Everyone loves a great deal. This is especially so for travelling. After all, who does not like getting air fares and hotel rates at a lower price? When we travel, we often end up spending more than we actually planned on spending. so any savings that we can dig up in advance, can make a big difference.
We’ve often heard of tricks that everyone seems to talk about such as flying in and out of secondary airports, Tuesday being the magic day to book your flights, booking your flights late as Airlines may drop prices to sell vacant seats among others. But what are other tried-and-true tricks and hacks are there? Here are some hacks to booking cheap flights you might not have known about.
Check all your options and be incognito about it
Be sure to check out EVERY option you have available to you. Skyscanner, Expedia, Booking.com among others can be great tools that are commonly used. However, many assume that these aggregators are often the first and only stop that many people make. Be sure to check out specific airline websites as well as they may actually be cheaper than these aggregators. Taking this extra step not only ensures that you get the best deal, but also allows for making changes to your itinerary more convenient than making it through a travel aggregator.
If you sometimes get that weird feeling that your price changes several times after searching for it a few times, rest assured that you are not crazy. Some evidence claims that your online behaviour is being tracked and based on what you do, you may find yourself with an inflated travel price especially if you are searching for the exact same route repeatedly to scare you into making a booking before the price rises even more. To counter this, simply utilise your web browsers incognito mode and use a VPN to ensure that you always get the best prices.
Examples of browsing tools that can keep track of air ticket price changes:
- Google Flights
There are of course other tools out there but these are the more commonly used ones.
Yeah we get it. Layovers suck but while this may seem obvious, but it has to be pointed out nonstop flights are typically more expensive than flights with layovers. So if you’re looking for the cheapest possible option, consider booking a flight with a layover. Even better, if you find one with a layover that’s long enough to allow you to leave the airport you may get to experience a new city on top of your vacation destination.
Use a travel agent
Travel agents may have special undercut rates that are inaccessible to the public. Although this doesn’t ensure that they can consistently provide the best price, it is still an option that you can use. What we suggest, is to do your own research first, find the cheapest flight then present that information to them to see if they can match or beat it. This would be especially beneficial for long-haul flights, where even slight savings could equate to a few hundred dollars. Travel agents, can also help you extend your layovers so that you can a day out or two in a city as opposed to a soul crushingly long wait at an airport.
Book long haul flights on your own
If you’re flying somewhere that involves a transfer, say from Singapore to London which typically involves a layover, consider that it may be cheaper to book these two legs separately on your own instead of allowing the search engine to simply do it for you. While it can take more time, booking separate airlines can make a big difference rather than a typical round-trip. Its more inconvenient sure, but it can provide big savings.
Now, about layovers. By adding another destination to your trip you can definitely take advantage of it and explore the city if time allows. However, it goes without saying that in doing this, you should not book tight layovers. We mean it, don’t book tight layovers that make it impossible to catch your own flight. Do research to ensure that you are not stuck in security if you have to leave and recheck in.
Check if it’s cheaper to pay in other currencies
Before booking a flight, check if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you’re departing from, but this isn’t always the case. An important note when doing this: make sure you’re using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees. Otherwise your attempt to save money may be eaten by bank fees. Be sure about the prices before you make your transaction. Using a VPN here to spoof your location can also help greatly in utilizing this tactic.
Take last-minute trips
Airlines are known to cut prices when they can’t fill planes for an upcoming trip. Once your departure date creeps closer, you may get emails from the airline offering a special rate on tickets and if you’ve already booked, a cheaper upgrade to business class and more. Do keep in mind that this can be a risky tactic as you run the risk of not being able to get a seat on the plane. It is therefore advisable to research how popular this flight path is before attempting this tactic.
Red eye flights
These are the absolute cheapest flights as no one wants to fly in the dead of the night. However, if you can tolerate it and make it work into your itinerary, then a red eye flight could just be something to consider if you’ve always dismissed these as an option.
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