates. Give yourself the best chance of saving money by searching over a couple days or even weeks either side of your preferred departure date.
5. Check alternate airports
If there is more than one airport near your origin or final destination, check them both before making your booking. The more options you have in terms of airport and travel dates, the more likely you will be able to find the best deals on air-fare.
For example, as i am situated in Hertfordshire England, i have the pleasure of being surrounded by airports in the London district and surround areas. I can fly from London Luton, London Stanstead, London Heathrow, London Gatwick etc. which proves to be money friendly when searching for flights.
Best Website for booking Cheap Flights?
SkyScanner is always the go to booking site for flights and air deals.
Skyscanner is a flight comparison site that is simple to use and fast. It searches millions of flights on over a thousand airlines, including budget carriers, and once you’ve found your flight on Skyscanner you are taken to the airline or agency to make your booking (no middlemen) or extra fees added.
You can filter your search results based on:
- number of stops
- departure times
- airlines you like and dislike
You can get price alerts every 24 hours and if you’re not set on using a particular airline, browse through all the different carriers you can choose.
Know your destination, but not your date?
Thinking of flying from X to Y this year but not sure when is the best time? Skyscanner allows you to see prices for tomorrow, in a week, in a month or the cheapest month. The website will tell you the cheapest dates to fly.
You can also type in a country name to search cheap fares from all cities within that country.
Simply click on the calendar in the Depart field and a drop down box will appear:
You can see in the screenshot below July 13th was the cheapest day to depart and August 12th cheapest day to return.
Go “EVERYWHERE” feature
One handy feature of Skyscanner I like is it allows you to type in the word Everywhere in the “To”box. This helps you to select the cheapest destination from your point of origin. Or you can also just leave the “To” box blank.
Let’s use the departure point of New York as an example:
- FROM field – type in your departure city.
- TO field – leave it blank (or type in “Everywhere”)
- DEPART and RETURN section – Skyscanner lets you see up to a week, a month or even a year of fares at a time.
- Click on the calendar icon for a drop down. Great if your travel dates are flexible.
You can see that the cheapest flight from New York is to Canada, then all the way down to China.
Want to check flight deals within the USA departing from New York? Simply type in United States in the “To” box:
I like those features. Skyscanner allows you to find the cheapest flights without having to enter specific destinations, making it a great resource for finding cheap flights for your next getaway.
Bare in mind these tips and useable resources next time you’re booking a getaway. As previously said saving money on flights, accommodation and sight/landmark tickets you can put aside more spending money for your actual trip. Comment if I’ve missed out on any flight booking tips or tricks, or if you’ve got any major air travel deals in the past?