The most expensive part of any trip is usually the airfare. Whether you'll be luxuriating in first class, or staying budget friendly in economy – airfare can get pretty pricy. That being said, there are a number of tricks of the trade that can help you minimize costs. Read below for tips, tricks, and websites we swear by when booking our plane tickets.
1. Be Flexible
We recognize that it may be a luxury not to have constraints on specific travel times/dates, airports, or even locations. But being flexible is the key to having more options when looking for a cheaper flight. Flying during the weekend will always be more expensive that flying on a weekday, so look for mid-week flights– especially on a Tuesday or Wednesday- to save big. If you can be flexible on time, try to look for flights that are either early in the morning or late at night. While this may not always mean cheaper, flights at these times tend to have less people on them so it can be a nice way to score some extra leg space. Another way to be flexible, which may seem obvious is to travel during a destination's off-season. Airlines will be trying to fill up flights by dropping their costs, so you have the advantage here. Finally, consider a layover/stopover instead of flying directly to your destination. It may take you a little longer to get to your final stop, but it could also mean 1) you get to see a new city and 2) a cheaper flight. It could also mean bonus flight miles if you are flying with a carrier you have brand loyalty with. You get to ultimately decide based on your priorities: is it better to save your money or your time?
2. Switch to Incognito
Switch to incognito mode on Chrome. Without getting too caught up with Internet jargon, internet browsers and airline websites can save your information, leading to massive hikes in the price of flight tickets, especially if you visit frequently. Incognito mode ensures that none of your precious data gets saved.
3. Shop around
Skyscanner quite literally scans the skies, or rather airlines for flight to the city of your choice. It gives you the most cost-effective routes for your destination, and you can filter your searches, depending on what you're flight needs are. Sign up for changes in your price alerts, so that Skyscanner will keep an eye on price changes for you. Once you have made your decision, Skyscanner will direct you to the airlines website, so you can go ahead and book your journey.
When searing for flight with Momondo, the first result that pops up is a graph showing the cheapest days to travel. You can even browse flights to anywhere in the world, and Momondo will find the cheapest options for you . From here you can filter your preferences by price, time of travel, airline, and even alliances. A helpful filter also narrows down which cities you are able to stopover in, before your final destination.
Secret Flying is a brilliant resource to finding flight deals. This sight is hit, or miss, in the sense that there may not be available deal to the area you wish to travel to, however for the spontaneous traveller, where destination is not necessarily the motivation behind taking a trip. Something to bear in mind is that these deals generally cater better when travelling to more popular European, American, and Oceanic destinations.
While you can price-check on a variety of websites, including Expedia and Kayak, be sure to include specific airlines websites as well.
Google flights deserves an honourable mention. While it offers the same services as many of the above websites, it has some extras. including showing you cheaper route options, and if flying on a different day will save you money. Google flights will also highlight which they think will be the best option for you to fly - taking layovers, flight time, and price into consideration.
PS - Check out our favorite travel apps for more helpful tools to help with booking, and tracking cheaper flights.
4. SNAG A Flight DEAL
Glitch airfare is one of those magical mistakes of the internet - where flights get drastically reduced because of human error, incorrect currency conversions, or even forgetting to add surplus fuel charges or fees onto the price of a ticket. The best way to learn of or get notified when a flight deal has been dropped is through social media like Facebook and Twitter. One of the best forums for this is the Nomadness Travel Tribe that has a community of active travelers that always let other members know when they see one. If you see a trending topic on an airline take notice because any of the glitches don’t last long usually between 1-4 hours, so it is important to act fast. Monitor travel forums like Flyertalk or Nomadness Travel tribe on Facebook regularly to be of the first to learn of current glitches. Travel forums help to not only notify you of any glitches but also to provide information on how to secure the deal. Beware that some glitches are not always honored by the airline, although it’s rare that cancellations will occur. No matter the case, when in doubt book first ask questions later.
Did I overlook any tricks you swear by? Let us know some of your favorite hacks for booking cheaper flights below!