You have picked the next destination for your vacation, mapped out a budget, initiated a savings plan and made an itinerary. Booking your flights is the only thing left to do. It’s also the most expensive part of your travel plans. Finding a cheap flight package can be what truly makes your journey, whether you’re a solitary budget traveler or a family seeking to go on a holiday abroad. Simply put, if your flight is too expensive, you might continue to postpone your trip. Good deals are not impossible to find. From inadvertently published fares and exclusive discounts to lowering rates because of competition, airlines have plenty of amazing deals.
Follow these simple tips and you can go on your dream vacation without burning a hole in your pocket.
Seats are generally released 11 months ahead of time by most airlines. The closer you get to boarding, the more carrier prices will increase. Fortunately, there is still a tipping point where the airlines start to either lower or decrease demand-based fares. Don’t wait to book until the last moment, but don’t book super early either. Approximately 6-8 weeks before your departure is the ideal time to schedule your flight. Begin by addressing rough dates of travel and monitoring the costs. By inspecting your preferred airfare webpage or aviation website routinely and keeping a watchful eye on good deals, you can do this. Sign up for newsletters and alerts too, as they can help give you a notice on any discounts.
If you’re planning on traveling when everyone else flies, the cost of your ticket will most likely be higher. Off-season commuting is the remedy.
Also, traveling during the week is almost always cheaper than traveling on Saturdays and Sundays. Most tourists choose to fly on the weekends so airlines typically hike up the prices. Fares are sometimes lower after big holidays because the traffic is much lighter. Even a one day difference can save you hundreds of bucks.
Take advantage of student discounts
Being a student preferably below the age of 26 comes with its perks because most airlines give out 20-30 percent discounts to students. Consider calling the airline for information or contacting your agency to check if your institute is partnered with a particular airline and save yourself some money.
Fly budget carriers
Budget airlines may not be as comfortable or offer services like checked-in bags, meals and other onboard luxuries, but if budget is your topmost priority then you should consider it. Budget airlines often charge extra fees for services such as meals, carry-on, and credit card usage, so make sure to look into all possible charges before booking.
Here are the top budget carriers for some locations:
Canada: Flair Airlines, Jetlines, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat, Sunwing, WestJet
USA: Southwest, Allegiant Air, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines
Asia: Air Asia, TigerAir, Jeju Air, Hong Kong Express, Spice Jet, Nok Air, Cebu Pacific, Lion Air, VietJet Air
Europe: Vueling, Easyjet, Eurowings, Norwegian Air
New Zealand: JetStar
Don’t fly direct
Being flexible with your route might allow you to cut your costs. For example, rather than passing directly to Amsterdam, it is sometimes cheaper to stop in London and then fly from there.
To do this, check fare costs from your place to your destination. Make sure you keep at least a three-hour gap between flights just in case one of them gets delayed. Leaving a three-hour window will also help you get an insurance claim if you miss your flight, since most insurance companies require a three-hour delay before you can file for a license.
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Use a frequent flyer program
If you travel often, having this program is a must because it can save you a ton of money. For every mile you fly, the airlines reward you a certain amount of points which are to be collected and can be later redeemed in exchange for cashback offers, free hotel stays, access to airport lounges, and free flights. You also get a sign-up bonus when you get your membership.
Only book flights when you are happy with the price. Finding discounts and sales on airfare can be tricky, but it is possible. Deals are everywhere if you look hard enough. Be diligent, save yourself some money, and enjoy your trip!