Fly More, Pay Less: The Art Of Finding Cheap Flights With These Expert Hacks
Air travel can be expensive, but with the right strategies, you can save money and find a cheap airplane ticket. Whether you're planning a vacation or traveling for business, getting a good deal on airfare is important!
Look at these cheap ticket hacks and consider incorporating them into your future travel plans.
If Possible, Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates
Airlines typically charge more for weekend flights, so consider traveling on weekdays.
Of course, this hack depends on why you are traveling. If it is for business, this might be a bit more difficult than if it were for a fun vacation.
Use Different Comparison Sites And Price Alerts
Websites such as Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Kayak can help you compare prices across multiple airlines to find the cheapest option.
To up your cheap travel game further, gather prices from all those sites and throw them into Hopper. This particular site will alert you when the cheapest time to purchase is!
Secret Flying Error Fare
Secret Flying is a website that exposes error fares posted by airlines.
These extremely low fares are accidents posted by the airlines, but Secret Flying catches them, posts them, and allows people to book flights before the airline realizes their error.
Book In Advance. Way, Way In Advance
This might not be a new thought process for seasoned travelers, but it is still worth mentioning to those who don't get on an airplane frequently.
Generally, the earlier you book your flight, the cheaper the ticket will be. So, think about booking at least a few months in advance of your trip.
Check For Promotional Deals
Like retail shops, sometimes promotional deals fly by without people realizing it. So you don't miss out on a chance for a discounted ticket, keep these things in mind:
Keep an eye out for deals and promotions offered by airlines, travel agencies, and credit card companies.
Use Incognito Window Or A Private Browsing Mode
Data and search histories really are not private anymore. Airlines are able to see what a person is looking up and, from there, bump up their prices.
So you don't fall privy to the jacked-up prices, think about searching for plane tickets in an incognito window or a private browsing mode.
Sign Up For Newsletters
While many people aren't too keen on signing up for newsletters of any kind, they should begin thinking about airline newsletters.
The reason is sometimes airlines will give special promotional deals solely to the people who get their newsletters.
Fly On Budget Airlines
Budget airlines may not offer as many amenities as major airlines, but they often have significantly lower prices than some of the major commercial and international airlines.
Airlines such as RyanAir, AirAsia, and EasyJet are some budget airlines people look at for cheaper tickets. Remember, these three examples only fly out of certain parts of the world!
Think About A Layover
Yes, layovers can be a drag, and people who are flying typically just want to get to their destination without stopping at an "in-between" airport. Alas, sometimes we have to do things we don't want to in the name of saving money.
Typically, airplane tickets are cheaper if there is a layover involved. The longer, the cheaper.
Off-Peak Hours Are Harder, But Cheaper
Red-eye flights and those in the early hours of the morning might not be fun to get to, but they are typically cheaper.
This is what some people call a luxury tax -- a majority of people will want to fly during the late afternoon or early evening so they don't have to wake up at an early hour or sleep on a plane.
Use Airline-Specific Credit Cards
Depending on the credit card, there are some that will give the holder airline-specific perks.
Some airline credit cards offer perks such as free checked bags and priority boarding, which can save you money in the long run.
Check For Student Or Senior Discounts
If you are a student or considered a senior, then there are some airline and fare perks that are designated specifically for you.
And for those under the age of 26 (even if you're not a student), StudentVerse is a great website that offers discounted fares, promo codes on flights, and other perks.
Use A VPN
A VPN is a virtual private network.
Using a VPN to change your location can help you search for flights from different countries, which may have cheaper prices than the country you're in.
Book Two One-Way Tickets Instead Of A Round-Trip
Booking two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket may be cheaper in some cases.
This can be especially helpful if you're flying to different destinations or if you find better deals on one-way flights.
If You're Traveling Internationally, Think About The "Off Season"
For those who are adventurous and are traveling internationally, keep in mind the country's off-season.
The off-season is typically a bit cheaper since most people want to travel places while they're "in season." For example, flying to Thailand during their rainy season is going to be cheaper than when it is sunny 24-7.
Avoid Booking During Major Events And Holidays
Avoiding booking flights during major holidays, or events, such as music festivals or sporting events, can help you find cheaper flights.
Many people will be traveling for the major event, so airlines will bump their prices, knowing people will buy.
Flying Into A "Secondary Airport" May Have A Cheaper Fare
Instead of flying into a smaller, secondary airport as opposed to a bigger, international airport might have financial benefits.
The fare might be cheaper, due to lower traffic. Of course, always look at both prices and compare.
Use A Cashback Website
There are some websites out there that help cut flight costs.
Cashback websites such as Honey or Rakuten help people earn cashback on flights, knocking off some airfare costs and lowering the price.
Use A Flight Aggregator
Using a flight aggregator like Google Flights can help travelers compare prices across multiple airlines and find the cheapest flights available.
It is easy to use and allows travelers to find the cheapest option fast.
Book Directly Through The Airline
Instead of going through a booking site, such as Travelocity, think about booking airfare directly through the airline.
At times, booking with the airline and not through another website is cheaper. As always, compare prices before booking!
Avoid Baggage Fees
One expensive aspect of flying is the checked-baggage fees -- they can get pretty steep!
Try to avoid the extra fees, and therefore a cheaper trip, by only packing a carry-on bag.
Book A Vacation Package
In some cases, it is cheaper to purchase an entire vacation package instead of everything separately.
This means buying the plane ticket, hotel, rental car, and even activities in one fell swoop.
Browse Social Media
Airlines sometimes announce sales and promotional deals via various social media platforms.
It is always a good idea to browse around Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in case something pops up that works with your travel schedule.
Just In Case, Think About Purchasing Refundable Tickets
For some people, booking a vacation might be a last-minute ordeal, something they have to really wait to see if it will work out with their home and work schedules.
If that is the case, it is always a good idea to go the extra step and purchase a refundable ticket. This way, in case things fall through, money won't be lost.
Off-Peak Seasons Are Key
Keep in mind the seasons, holidays, and peak times people are flying.
Summer and warmer months are typically more expensive, while winter and cooler months might be cheaper, depending on the month -- i.e., still avoid spring break, summer break, Christmas, and New Year's.
Book At The Right Time
Oddly enough, there are "right times" to book flights.
Prices can fluctuate throughout the day, so try to book your flight in the early morning or late at night when prices tend to be lower.
Less Popular Destinations Are Still Cool!
Popular cities, beaches, and various destinations are bound to be more expensive than lesser-known locations.
With that being said, less popular destinations are still very cool, not to mention cheaper. It is not only a great way to save money on airfare, but it is also a great way to see someplace off the beaten path that isn't touristy.
Open-Jaw Flying Is Convenient And Cheap
If you're traveling to multiple destinations within one country, think about open-jaw flights. For example, if someone is flying to Thailand and arrives in Phuket, travels to Chang Mai, and then to Bangkok, it is cheaper to leave from Bangkok than flying back to Phuket and leaving from there.
Open-jaw flying means arriving at one airport and leaving from another. At times, it is cheaper, and all of the time, it is convenient!
Basic Economy vs. Economy
In many cases, airlines will automatically show buyers the basic economy prices. The thing is, there are many hidden fees tacked onto the price since all that comes with the ticket is pretty much a seat.
It is a good idea to look at economy seating, as the ticket, in the end, might actually be cheaper.
24-Hour Cancelation Policy Loop Hole
Many flights allow a 24-hour cancelation policy in case something pops up, and a traveler can't make the flight.
The thing is, the flight price might go down within those 24 hours. So, cancel your flight and re-purchase the ticket with the cheaper fare.