When you find cheap flights, you will not only save for your next travel but also have more to spend at your destination. Airfare makes up a huge part of travel expenses. Finding cheap flights is therefore as essential as finding the right place to stay, right tour company, and right destination. A mastery of how to find cheap flights can help you save on airfare and thus have more to spend during your vacation. No one would want to be the person that pays the most for their air ticket.
High airfares are brought about by several factors. Bankruptcy is one of the major factors that compel airlines, which are on the verge of collapsing, to increase their ticket charges. The pressure to make profit coupled with limited competition gives these companies fewer incentives to reduce their airfares. Moreover, they maintain high ticket prices because they have slashed routes and capacity, making them always full. Even after a substantial reduction in oil prices, many airline companies have been adamant to reduce air ticket prices.
Does this mean you cannot find cheap flights? The answer is No. Airlines have thousands of killer deals every day. Sometimes, they slash their ticket prices to compete with other airline companies. Surprisingly, some cheap fares are mistakenly published. Although cheap airfares are available out there, you need to know how to find them. Here are some simple tips on how to find cheap flights.
1. Find cheap flights by booking early, but not too early
Although airfares will keep on rising, airline begins to lower their fares at some point based on demand. The best booking window is between six to eight weeks before your travel. If you want to travel to your destination during the peak season, you can book around three months before your trip. Booking too early or waiting until the last minute is always expensive.
2. Be flexible with where you fly
If you cannot alter your traveling date, be flexible with your destinations. You can save the most money on your flight if you are flexible on both. It is now very easy to search and find the cheapest airline, owing to the travel search engines. Thus, the times of manual searching are long gone.
Travel engines such as Google Flights and Kayak provides you with a global view of all the flights that you can book from your home airport. Travel search engines are very helpful in helping you to search your destination options.
You will discover from our search that there is always a deal to a particular destination. If you are flexible, you can use such deals and save a lot on flight fares. People who can neither change their travel dates nor destination are bound to pay whatever airfare that shows up. On the other hand, people who can alter their destination are bound to find cheap flights and thereby save hundreds of dollars.
3. Find cheap flights by having flexible travel dates and times
Most airline companies alter their airfares every day of the week. Additionally, air ticket prices vary depending on upcoming holidays, such as New Year and Christmas, or time of the year. August, for example, is a great traveling month around Europe. People travel to warmer places during winter.
If you plan to travel when everyone is traveling, you will definitely pay more for your ticket. The secret of finding cheap flights is being flexible with your travel dates. You can find a cheap flight by scheduling your trip in the middle of the week or after a holiday. Moreover, airfares are relatively cheaper early in the morning or late into the night because many people do not want to travel very early or late. You can save hundreds of dollars by traveling a day or week before or after a certain date or period.
Keep in mind the times when holidays, school breaks, festivals, or major sports events come up. Arline companies hike their fares on such periods. Be smart, adjust your travel dates and you will definitely find cheap flights.
4. Look out for budget airlines
Some years back, travelers used to be stuck with the mainstream expensive airlines that used to fly between continents. Today, there are numerous budget airline companies that traverse the world. While there are only a few budget airlines in the U.S, Europe and Asia have more affordable airlines.
For example, Norwegian Airlines charges $250 each way to fly between Europe and Bangkok. Similarly, you can fly with as little as $100 one way between Asia and Australia using Air Asia. These are just a handful of the cheap flights that are pocket-friendly.
Budget airlines make money through fees. They charge for carry-ons, checked bags, using a credit card, printing the boarding pass, and other things they can get away with. So watch out for the fees of these airlines, calculate the total charges and ensure the total airfare is lower than that of other airlines. If you are flying a long overnight flight, use the budget airlines. Here are some of the leading budget airline companies in the world:
- United States: Southwest, Frontier, Sun Country Airlines, Allegiant Air
- Europe: Vueling, WOW Air, Norwegian Air, Eastjet, Ryanair, Eurowings
- Canada: Flair Airlines, WOW Air, Swoop, Porter
- Asia: Air Asia, Jetstar, Dragon Air, Tiger Air, Spring Airlines
5. Do not always fly direct
Besides being flexible with your dates and destination, you can also be flexible with the route you take. Sometimes it may translate to more flying time but you end up saving hundreds of dollars. Sometimes it is cheaper to travel to London and then take a budget plane to Amsterdam, rather than traveling directly to Amsterdam.
Sometimes the best way to go is to take advantage of a great deal to a different city and then hop on a budget flight to your destination. Just find out the cost of flying directly to your destination. Then, open a travel search engine, such as Google Flights, and type in your destination’s continent to find nearby destinations and their airfare. Then, look up and see how much it costs to get from the second airport to your destination. If there is a difference of say $150, that is a good deal. Ensure you have like three hours between connections because of any unforeseen delay that may arise.
Although this method may be demanding since you need to search various routes and airlines and also take more travel time, you will end up saving more money off your flight.
6. Watch out for special deals
The easiest way to find cheap flights is to sign up for mailing lists from travel search engines and airline companies. You will be getting information about special offers and last-minute deals whenever available. Mostly, special offers are only available for a day, and thus you need to have a way of getting updates on such deals. Otherwise, you will miss out on super cheap deals.
You can save $500 USD or more by taking advantage of special deals. These sites will help you stay on top of travel deals:
7. Search for tickets as a single person
You can find cheap flights by searching for ticket prices for one person. In most cases, buying multiple air tickets in a single purchase is expansive than buying those tickets separately. Airlines will always show you the highest prices for group tickets. For example, if you are searching for three seats, the airline will show the airfare of the highest priced seat. So if the airfares of the seats are $200, $300, and $400, the group tickets will be priced at $400 each seat instead of the sum price of the three seats.
Therefore, do not search for or buy multiple tickets. Instead, search for and pay for a single ticket. You can pick your seats afterward in the checkout process so you and your family or friends can sit together.
8. Ignore myths on how to find cheap flights
Do not be fooled by the misconceptions about finding cheap flights out there. Some myths suggest that one can get cheaper deals by searching incognito. Others indicate that you cannot get cheap air tickets on Tuesdays. Moreover, some people argue that there is no specific date or time in which to find cheap flights.
So you should never believe in myths about finding cheap flights because there is no evidence to prove such myths right. If you want to find cheap flights, just know that there is no one secret ninja trick or magic bullet way to do so.
Also read: Solo female travel myths
9. Look out for student discounts
Some airlines offer students with discounts of up to 30%. Similarly, individuals under 26 years also get such discounts. You can find a cheap ticket through Fight Centre, STA Travel, or other travel agencies.
Being flexible on when you go, where you go, and how to get there will make it easy for you to find cheap flights. The above tips are great ways of finding cheap flights will help you find and get great deals and thereby avoid spending a lot of money on your ticket.