How to Find Cheap Flights
Flying is one of the largest travel costs you will while on the road. The age of cheap flights is mostly over and it has become harder to find the great flight deals that will let you jet off to some exotic location on a whim. While a lot of people like to take premium flights and fly in comfort, that option is not that affordable for long term travelers. While it is nice to fly in business or first class, long term travelers need to save money and flights are a good place to start. You can still find cheap flights. You just have to know where to look and look a little harder.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Plans
Airlines prices tickets differently depending on the day of the week, time of year, and nearest holiday. If you are not flexible in the dates you want to fly, you will never be able to get in on the bottom and find a cheap flight. Airline ticket prices fluctuate wildly. Even the difference of a day can mean the difference of hundreds of dollars. It’s always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend since most people travel on the weekends and airlines hike their prices. If you fly after a major holiday, prices are also a bit cheaper. Early morning or late night flights are also cheaper because few people want to fly on them. Be flexible in your plans and you will find more cheap flights. A day can be a world of difference. Remember too that prices drop during the weekdays so it is better to book mid week.
Fly into Secondary Airports
Every major city in the world has a smaller, secondary airport. This airport is typically further from the city center and a bit smaller. Budget airlines usually use these airports because of cheaper operational costs. Cheaper costs mean cheaper tickets. It is why Southwest never flies into a major airport. Compared to the rest of the world, the United States does not have many of these carriers. You will find a plethora in Europe and Asia though. Don’t expect any perks on these airlines- you are simply buying space on the plane. No food, drink, pillow, or peanuts. But for what they lack in service they make up for in cheap tickets. If your destination has a secondary airport, consider flying on one of these low cost airlines for a cheaper ticke.t
Fly Alternative Routes
Besides being flexible with your travel dates, you should also be flexible in how you get to your destination. Sometimes it is cheaper to go to Madrid and then take a cheap flight to Rome than flying directly into Rome. There are so many budget airlines that it is often better to use them as a connecting flight. Direct flights always cost more so try to add some stops into your ticket to help bring the cost down. Also consider working various airlines and special offers. Mix and match can help save you a lot of money. However, doing this is not easy and requires a bit more work and research.
Search an Airline’s Foreign Website
You may not know it but you can book on an airlines foreign counterpart. If you have a strong currency, book on a weaker currency’s airline page. For example, we have found cheaper tickets searching the NZ version of Air New Zealand’s website than by searching our local version. The same goes for tickets to and from Europe cheaper. By searching the Canadian version of the British Airways website, we got cheaper tickets to London.This method may work best if your currency is doing well but you could still probably save some money even if the currencies are the same because of taxes and fees.
If You are a Student, Get Your Discount!
If you are a student, you’ll find that there are many discounts available to you. You can find flexible student airline tickets, discount cards, cheaper train tickets, and much more. All you need is a student ID. A great place to find cheap flights is to use STA Travel. They specialize in student travel and can usually find some great deals for students.
Sign Up for a Rewards Program
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. If you aren’t a frequent flier, it will take a long time to get points but if you are a frequent flier, you should sign up for a rewards program so you can get freebies. For the infrequent flier, consider a general rewards credit card that you can redeem for a free flight.
Sign up for Airline Newsletters
Stay informed of all the recent flight promotions and deals by signing up to a few airline or industry newsletters. You never know when a 24 hr fire sale might occur and you’ll want to be right there when it does. Often these newsletters are the only way to hear about these deals. It only takes a few clicks and you can delete the newsletters when you aren’t interested in flying.
If you plan on getting a round the world ticket, check out our article to see if RTW tickets are worth the cost. Otherwise, if you use these tips, you are sure to find a cheap flight on the web and save yourself lots of money.