Everyone of us experienced the long exhausting search for the best ﬂights. With endless search engines and continually ﬂuctuating prices, the approach to frugal ﬂight booking is overwhelming. So we collected the most important tips to deal with that frustrating situation.
But be aware that ﬁnding the best deals takes its time. Not spending enough time checking is the biggest mistake that people do! Here are the 10 most important key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next ﬂight:
1.Use the best ﬂight engines
A big mistake is going straight to the airline website. But the cheapest fares are often found by booking with various online travel agencies. The trip is to use the right one. All search engines have inﬂated ﬂight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. Some search engines, for example Expedia consistently inﬂate much higher than others.
Best search engines:
• Air Wander (Great to ﬁnd oﬀers with stopovers to visit 2 destinations with one trip
The most budget and local airlines will appear in the broad search engines we are recommending. But if you want to be 100% sure that you have the cheapest ﬂight you can do an additional search for regional budget airlines.
2. Be ﬂexible
Be ﬂexible with the holiday destination Instead of spending hours of ﬁnding the perfect holiday destination and afterwords spending days or weeks trying to ﬁnd a ﬂight deal go on engines like Skyscanner, enter your departure city, then select a date range to ﬂy. Approximate costs will appear over hundreds of countries around the world from your departure point, while the list of destinations is sorted by price, allowing you to see the most costeffective place you can ﬂy.
3. Be ﬂexible with your ﬂight dates
If you are locked into exact dates, it will be more challenging to get the best deal. One of the major trick to ﬁnd cheap offers is to be ﬂexible with your travel dates. Give yourself the best chance by searching a couple of days, or even weeks, either side of your preferred departure date. Possible travel dates and cheap dates can be found via the calendar function of the matrix.
The best strategy to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month is:
• Step 1. Go for example on Kiwi
• Enter your departure & arrival cities
• instead of entering a departure date, select date range, or “Cheapest Month”, and then “Whole Month” so you can browse all dates to see which is cheapest.
4. Avoid holiday periods
We’ve all heard of the term “tourist season” that means there are times when certain destinations in the world have their ‘Peak Seasons’. This is the time when travel to these regions can be expensive. It is best when looking for cheap tickets to particular destinations that you research what are considered ‘Off Peak Seasons’ or ‘Shoulder Seasons’ to travel and plan your trip accordingly. These factors play a signiﬁcant role in the overall price you could pay for your airline ticket. Another trick is to ﬂy exactly on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or Eastern because almost nobody wants to ﬂy then.
5. Keep your searches top secret
Did you realize that the ﬂights getting more expensive after searching it a few times in your web browser? Yes its true!! the site wants to scare you into booking the ﬂight quickly before prices get even higher. Thats why you should always search for ﬂights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices. When you are incognito your information is not tracked, thus not inﬂating prices as you search.
How you do it:
Crome or Safari: hit Command/Control, Shift, “N”
Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer: hit Command/Control, Shift, “P”
6. Be not afraid of budget and local Airlines
In many cases budget and local airlines oﬀer way cheaper tickets than their full-service counterparts. But this comes with compromises such as less leg room, expensive food and beverage service on board and limited transport of luggage. Especially for short trips it makes sense to ﬂy with budget airlines. But never forget to check the ﬁne print and make sure that you know about:
• where the airport location is (sometimes the airports are further out of town)
• how much luggage you can take with you
• if you have to print your own ticket
While the above search engines are great, they do not always include small airlines, especially in less popularly booked routes and/or in remote regions. Wikipedia has a great detailed, comprehensive listing of low-cost airlines down to speciﬁc countries here. For example Argentinas LADE Air which is owned by the military has cheap ﬂights to Patagonia, which is not listed in mass search engines online. When you do ﬁnd small airlines in the search engine results, it often worth to check the company site which may reveal exclusive online oﬀers not found in a regular search engine. Be sure to double check!
7. Book connecting ﬂights yourself for less
If you’re ﬂying somewhere that involves a transfer, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two ﬂights separately on your own by adding another destination to your trip. Spend a couple of days for example in Dubai before heading of to Bangkok is a great option to sea 2 destination in 1 trip and safe money at the same time.
Kiwi.com and AirWander are both great search engine for revealing cheaper routes like this that involve multiple airlines.
8. Check alternate airports
If there is more than one airport near your origin or ﬁnal destination, check them all before making your ﬂight booking. The more options you have in terms of airports and travel dates, the more likely you will be able to ﬁnd the best deals. And consider also multi-city ﬂights as a strategy to save money. Long gone are the days when it was always cheaper to book a return ﬂight on
the same airline. Our research indicates you can frequently save by being disloyal.
9. Find Error Fares Timing is important!
Airlines sometimes make mistakes when posting their fares, leading to seriously discounted ﬂights. This can happen for various reasons – currency conversion mishaps, technical glitches, or human error. If you know how to ﬁnd airline error fares, you can save a lot of money. The mistake fares, will only last a few hour or a couple of days at most. So ﬁnding out when they ﬁrst drop and booking quickly is a massive advantage.
Mainly AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying are great to ﬁnd these mistakes.
10. Find the best weekday to ﬂy
Cheap ﬂights can deﬁnitely be found depending on the day you choose to ﬂy! The consensus is that it’s best to ﬂy out on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. These are typical off-peak days with airlines carrying less business travelers, usually meaning lower fares and a surplus of seats. Fridays and Sundays are the most expensive days to ﬂy.
Check here for the cheapest flights: