Buying the plane ticket is the most expensive aspect of taking a trip and can often determine where and when you travel. There are many travel booking websites that you can choose to shop from, and a range of advice available in travel magazines and on blogs. This can make it overwhelming to decide which resources to utilize. Luckily, here is a list of the secrets to finding cheaper flights, which will allow you to take that dream trip you always wanted.
1. Be flexible with when you travel
With a little bit of careful planning, you can schedule your trip so that it falls on days that are the cheapest to fly on. The weekend is always the most expensive, whereas weekdays are much cheaper. Early morning and late at night are also ideal for budget airfare, because most people prefer daytime travel. Before or after a major holiday is also a good time to shop around for flights, because you will miss the holiday travel rush.
2. Be flexible with your flight route
Kayak, one of the more popular sites for looking up flights has a tool called ‘Explore‘; this displays the cheapest tickets from your home airport to locations around the globe. This feature lets you search by season or by month. Google Flights also has a similar tool where you can type in your home airport and your destination and see all the prices for a certain time period.
3. Fly into a secondary airport on a budget carrier
Most major destinations have a primary airport and a smaller secondary one. The smaller airport is where most budget airlines will arrive, because the landing fee is less than at a smaller airport. It is important to check how close the secondary airport is to your final destination, since the cost of ground transportation can add up quickly if the airport is quite remote.
4. Check out alternative routes
Sometimes it is cheaper to book separate legs for your trip, instead of flying straight. For example, instead of flying directly to Istanbul from New York, it might be cheaper to fly to Iceland and then catch a European budget airline to Istanbul from there. The extra time that you spend searching for alternative routes will be worth it if you find a flight or flights that will save you considerable money in the long run.
5. Utilize social media
Following the twitter accounts of airlines and travel search engines is a great way to be updated on new flight deals the moment they are published. The twitter accounts for websites like Wanderlisting and airline companies like JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic are just a few accounts that are known to tweet some great deals.
6. Shop on multiple booking sites
When you are searching for a flight on popular websites like Kayak or Orbitz, remember that airlines can have ties with them and that prices are not unbiased. It is important to shop around on as many sites as possible and make sure that you are getting the best price possible. Not all booking sites account for all airlines, especially budget ones, and they also do not always cover every region of the world equally.
7. Book directly with an airline
Sometimes it is cheaper to book with an airline directly, especially if they are not featured on booking sites (usually budget airlines). Sometimes airlines also have sales directly on their site that are not found elsewhere and this can make a significant difference in your ticket price. Another bonus to checking a fare on an airline’s actual site is that all additional fees are always transparent, including those pesky baggage fees.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com