They seem to be very elusive, and usually, even if we think we already have a bargain, we realize that we do not because a much cheaper offer comes later on.
Over the years, however, I learned to be more observant, practical, and strategic with my flight ticket approaches. They became some of my techniques in looking for cheap flights. If you want to get them at a bargain—you surely want to—take note of these tips:
1. Do not go for business or first class
Even if I am doing business I do not fly on business or first class. Your business partners would not know that you are flying on economy anyway. If you do not like to look so haggard for your meeting, just give yourself at least a day or 6 hours after the plane has landed to sleep for a bit and freshen up. After all, these two types of seats are the most expensive. Even if they drop in prices, they are still significantly higher than economy seats.
2. Buy tickets early
How early should it be? Book your tickets at least 4 to 6 months before your actual flight. Though it is good to purchase your flights as early as one year, you do not really know if the prices will drop some more before the year ends. Besides, spontaneous traveling rarely works. You need to plan very well everything: accommodation, activities, the people who are going with you.
3. Travel light
Your cheap flight ticket becomes completely useless if you are bringing plenty of checked-in luggage. They can cost a lot, and it is not impossible to spend close to a hundred dollars for them. Unless you are staying there for a month, it is always recommended you just bring along the things that are truly necessary. Moreover, there is a good chance the accommodation you are staying has a laundry service or you can easily find one in your destination. The service these days is incredibly fast, so you will have clean and even pressed clothing in no time.
Just make sure, however, you can follow the guidelines of the airlines. They have their own definition of carry-on luggage. Know the weight and the dimension of the carry-on you have to bring.
4. Fly during the week
Majority of the weekday airline tickets are usually affordable, since not a lot of people fly during these times. A lot do during the weekends for their out-of-town trips. They do not have work to think about for two days or even more, especially if there is a holiday. The best time is definitely from Monday to Wednesday. Avoid getting Friday tickets as much as possible.
5. Use comparison websites
Comparison websites can save you a lot of headache when trying to compare flight tickets across airlines. What’s more, many of them are comprehensive enough you can already set your destination and even your preferred time for traveling.
Kayak is my favorite and so it Hot Wire. There are plenty of other comparison websites out there as well. They earn their living by providing us cheaper tickets by searching all possible tickets fares available.
6. Avoid connecting flights as much as possible
As much as possible, search for direct flights. Connecting flights are normally hefty because you sort of paying for another destination. Further, you can’t help but spend more money while you’re waiting for your next flight. You pay for short tours, food, books, and, if your flight is on the next day, accommodation.
It’s amazing how true this is, being very much frugal I saw myself buying something or the other from the airport shops at stop over airports. A chocolate, memento, show polish, a magazine or simple a coffee.
7. Wait for sales
Airlines aren’t really greedy. There are times when their tickets are incredibly low because they are on sale. However, know that these sales end very fast. It’s not impossible in a matter of hours, all cheap tickets are already sold. So how do you make sure you don’t miss them?
Subscribe to their e-mail alerts! Add yourself to their mailing list, so you’ll be one of the first people to know about their sale. Even if they say they’re selling tickets from this to that period, don’t dilly-dally. The truth is it’s when supplies last. Besides, not all seats are sold in incredibly cheap prices. Otherwise, the airlines will suffer from a terrible financial loss every time they fly.
8. Travel in group
When I travel, I seldom count on travel agencies, save for when I’m going with more people. A lot of them would give me great discounts. Added to that, we can all divide the total cost of traveling among ourselves. It’s not impossible for me to spend less than a thousand dollars. Most of all, I get to spend amazing experiences with the people that matter to me a lot.
It’s hard to catch the ultimate lowest ticket price, but if you are simply going to remember these rules, you can still end up paying way less than the others.