For most of us, the cost of an airplane ticket is the most expensive part of our trip. However, most airlines offer discounts to attract as many customers as possible. This is also due to competition with other companies. Budget-friendly flights do exist, and they can make your dream vacation a reality. You just need to know where to look and when to look because most plane tickets should be purchased at least four months before your trip.
Many people postpone their vacation because it is simply too costly, and this is not pleasant because you have wanted to visit a particular country since 2020. It’s going to be such a pity to put it off again! Let’s discover together some hacks that will help you finally go on that vacation.
1. Be flexible with your travel dates and times
The key to getting cheap flights is to be flexible with your travel dates because they may vary depending on the day of the week, time of the year, and upcoming holidays when everybody wants to come home. The airports are basically packed with people, and it’s impossible to get a ticket for a decent price. Have you ever seen what an airport looks like around Christmas? Sheesh! There were delayed flights, nervous people, and tons of luggage all over the place. I promised myself that I wouldn’t go on a trip during peak season ever again.
In a nutshell, if you want to fly when everybody else is flying, then you’re wreaking havoc on your budget. Try to be as flexible as possible with your dates. If you can postpone your flight from August until September, then you will get a better price for your tickets. However, a lot of early-morning or late-night flights are cheaper compared to those that are scheduled in the middle of the day. Because, honestly now, who wants to wake up early?
2. Be flexible with your destinations
Sometimes you may not be flexible with the date when you plan to fly, but at least you can try to be flexible with your destination. It might be best to combine the two of them in order to save some money and get an affordable flight ticket. In recent years, all the major search engines have made it simple to search the entire globe for the best price based on your budget. Websites such as Google Flights and Skyscanner provide a map with all of the destinations and the flights on it. This might be the easiest way to compare prices, depending on the destination you want to travel to. By doing this, I am sure you will find some neat destinations you didn’t even think about. Let your imagination flow. And that doesn’t mean you have to travel to an unknown destination at the end of the world just because it’s cheaper. Choose wisely!
3. Don’t always fly direct
We’ve already established that being flexible with your dates and destinations can help you get the cheapest flights. Furthermore, if you choose not to fly directly to the destination, it can save you a little extra money too. For example, sometimes it might be cheaper to fly to Istanbul and take a budget airline to Athens than to fly direct to Athens from your departure city. I did this when I planned a vacation to Greece, and believe it or not, I saved almost $240. It isn’t a huge amount of money, but it’s still something!
You can do this for both departing and arriving, especially if you are planning to go abroad. This method can make a big difference in terms of flights longer than 6 hours. It may sound like a pain in the neck, but believe me, it is worth the extra effort if you end up saving a few more bucks.
4. Remember that not all search engines are equal
If you are looking to find the best deal that is suitable for your budget, you need to do quite a bit of research. There are plenty of websites that offer you helpful information. All you need to do is compare them in order to get the best price. I already mentioned that Google Flights and Skyscanner are two of my favorite search engines because they can offer me all the information I need to make my vacation an unforgettable one. For example, whenever I am looking to travel abroad, Skyscanner is my friend in need. Compared to other websites, Skyscanner will always show me the lowest price. Besides, it’s in the top 5 recommendations from all the travel experts. In case you find it useful as well, you can install their phone app that has a very nice, user-friendly interface.
5. Search ticket prices for individual travelers
Are you planning a family vacation in the next few months? My friendly advice is to search for your ticket prices for each member of the family. Because most airlines show the highest ticket price in a group of tickets. In the end, you might pay a lot more than expected. In most cases, this happens because they are looking to sell the group tickets based on the seats. For example, if you are a group of six people, the airline will give you all the seats together and calculate everything based on the highest ticket price.
Even if you’re traveling together, the best way to save a few more dollars is by searching for the tickets as a single person. It doesn’t matter if you don’t end up beside one another because you will still get to the destination in the same airplane. And any money you save from this tip can be spent on souvenirs or museums. Cool, right?
6. Cheaper flights? Book early!
It is no secret that the price of flight tickets begin to rise the closer you get to the departure date. Make sure you don’t wait until the last second to book your flights, and the most appropriate time to do this is around 3–4 months before your departure. If you want to travel during a busy season, such as August, you should look for tickets 5 months in advance.
Even if other people told you they book their flights with two or three days before they travel that doesn’t mean this rule works for you too. Maybe they have enough money and they don’t care about the higher prices. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight! You may risk losing seats or even not finding any available flights during that time.
7. Keep an eye out for special deals
Before you start looking for cheap flights, make sure you’ve signed up to your local airline’s newsletter. Doing this will provide you with all the information regarding last-minute deals and other useful information about trips. In most cases, these types of deals don’t last longer than 24 hours, so you might want to hurry in case you find something that you like. Aside from subscribing to newsletters, there are other useful websites that can offer you great deals regarding your future trips.
These are the best ones I would totally recommend: Holiday Pirates, which is one of the best if you want to travel to Europe; Airfarewatchdog for national flights; and Secret Flying, which is suitable for those who are planning to travel around the world.
I know that booking a flight for your vacation is probably one of the most stressful parts of travel. That’s why I hope these tips will help you get a better price for your tickets so you can enjoy your vacation to its fullest.
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