Once you’ve taken care of the accommodations and found yourself an awesome vacation rental or hotel, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get there. The flight can be the most expensive part of the trip, especially for overseas journeys. If you’d like to cut down on that cost, you can take advantage of a few tips and tricks for getting a cheap flight.
1. Be Flexible
If you want to score the cheapest flights, you’ll have to be a bit flexible with your flights. We’re not talking about cramming into tiny seats or sneaking into someone’s suitcase. You just need to be willing to alter your trip plans based on the flights available. Sometimes, leaving a few days earlier or later can drop ticket prices significantly.
2. Buy Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets. While right before a flight an airline might offer discounted tickets, your best bet is to purchase six to eight weeks in advance. As you get closer to the day of the flight, the airline will generally raise their prices as people get more desperate to get a seat on the flight they want. To avoid this, buy before your seat becomes a scarce commodity.
3. Check Back Often
Don’t just buy the first cheap ticket you see, unless it’s an exceptionally good deal. Instead, check prices, write them down and then come back the next day to see if prices dropped or increased. Be patient and check back every so often to truly find the cheapest flight possible.
4. Try Out Different Search Engines
Similarly, don’t just use one flight search engine. There are plenty of flight-finding websites and apps out there, and you might miss out on a deal if you just stick to one or two. Lots of these websites will even compare deals from multiple flight search engines with each other.
5. Don’t Disregard Budget Airlines
Some people might avoid budget airlines because they think they’re not safe or high quality. Sure, you might not get some of the perks of flying with bigger airlines, but you’ll get to your destination for much less money. Budget airlines are becoming more common and offering more flights to more destinations. Take advantage of those deals!
6. Test Out Different Destinations
Another area in which being flexible can result in savings is the destination of your flight. While you don’t want to end up too far from your hotel or vacation rental, landing somewhere a bit further away and taking a bus or taxi could be cheaper than a direct flight.
You could also book your own connecting flights, which can be cheaper than letting the airline find a connecting flight for you. This also gives you the freedom to make your vacation a round-the-world trip with layovers in multiple cities.
7. Joint Points Programs
If you fly a lot, joining a frequent flyer program can save you some serious bucks. Even if you don’t fly all that much, you can get points toward flights by opening up a credit card that offers them. You might even end up getting a flight for free!
8. Avoid Busy Times
Generally, flights during the busiest times are the most expensive because of the higher demand. Book yours during off-times to find better deals. Lots of people fly out at the end of the week for vacations, so Wednesdays are usually the cheapest days. Flights around holiday also tend to be more expensive. Flight to a certain city might even get more expensive when there’s a popular event going on there.
9. Consider One-Way Flights
Sometimes, booking a round trip is the cheapest way to go. Other times, it’s not. The only way to know which it is to test out both options. Look up round trips and note the prices. Then, try out a few one-ways and see if it’s any less expensive.
10. Search Separately
Buying tickets in groups can make them more expensive. That’s because airlines will take the highest priced ticket and charge you that much for each ticket. You’ll get a better deal by searching for each individually, and then trying to pick seats that are together after you check out. You do run the risk of sitting separately, but you’ll save a good deal of money. If you really don’t mind flying on your own, booking separate flights can save you even more.
With a bit of extra work and a lot of patience, you can find a relatively inexpensive ticket to almost anywhere. You just have to be flexible and know where to look.
Ready to go? Find the perfect rental on Tripping.com, the world's largest vacation rental search engine.
This article was written by Kacey Mya.