Written by Zoe Stephens
Cheap travel is the stuff of dreams, especially if you’re a frequent traveller. Hotels can always be more budget, food more basic, and flights can always be cheaper. So how do you go about making sure you’re getting the best deal on your flights?
This is the golden rule. Try to be as flexible as you can with dates, times, and even your destination. The more flexible you are, the better the deal you’re likely to get.
Don’t book on weekends
When searching for flights, make sure to pick a variety of dates to look at. Almost always, however, flights will be cheaper mid-week, and for an odd period of time. i.e. Instead of Tuesday-Tuesday, return a day earlier or later.
Don’t book over holidays
This is a similar rule for the weekends. Generally, flights will be much more expensive if they’re booked in peak times. Sometimes it may not be possible to book during non-peak times, but this will certainly save you heaps. Booking during non-peak times can sometimes mean stupidly cheap flights, so have a look around. I once found flights from Newcastle (UK) to Spain for €12 one way! (I didn’t go, unfortunately).
Use various search engines
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to searching for flights. A mixture of one or two is always a good idea. I find the tools that Skyscanner and Google Flights use together works pretty well. Google Flights is good if you’re flexible on where and when you want to go. It has a useful ‘everywhere’ feature if you’re after some inspiration on the cheapest place. It also allows you to see flight patterns and prices on the map, and adjust searches to price accordingly. However, it doesn’t always have the cheapest flights. After a Google Flights search to see what the situation is like, head over to Skyscanner or Kayak to see if you can find your route any cheaper.
There are plenty of flight search engines out there, but one that really stands out from the rest is Momondo. They understand the struggle of finding decent, budget flights and will make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Sign up to email alerts for flash sales
Sign up for email alerts from your favorite budget airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet, and AirAsia, to make sure you’re the first in line when flash sales come up. You never know what bargain you may find. Even if you’re not planning a holiday, you may find yourself doing so after a sale..!
Booking from airline directly
Sometimes it can happen that booking directly from the airline can be cheaper, or you can find more convenient flights. Flight search engines are really great initially, but make sure you check out flights on the website itself too. Even if it’s not cheaper, they may have more options on flight times and dates to look over. Plus, they may have a different style of search to help you be 100% sure you’re getting the cheapest deal.
Sign up to alerts for error fares
If you’re lucky enough to both come across, and be able to purchase an error fare – I’m very jealous! Signing up to email alerts and Facebook pages such as Holiday Pirate for alerts on error fares is definitely a good idea. However, you need to be quick. Once airlines become aware of error fares (which happens shortly after they end up on social media) the fare will be removed or rectified. Nevertheless, there are people who manage to buy them. I just haven’t been one of the lucky few yet.
A lot of the time, finding cheap flights is also down to luck. A not so well travelled friend may gloat to you about a super cheap flight they managed to grab, and you can’t find anything for half that price. But, follow these steps and it should help you to get the best deal you can!
Comment below to let us know any bargain flights you managed to bag!