Being travel bloggers, one of the questions that we get asked on the regular is how to get the best deals on flights. The fact that we travel so much doesn’t automatically qualify us as experts. But, coupling that with the fact that we’re obsessed with saving money probably does! We’ve constantly got our eyes on flight prices to our bucket list destinations. And, we do a fair amount of research before we actually bite the bullet and fork out. There are certain things that will help ensure that you get rock bottom prices every time you take to the skies. Today we’re passing on our favourite 3 hacks.
First things first, you need to know what a good price is for you. Head to a comparison site that allows you to see across several months so you can get an idea what average price looks like. Then, work out what you’d be comfortable paying. If you have a price in your mind that you’re happy with then you shouldn’t be disappointed if the cost goes down after you’ve booked.
1. Book at the right time and be flexible
Timing is absolutely key for bagging yourself a cheap flight! Because rather than charging a standard price for set routes, airlines use a system called dynamic pricing. Simply, the price of your flight goes up and down depending on the demand. A lot of advice online will tell you that a Tuesday is the best day to book, or to wait until 6 weeks before you intend to fly. This is garbage! It all depends on your specific flight and how popular it is.
Booking early is often a good idea as there tends to be less demand, but it won’t always snag you a bargain. Searching early and setting up some price alerts will allow you to monitor any price fluctuations. But be ready to push the button when the right deal comes through. Also be flexible with when you want to travel as the price difference between flying on one date to another is often massive.
2. Go undercover
Most sites these days place cookies on your browser, we know that. But we don’t always think about what they use them for. Some booking engines use these cookies to monitor how many times you search for a flight, i.e they treat it as a gauge of demand. Going back multiple times to look at the same flight is basically like shouting “I really want to buy that ticket” to the airline, and they know they can put the price up and you’ll still buy it. If you’ve ever been on and found a great price for a flight, only to go back a few moments later and it’s gone up all of a sudden, this is why. Sneaky eh?
The best way to avoid this happening is to delete your cookies each time you perform a search. This way the booking engine sees each search you make as a fresh query from a new customer. You can also browse in incognito or undercover mode. But be aware that cookies are still placed on the browser and it’s only when you close the browser that the cookies get wiped.
3. Consider one way
Most people automatically click the return button when they’re searching for flights, without realising that it could be an expensive mistake. Quite often, it will be cheaper to buy two single tickets rather than the round trip that’s on offer. Here’s the thing, airlines and many booking websites connect the flights that make them the most profit. Not the ones that save you the most money.
It might be that flying out with one airline and back with another will score you a significant saving. It may also be cheaper to fly out of one airport and back into a different one! Although, make sure you factor in the costs of getting to and from the airports as well if that’s the case. It might take a little more time, but comparing the cost of a return ticket to two singles is definitely worth it. And of course, you could always book one way and never come back...
You can find more of our travel stories on our blog The Whole World Or Nothing. Why not tweet us if you loved this article or you've been to any of these places? Find us on Insta too for more Wanderlust-inducing travel shots!
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