Best Tips on How to Get Cheap Flights
Planning the vacation of your dreams? As you already know, when organizing a holiday, airfare is the most pricy part of the adventure. Whether we are talking about the most expensive ones, such as the transatlantic flights, or the local ones, it is crystal clear that usually, the prices have gone down.
However, they can still put a sizable dent to the majority of the travel budget.
It does not matter if you are a budget solo passenger or a family-oriented traveler, finding a cheap flight deal will bring happiness to the vacation budget.
After all, a flight that is too expensive is likely to make you give up a dreamy vacation. Does that sound familiar to you?
Saving money is not a complicated process, as soon as you know some little tricks. There is no secret anymore that all the airline companies have thousands of amazing deals for their customers.
From special promotions to 24 hours published fares, there are thousands of amazing deals to take advantage of.
If there is something for sure, is that cheap fares are out, and they are ready to make your dream trip a reality. As soon as you know where to look for the best fairs, you are ready to make the best deals.
Today we are going to help all the passionate travelers to master the art of finding the top cheap flights. Step by step, you will learn how and where to find the cheapest airfare possible every time you are in the mood to go traveling.
By following these tips and tricks, you won’t have to spend half of your holiday budget on the plane ticket.
Keep on scrolling through the article to find more.
#1 What will Affect the Price of an Airline Ticket?
When you are searching for the airline ticket to that perfect destination you want to visit, you may have already seen a fluctuation in price, right? Well, this is because you pay for many more factors than the actual flight.
Airfare is a product by itself, with far more pricing variables than most of the other usual vacation costs. For instance, the prices are higher during a holiday like “Thanksgiving day”, while after the holidays, the prices will drop significantly.
Sometimes, airline tickets change their value every day. Here are the principal factors that make the price of your airline ticket fluctuate:
A) Convenience or Priorities
The destination of your flight is maybe the first and most important variable that affects the cost. So, if your priority is to travel very far away, overseas, then this will reflect the cost of your tickets.
When you begin planning all of your favorite destinations at the same time, make sure you consider the places you want to fly to. How close are these from you, geographically speaking?
Where to start? Well, we recommend you to brainstorm everything you would love to do, then take your time to evaluate. Consider the hours you need to spend on traveling, as well as how important it is for you to visit that destination.
Try to scale, using a ranking system to put the destinations in the order of importance.
What does this mean? Well, it usually addresses the airline company you are going to choose, the comfort they provide, as well as the flight distance. Usually, when thinking about a transatlantic flight, you should avoid low-cost companies and fly with the big ones.
Not only the comfort will be different in the plane (new LCDs, good food, great flight attendants, big capacity planes), but there is this kind of spiritual comfort: you trust that company, their planes, their pilots.
However, it does not mean that you cannot fly with the low-cost ones, but we would recommend these for short flying distances.
Yes, competition affects the price of your ticket. How is that? Well, the more airlines, the better for future passengers. Fierce competition means automatically that companies will fight on offering the best prices. Who wins? Of course, the most affordable price.
D) The Time of Purchase
The period when you choose to purchase the plane ticket has a very important influence. If you make a purchase at the last minute, which means within a week before the departure, then you have a great chance to enjoy the lowest prices.
Our advice is to buy domestic tickets somewhere between three-and-a-half months. If you are a Travel Blogger or travel for work, then you can buy your ticket three weeks before departure.
E) Timing of Flight
When the time of day the airplane takes off influences the price of your ticket. Most of the time, the most convenient parts of the week to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and often Saturdays. The most expensive periods to fly are holidays, like Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving.
Also, summertime is a more expensive period to fly. If you travel in the United States, then try to avoid the Super Bowl time, as the tickets are way more expensive.
Also called the “Big Brother Factor”, well, it is true. There are some moments in the year when the security fees increase. The best example is the Sept. 11 Security Fee, which might be 5 times more expensive.
Moreover, don’t forget about the regular extras that come with the airplane ticket, such as the airport fee.
G) Passenger Will
Well, believe it or not, you do have some power to change the price of the tickets. It works very simply. Once the airline ticket price goes too high, then people would avoid and not buy that ticket.
A company can do this whenever it wants to, but its competition might say “no”, which means they will have no chance to sell them.
H) Empty Seats
The last thing companies want is to have empty middle seats. As a result, they take some measures to fill all seats. If not, they need to drop the prices, a “no-no” for their management.
Some companies will not charge all the fees on the airline ticket. However, some companies do that and they are thirsty for money. As such, for instance, the low-cost airlines will charge for checked bags, carry-ons, for water, coffee, or juices in the plane.
They are charging you for everything. We would like to say that this is a solo fact, but unfortunately, it is not.
All in all, when you purchase a plane ticket, you are paying for comfort and convenience.
#2 Ignore the Myths
Before jumping straight to the tricks of getting the cheapest plane tickets, let’s ignore some of the usual myths in the first place. So, the very first thing to consider is that there is no magic tool, nor a secret behind cheap flights. It’s just a matter of luck, good timing, and a bit of research.
There are lots of travel websites and individuals who repeat some myths you have to ignore from now on:
- Tickets are not cheaper on Tuesdays. There is no other special day of the week when all the tickets will have lower prices. Just no day.
- There is no evidence or great research that shows incognito research will lead to cheaper deals (so don’t even waste your time trying this)
- It’s hard, maybe impossible to predict airline prices and airline tickets discounts
- There is no exact date or specific period to buy the cheapest airline tickets or book them
Most of the huge airlines have a full team and specific algorithms, which are secretly kept from the audience.
As such, they will determine the ticket prices based on multiple factors, such as passenger demands, weather, possible festivals during that period, major holidays, fuel prices, competitors, and many other factors we don’t even know about.
So, the system is very smart, so don’t listen to any myths, just follow the facts.
Down below, we have gathered concrete information about the tricks you can apply for purchasing cheap flights.
#3 More Tips on How To Get Cheap Flights?
Are you open to when or where to travel? If the answer is “yes”, then you are ready to find the best tricks for top deals.
❖ A) Use A Budget Airline
Some years ago, if you wanted to travel between different continents, the price you had to pay was huge. So you probably would have been stuck with all those traditional expensive airlines.
Luckily for you, this is not a fact anymore. Today, many of the budget airlines will service long-haul routes, which makes it possible to travel very long distances with little money.
So, many budget airlines have now long-haul routes at decent prices, so it is possible to travel all around the world without breaking the piggy bank. However, be wise, as not all flight options will be disclosed at the very first moment you pay for the ticket. Add on charges such as seat and carryon fee will be an added surprise later.
For you to have a better overview, let’s talk about concrete examples. Here are the main and best airline options to travel with when you have long routes, but still want to pay little money:
Best Long-Haul Budget Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- Spirit Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- Air Canada Rouge
- Flair Airlines
- Air Transat
- Wizz Air
- Norwegian Air
- Aigle Azur
- Hong Kong Express
- Jeju Air
- Air Asia
- Spice Jet
- Peach Air
- Spice Jet
- Nok Air
- Sprig Airlines
- T’Way Airlines
- Vanilla Air
- Lion Air
In a nutshell, these days, you can fly all around the world using a budget airline. It’s true, the comfort might not be the same as you would probably have when flying with a premium airline.
If you want more creature comforts from a Budget Airline, you can pay for extra premium upgrades, such as extra bags, special meals, and so on.
❖ B) Be open to what day of the week you travel
Is it worth waiting a couple of days for the best prices? Well, definitely yes. Usually, you will see that prices might drop a bit during the mid-week, which means Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. These are the cheapest days of the week to fly, but sometimes this theory might get a bit inconsistent.
Airline tickets usually vary for many more reasons. They all are influenced by:
- The day you choose to fly
- Which period of the year
- Soon to be holidays, like Christmas, Easter, New Year Day, Thanksgiving
Not only should you check the middle of the week, but also the off-season. For instance, August is a very expensive month to travel in and all-around Europe, as everyone wants a summer holiday with warm temperatures.
Moreover, kids are still on their summer vacation, which makes airplane tickets go higher.
Being flexible with the dates of departure will be your advantage. If you want to go to a city forbreak, choose the off-season months. Spring and fall and the periods when fewer people will choose to visit some popular destinations.
As such, you can expect this as a factor to reflect on the airfares.
On the other side, if you want to go in the middle of August, or visit Hawaii during Christmas, we wish you very good luck. You have all the chances to pay prices at their highest.
A great escape from this problem is to fly off-season. Top 6 Destinations for Off-Season Travel. As soon as you see your flying options, try playing with the dates. Search for alternative days, so you can catch the best prices.
The less rigid you be with your holiday plans, the less likely you are to pay a huge amount of money.
Prices will also decrease if you choose to fly after a major holiday or during early hours in the morning or late in the evening. There are only a few people that want to travel then, as many do not prefer waking up so early.
In short, the difference between a few hours can mean hundreds of dollars in your savings pocket. Airlines know everything: when there are big festivals when people love traveling when there are major sports events, as well as when children have school breaks.
Once you become more flexible with your dates, you have all the chances to save lots of money.
But remember, sometimes it might not be worth it to be flexible. Sometimes, you deserve quality time at the destination of your dreams, rather than having a flight with multiple stops.
❖ C) Cheapest Times To Fly
In Europe and North America, the best times of the year to fly are:
- January through Mid-May
- September through the first days of December
Most expensive time to fly:
- Best Month of Summer (July, August)
- New Year’s Eve
Of course, these periods can vary depending on the specific destination you want to reach.
#4 Use Travel Apps That Give You Deal Notifications
One of the best ways to take advantage of the cheap flights is by knowing the right time to purchase them, logical, right? But sometimes it is kind of robotic to refresh the web page over and over again.
Luckily, there are smart web tools that will ease your time of researching. There are websites and mobile apps are automatically keeping track of the flights and price changes you are interested in.
Some of these apps offer even predictions to help you narrow down the perfect hours and days to purchase cheap tickets.
Here are two of the most popular apps you can download:
One of the coolest apps to have is Skyscanner, which will give you lots of alerts if you set them. As such, you can get lots of information from multiple airports. This can be helpful, especially if you live in a big city where there is more than 1 airport.
To be sure you are on the right track, you need to select “Add Nearby Airports”, a button right under the departure and arrival cities.
- To set up a price notification, you need to go to Skyscanner, then make your own account. Maybe you have one already (hopefully).
Then it’s time to input the departure city, as well as the destination you want to reach. In the end, you just need to click on “Search Flights”.
- Click on “Get Price Alert”, so you will always be updated regarding the best prices. This button is in the upper left-handed corner. And that’s all, you are set for flight alerts.
- If you change your mind and don’t want to get alerts anymore, you just need to go to My Account section and delete the Price Alerts.
- Hitlist App
The Hitlist App is also a great way to get the best airfare deals. Hitlist allows you to select exactly the trips you want to take, as well as the destinations and departure places.
The app has lots of alerts you can enable to get the best deals.
#5 When to Book
Knowing when to book your flight tickets is a great advantage for your budget. Usually, the airline fares will rise as soon as your departure date is closer and closer. However, there is also a sweet time when airline tickets will be lower.
Our recommendation is to not book the flight very late. So, the best time to book your flights is:
- For international flights, you should book 2-8 months ahead
- For domestic flights, plan to buy the tickets 1-3 months ahead
This is not necessarily a rule, though, a general guide for you to follow. At the end of the day, you will thank yourself for saving some bucks, but however the flight hour may not the most friendly ones.
#6 Compare Ticket Prices For More Than 1 Airport
Tickets prices are very different and they change depending on the airport you want to depart from. It’s true, smaller airports demand fewer fees. However, you need to add gas, parking, and time.
So, to find the best deal, you should search on multiple websites. The algorithms are different, this is why it is better to check more than 2 web tools.
For instance, some will only show the budget carriers. Airlines will have a selection odf Hubs, therefore offer more direct flight in and out at those locations. Therefore, it’s better to search on multiple airline websites and save the favorite ones.
#7 Join a frequent flyer program
Every major airline has this special program for loyal customers. You can easily start earning points after each booking.
So, as soon as you know about traveling somewhere, you should immediately sign up for a travel rewards card. Avid travelers love the airline rewards program, as this simple trick can help you earn free flights, free hotel stays, lots of discounts, as well as other traveling perks like a free checked bag, preferential boarding and in some cases free upgrades.
No matter how often you fly, you simply need to sign up for the reward program, as it won’t cost you extra. If you are smart, you can collect all these points and after some years, travel the world for very little out of pocket costs.
#8 Use a Travel Credit Card
The last trick you can do for getting great cheap flights is using a Travel Credit Card, for all the purchases you will do. There are now lots of travel rewards credit cards that offer free points to start. Moreover, you can enjoy lots of travel benefits more quickly. Click here for a comparison of the Best Starter Travel Credit cards.
Some bonuses that come with this card are substantial discounts, so you can even earn a free flight in seconds. How do you earn a signup bonus? Well, you will typically need to spend a certain amount of money with your card, but within the very first 90 days.
Do not complicate too much and choose a credit card with signup bonuses easy to earn. Also, keep in mind that the minimum spending should be an amount of money you can afford to pay, considering the expenses for each month.
To start, I recommend choosing a card without an annual fee. This way, you will avoid any other possible additional expenses that most of the card companies will ask.
More than the discounts for flight tickets, your credit card will offer you other rewards, for both the future flights and stays. The best part? Signing up for these programs is free, and worth it for the information you get.
#9 Most Frequently Asked Question, answered
Now that we know the basics of choosing the cheapest flights, it’s time for answering some of the FAQ’s. Click here for the most frequently asked questions.
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Traveling can be as cheap or as expensive as you wish to make it. If you plan your trips ahead and prepare your flight routes according to a well thought out plan, you can travel around the world and not spend a fortune to do so.
Hope this article shared some light on the matter and gave you the confidence to find the next dream destination to go to.
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