Your flight is usually the most expensive part of your trip, so any money you can save on booking it is a bonus. Luckily, thanks to your BFF, the Internet, we can cut out the travel-agent middle-man and find the cheapest flights ourselves. There’s nothing worse than booking your ticket only to find you could’ve saved a grand or two had you just waited a few days. Here are the tips to booking the cheapest flight possible:
Book it seven weeks in advance
Back in the day, people left booking their flight until the last minute in the hopes that airlines would have extra seats they were keen to get rid of ASAP for cheaper. Nowadays there are so many budget airlines and so many more people travelling, so this doesn’t work. You could end up paying double or even triple the original cost of a flight if you book it at the last minute. The sweet spot is about seven weeks before your travel date. If you’re planning a super-long-haul flight to somewhere like Australia or America, then 18 weeks in advance is a good time to get booking.
Be flexible with your dates
If you can afford to play around with your dates a bit, do so. There is no hard-and-fast rule, but generally it’s cheaper to fly on a week day. Toggle your dates to check whether you could save money by travelling a day or so later or leaving a day earlier. When you type your dates into some sites, like Momondo, it gives a chart that clearly shows all the surrounding dates and the amount your journey would cost you. Know that booking something just before Christmas is obviously going to cost you a bit more. And flying on dates that people generally don’t want to be up in the air for (like New Year’s Eve) will be cheaper.
Use a site that checks all the deals available
No flight-tracking site is perfect so check your dates on a number of different ones. Sky Scanner, Momondo and Google Flights are all pretty thorough. Once you’ve found a few cheap flights through them, go directly to the airline’s site. It can be cheaper to book directly through them than a third-party site. The cheapest long-haul airlines include Emirates, Ethiopian Airways and Qatar.
Play around with one-ways and returns
If you’re wanting to find the best deal, you’ll have to do some extra research. Sometimes it can work out cheaper to buy two one-way flights – you just have to do some digging around. Check the price of the cheapest return flight you can find and make a note of it. Now type in your dates as one-way tickets and see if these two options combined work out a bit cheaper.
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