Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Saving Money On Flights Is Easier Than You May Think
Going away on vacation should be fun, hassle free, and ideally it shouldn’t break the bank. Typically, one of the largest expenses of a trip is the flight. Wouldn’t it be great to save some money here and reinvest it into other areas of your trip? I have compiled the below tips on how to save money on flights so that you can do just that.
Travel at the right times
Booking your flight at the right time can save you a lot of money. Try avoiding peak travel seasons such as June, July, August and the December holidays. If you don’t have that flexibility, timing when you purchase your ticket can also help you cut that flight cost down. Avoid looking for tickets over the weekend and instead aim for Tuesday afternoon. Airlines usually start their sales on Monday evening, so competition will drive those prices down by early afternoon Tuesday.
This is one of the most important factors when looking for the cheapest flights possible. When you are able to be flexible, you can watch the price of flights drop in front of your eyes. For example, flying on a weekend tends to be much more expensive than flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Be sure to click the “my dates are flexible” option when searching for tickets. Also, if there are multiple airports near your destination, be flexible in which one you will fly to. By selecting your destination and then the “all airports” option, your search will bring up the cheapest flight across the airports.
If money is more important than time, I suggest researching a number of airports close to your final destination. For example, when flying to Koh Samui, Thailand, it can save you hundreds of dollars by stopping in Bangkok and then flying to Sarat Thani and taking the hour ferry ride across to Koh Samui, instead of flying directly there.
Alternatively, try breaking your flight up and consider a stop-over. Direct flights are, for the most part, more expensive, so make sure you check out the indirect options before booking. Most booking sights like Kayak and Skyscanner give you an option to search indirect flights only. If you decide to do a stop over, don’t forget about the multi-city feature while booking tickets. This can be used for a trip that is 3 legs or more, and instead of booking 3+ one-way tickets, it can save a ton of money by bundling them together.
Download local airline carrier apps
Online search engines are fast, convenient and usually find the cheapest deals, but not always. A number of airlines now have their own apps. This is not only a convenient way to buy your ticket and download your boarding pass, it can also lead to big savings. Throughout the year, airline carriers will offer discounted tickets through their websites and mobile apps, so make sure you have your alerts turned on and keep your eyes peeled.
Multiple airlines and airports
Try not to be wed to one airline carrier or airport. It can save a lot of money to buy outbound and return flights on different airlines and from different airports. Don’t feel the need to buy that return ticket immediately; sometimes it helps to do some research and then buy two one-way fares instead.
The add-ons for cheap flights are usually where the airlines get you. But, there are simple ways around that. Only check bags when 100% necessary. There are a number of fantastic products on the market that let you carry additional items on your person, some of them will allow you to carry up to 15kg extra. Jacktogo is leading the way with these products.
Bringing your own food is another way not to be charged extra. Although the quality of airplane food is getting better, the price is still a bit high for what you actually get. Try bringing your own food on the plane, that way you save money and get more choice for your meal.
Download travel apps
There is a vast number of travel apps dedicated to helping you buy cheaper airfare. These are a few of my personal favorites.
•AirfareWatchDog and Hopper alert you to cheap deals
•JacksFlightClub hunts down pricing errors and emails you when they occur
•Skyscanner lets you search a large number of flights from across different carriers
•Fareness is a great app for spontaneous travelers with flexible dates
Most major credit cards offer rewards programs for the money that you spend in your day-to-day life. Do some research on the different programs, sign up for the card that works best for you and be sure to save your rewards points to be used on travel expenses. This will lead to serious savings on booking travel!
Frequent flyer miles are another way that traveling is rewarded with more travel. Most airlines, both big and small, offer frequent flyer programs as a way to obtain customer loyalty. Using your frequent flyer miles will score you majorly discounted flights, or free flights altogether. Therefore, choose your airline carrier with discretion in order to take advantage of free and discount flights to the destinations you are interested in. Some of the best and most popular programs include JetBlue, Southwest, and Delta.
24-hour cancellation rule
A truly amazing travel feature that is offered on a few websites, including Expedia, is that certain flights are eligible for a free 24-hour cancellation. You can take advantage of this cancellation if you were to find a better deal the next day. You may be skeptical, but having experience using this feature, the best part is that it really is free. There are no fees or charges that will come through to you.