Understanding when to find cheap flights can be a daunting task for many people, especially for people who are travelling on a budget. However, there are a couple of things one can do to master how to find the cheapest flights. We have made this journey easier for you and made a list of some of the steps you can take.
Also read: How To Save Money While Travelling
Steps you need to take to find cheap flights
Have you ever noticed, the flight price of a route has increased once it is searched more than a couple of times? This is mainly because of ‘cookies’. Cookies in your browser enable the seller to know of your interest in a particular product, resulting in an increase in the price. So, make sure you use the ‘Incognito’ or ‘private‘ browsing mode to see the cheapest prices of flights. This should be one of the best ways to find cheap flights.
Time of travel
When do you plan to travel?
This is an important factor to get cheap flights. Ticket prices get expensive as you approach your date of travel. In order to avail the best price, it is best to book between four months and three weeks before your departure date. This is considered the best time to avail cheap flights for any route.
Another point that is noteworthy is that cost of tickets rises around seasonal holidays and around festive seasons.
In a nutshell – try to be flexible with your dates.
Search engines To Find Cheap Flights
Having different search engines does not help in providing results that indicate cheap flights. However, there are some sites that would help in your search. Here are some websites to find cheap flights
So maybe the question is not when to find cheap flights, it is where to search for them.
This might be a hard one, but maybe for vacation travels, you could try to be flexible with your destination. If you cannot be flexible with your dates, this is something you need to consider if you would like to have a budgeted trip. Certain destinations cost lesser to reach than others.
Some websites like Skyscanner, enable you to conduct searches for multiple destinations and easily compare prices between different destinations. This would help you find something more interesting and, possibly, cheaper!
A point to note is that when you simply search for a particular destination, you will only get the prices of that destination. This may not help you financially in terms of budgeted travel. However, deciding to let go of a particular destination that is heavy on the wallet, could also reduce the financial strain that a travel trip is known for causing. Once you leave the destination you would not have to worry about how much you spent and can still focus on the memorable parts of it.
A budget carrier or a low-cost carrier is an airline that focuses on minimizing costs. This is usually done by eliminating the regular services and amenities which would be otherwise provided in the fares. So, if budget is your constraint, budget carriers are also an option. These are also a great option if you do not wish to be flexible with your destinations.
These low-cost, no-frills carriers will definitely have cheaper tickets than their full-service counterparts. Of course, this too comes at a cost – like less leg room and no “free” food/drink. Nonetheless, this still is one of the ways to find cheap flights.
Some of the other noteworthy points while considering a budget airline are as follows:
- aircraft may have an evidently simpler interior; nothing fancy
- customer service may not be up to the mark
- airport could be probably located far away from a major city
- will have to print your own ticket
- will have to pay for extra luggage weight
Regardless of the fare that you will be paying, they are just as safe as your normal full-service flights.
Most of us prefer to fly direct and never check for alternate options. Though time-consuming, if you can check for alternate routes you may get flights at cheaper rates. For instance, if you would like to fly to Paris, sometimes it is better to fly to Frankfurt and then take a budget airline to Paris from your destination.
Checking alternate routes to fly to your destination can really help you ease that financial burn.
Avoid weekend booking
If you regularly check for flight prices, you will notice that flight prices begin to increase on Friday and then plummet by Monday and Tuesday. So, it is better to choose to book flights on weekdays rather than weekends to avail cheaper prices.
Usually, people tend to book both ways on the same carrier, basically, go ahead and search for round trip prices. Instead of this try to be flexible with the dates and check for individual journeys with different airlines. This means you fly out on a carrier different from the one you used to fly in.
Flight Comparison Websites
Always remember to use a couple of flight comparison websites before you book your flight tickets. No matter how much of a hurry you are in do make sure you have had your comparisons done earlier. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak and Momondo help to provide a detailed listing of flights to your desired destination, along with the comparative fares offered by different airlines. Also, avoid selecting a specific date for your departure. Instead, select the entire month to know which is the cheapest time to fly.
Cheap flights for Students
If you are a student, there are some ways you can avail cheap flights with student concessions.
- There are specialist student travel agencies that provide student exclusive services to help students avail cheap flights.
- Websites like StudentUniverse are exclusively focused on providing students discounts
- Holiday travel can be very stressful. Especially if you are a student who wishes to travel back home, there are many student-focused holidays that offer more activities, social events. To travel during this period results in heavy expenses on the part of students. Check out Student Travel Agencies and speak to an agent. State what you are looking for in advance so they help monitor the flights for cheap tickets.
- Always make sure to plan way ahead as this will also give the STA time to monitor flight deals way in advance.
Student discount cards
Keep checking on airline websites, airline newsletters, travel company newsletters. Though we tend to avoid signing up for newsletters, it is a good way to see if there are student discount cards. Newsletters of airlines and travel companies tend to announce rewards such as exclusive discounts for newsletter subscribers. Hence make it a point to check on them as well.
Flight and Accommodation combo deals
Let go of the bias of flight and accommodation deals! Often, they are genuine and provide huge discounts on airfare. By booking packaged deals, you can avail discounts not only on tickets but also on accommodation. Try out travel package options as they tend to offer huge discounts on stay, food, accommodation and travel. This is possible as holiday agencies tend to book in large numbers so they are mostly genuine.
Senior Citizen discounts
Travelling knows no age bar. Both a youngster and a senior person can share this passion alike. Whether you as a senior citizen are travelling alone, or with friends or family, cheap flight tickets will definitely be on your mind. Many airlines offer senior travel discounts from time to time. So, all you need to do is to plan in advance and avail those discounts!
Make sure you research online. There may be many airlines that offer attractive discounts, some exclusively for seniors. However, do make sure that added costs like airline taxes and fees don’t end up increasing the costs.
Make sure you check the age parameters for which discounts are offered. For instance, in some cases, airlines offer discounts for a bigger age group like 55 to 65 while some cater to a small group like 60 to 63.
Before travelling, you need to check out multiple destinations and ensure the discounts and offers provided by airlines help you get the cheapest flights and also to a destination that is of interest to you. Most of the seniors tend to travel for relaxation and for sightseeing. And many holiday companies and airlines cater to this need by offering a huge reduction in flight tickets and accommodations during tourist seasons but only when booked in advance. So make sure to do your research and avail cheap flights.
Use the flexible search feature
While conducting online searches, it is always the best option to toggle on the “Flexible” search rather than on an “Exact” search. Normally such searches will bring up results that include charts and graphs of prices around the nearby dates. This will help you choose the best date of travel which will provide you with the cheapest flights. Thus, helping you save on your budget for travel.
Watch out for flash sales
If you are not a person to plan your trips in advance but tend to travel impromptu, this one is for you. Airlines announce flash sales and huge discounts sometimes during the offseason. This is generally helpful to those travelling solo. You can be notified of all the sales and discounts by simply signing up for emails from your favourite airlines and travel companies.
If you are not the one who flies frequently, you may not earn a free flight. But signing up for a frequent flier program of any airline of your choice will definitely add up over a period of time especially in International sectors. Even though it would take a while to accrue points or miles, it will provide you will many discounts on travel-related expenses like upgrading seats, travelling business class, buying snacks in flight or for Wifi in flight.
The period between peak-season and off-season is generally termed as shoulder season. This varies by destination. For instance, in the case of travelling to Europe, people generally prefer summer which is the peak season. So autumn and spring are the shoulder seasons when you will come across cheap flights. Trying to find out the shoulder season of your destination is another way to go about finding cheap tickets.