Hacks for Booking the Cheapest Flights

A woman looking at the window of the plane.

Murmuring of the engine, lullaby made of turbulence and neighbours’ conversation, tacked in by the permanent question, “Chicken or Fish?” How else would you want to spend your summer, if not like that? Travelling freshens you up. Foreign wonders enrich your soul, while unusual foods revive your taste buds. However, what to do if your wallet works as a Dark hole, and the work bonus rests in the depths with Loch Ness? Too many questions, but we’ve got the answer. Travel on a budget. You don’t have to spend fortunes on plane tickets and live off water and bread on the islands of your dreams. Instead, try our tips on how to book the cheapest flights. Save up and spend money on things you truly want.

Read more: Your Budget for Going Abroad – A Short Guide about Money

A colored map of the world with a toy plane

Be open to any destination

If you want to get out of your country and do not have a specific goal in mind, you are in luck. It is always easier to find hidden gems when you are flexible. Just go to Google Flights or Skyscanner, pick a date and the airport you will leave from and don’t fill in the destination option. The search engine will generate all available flights for the period of your choice, so you will have to pick the place you like the most – or the cheapest location at that time.

Look at all options

We are sure you already know that, but prices vary depending on the provider you are using. So it is not uncommon that you end up buying for a price that could be smaller on another website. However, you and we are professionals now. You won’t make the mistake of not looking at all possible websites again, will you? Starting from the official airline website to Kayak or Priceline, you need to befriend them all. The time you will spend comparing the prices between them will be rewarded by a gift of the sweetest deals.

Be open to layovers

Many people are against layovers. Hanging out in the airport for hours, squeezing yourself in cold, tight chairs and boringly staring at the window – that is how they imagine a layover. Indeed, a layover is not a fairytale. Nevertheless, the prices for flights with long stops are way more generous. Moreover, you can do so much with a long layover: explore the city, take a bus tour or party at the beach. Many experienced travellers prefer to take even longer layovers (around 24 hours) to explore the country they have never been to. Thus, they don’t only save money but also add another destination to their list.

A man sitting in the hall of the plane and  working on his laptop.

Look for fights that leave in the middle of the week

People have debated for years about which day is the best one to leave for your trip. Some claim – that the cheapest flight is usually the one that leaves on Wednesday, while others stand by Tuesdays and Thursdays. Instead of picking a favourite, we would like to share a pattern with you. Flying in the middle of the week is way cheaper than on weekends. Starting from Friday, people usually go on vacation as the working week comes to an end. Hence the dearer prices from Friday-Sunday. Those who desire to spend a whole week in their paradise could pick Mondays. Airline companies have known this pattern for years, so generally, prices increase as the week goes on. We would add that most of the time, our generalization works; however, sometimes prices misbehave. To increase your chances of booking the cheap flight, pick a month you want to live in and look at how fares change based on the days. This strategy will ensure that you will not skip the best option for yourself.

Off-peak hours and non-seasonal time

Who would like to wake up at 2 am to get on a 4 am flight or go to Hawaii during winter? The person who understands how to live life to the fullest. Many tourists do not appreciate off-time seasons, so airlines tend to decrease prices to return demand. Because of that, offers for an off-peak hour and seasons are way better. If you want to know the off-season of your chosen destination to avoid tourists, google it. There are thousands of articles with travellers all over the world willing to share their experiences with you. Just write “Tourist seasons for [fill in the blank]” and buy a ticket for the opposite time.

Look for error prices

Error Prices (fares) – a very low priced flight, a mistake that the airline has not caught on time. This phenomenon occurs due to mistyping or a glitch in the system. Surprisingly or not, it happens way more often than you would think. Most of the time, if you snatch a ticket at such a small price, companies will let you use it. Very rarely, they would refuse and give you a refund. To spot errors, you can either become an investigator yourself or use a website that tracks errors for you. You can find multiple places that will watch for errors and notify you of any findings. Be aware, if you want to catch a good deal, you will have to act quickly before an airline spots the mistake. After all, they don’t want you to find it.

A screenshot of the applications on the phone, with mail filled with notifications about cheapest flights

Always be on the lookout

Catching a cheap flight is like fast trading – you never know when the best offer will happen. That is why you always need to be on the lookout. Use everything to keep track of daily changes of fares: your phone, mail, computer, and apps. Employ anything that can make a sound and notify you. Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure you know what is happening.

  • Set up price alerts in your search
  • Sign up for Airline Newsletter
  • Be aware of Airline’s Social Media
  • Set up notifications for your phone apps
  • Allow website’s notifications

Search for cheapest flights in incognito mode

Many users claim that the more you search for a specific flight, the higher the prices get. Indeed, through cookies, location, and other tools, the search engine indicates demand and fixes you up with a more expensive ticket. Unfortunately, regardless of how much we despise it, there is not a lot we can do to avoid it. Many claims that the trick around it is to use Incognito mode. Every time you want to google the prices, set your search to private mode to avoid tracking and maybe empty cookies beforehand.

A pile of money and plane tickets

Buy two one-way tickets instead of one round-trip

It is often cheaper to book a flight to the place closer to where you want to be and purchase a regional carrier to your final destination. Regional carriers offer lower prices than international since the target is different. We understand that if you are on a business trip, then this tip does not work. Two flights take more time than one and can become inconvenient. However, if you are a free soul who wants to see something new and travel, booking regional is a great way to explore more places. Moreover, if you happen to travel to Europe, choosing a train or bus is handier than a straight flight to your destination, because travelling on land, you get to see more places than you initially intended to.

Fly in and out of different cities

I think this suggestion is pretty self-explanatory. It is often cheaper to fly out of different cities instead of buying roundtrips. When an airline sees that you are leaving from the same place you went to, they increase the price. To avoid that, you can fly out from a city next to your chosen location. The algorithm will not consider it as a roundtrip, and your wallet will suffer less.

We are sure that you will find the best tickets for your dream trip with our tips. 

Have a safe trip and have fun!

Read more: 7 Best Countries to Teach English Abroad in 2021

The post Hacks for Booking the Cheapest Flights appeared first on The TEFL Academy Blog.

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Lost Password