Home Travel 11 Top Tips for Booking Affordable Flights and Travel Plans

11 Top Tips for Booking Affordable Flights and Travel Plans

by Nina Smith

Your affordable travel plan starts with a budget-friendly flight. Unfortunately, just scrolling through different airlines for cheap air tickets may not help much. You need to know where and how to find them.

Here are a few tips to fly cheaply to your next destination.

1. Book Flights Early

Airfares climb steeply when nearing the high season at your destination. For example, if traveling to Paris, flights to Paris will hike their fares between June, August, and late December. If you wish to travel to this city during this period, consider booking your tickets in advance. You will escape the price inflation towards and during the high season.

For domestic flights, consider booking a seat at least two months in advance. On the other hand, you can book international flights five to six months in advance. Do this during the low season to get a cut for the high season travel.

2. Do Not Set a Specific Travel Date When Searching

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Be a little flexible with your travel dates if you can fix your accommodation at the destination at the click of a button. Some airlines offer discounts on specific dates of the month. For example, most business travel plans are cheaper towards the weekend as there is less travel by executives.

You can be lucky to get the best offers if you are patient. Monitor the airfares for a period, such as one month, to determine the trends. Then, be on the lookout for cheap fares on similar dates in the next month.

3. Check the itinerary and Full Package Deals

Sometimes hotels, holiday destinations, and major attraction destinations collaborate with airlines to give their visitors full packages at a discount. Such a package may include an air ticket, hotel accommodations, tickets to selected attractions, and discounts for other needs.

Take your time to calculate possible costs if paying for all of these individually versus when bought as a package. You may find that you save 10-15% of your cost if you go with the bundled offer. In such a case, pick the bundled offer and enjoy discounts across various points.

4. Go Incognito When Searching Air Fares

Browsers track your information and activity to enhance your browsing experience. They place cookies for tracking purposes. Unfortunately, airlines and booking websites use the same practice to send you fare prices in the form of ads and recommendations. This has a negative effect, as they tend to increase fares based on your search history. You might not get cheap fares by just browsing using tracked browsers.

However, you can avoid tracking by going incognito in your browser. The incognito mode deletes your activity after a search and prevents sites from storing cookies on your device. Therefore, you will be browsing as a new person each time you check fares. This strategy may get you cheaper fares than you would otherwise get.

5. Check for Flyer Programmes

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If you are a regular air traveler, be sure to join one of the frequent flyer loyalty programs offered by your regular airlines. You earn points every time you fly with them, and you can use the points to get discounts on your next flight.

Besides, you can check if your credit card has tie-ups for discounts on your next flight. You may be lucky to get additional discounts for using your card on top of a frequent flyer program. Some discounts may also be attached to the holiday destination, accommodation, or other activities you undertake during your stay. Grab as many as you can to save on costs.

6. Fly to a Cheaper City near Your Destination

You may choose to fly into an alternative city near your destination, as it may be significantly cheaper. If you are travelling to a country with several airports, compare the price of landing at the airport nearest to the destination and using local transport to your ultimate location.

Here is an example: If you wish to travel to London, you may visit Manchester and use a tram or train to London. In the same case, you may fly into Milan when headed to Florence and take the train for the rest of the journey. It is cheaper to travel to the said alternative locations than to the main cities listed above.

7. Take advantage of Student Discounts

If you are 26 years of age or younger, you may take advantage of student discounts offered by different airlines. Most universities would be willing to recommend their students for discounts without any issues. Some travel agencies can also connect you with an offer if you present your student ID.

Students may get anything between 10% and 20% concessions on standard flights. They may also enjoy special baggage allowances not available to standard travelers. All these can save you lots of cash.

8. Follow Different Budget Airlines on Social Media

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Many airlines provide discounts or deal offers on their social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They also announce limited offers on these sites. Consider following a few you would like to travel with or who are known for discounts to get offers as soon as they become available. You may also subscribe to alerts so that you know when there are promotions or flash sales.

9. Compare Flight Tickets from Different Providers

Do not pick the very first offer you find, even if it looks cheap. Take time to check what other airlines are offering before picking one. Utilize the incognito mode we discussed earlier when making comparisons so that you can get the best offers. There are also online airfare comparison tools where you can just key in your home and destination to get the best deals.

10. Check Local Airlines Especially when Travelling

You may find several local airlines whose fares are not available in the standard Google search. This is the case, especially if you are traveling locally. You can check the websites of a few of them and compare the prices. You will find that lesser-known airlines may have cheaper fares, more discounts, or better packages than renowned international brands.

11. Search Fares in Weaker Currencies

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If the country you are traveling to has a weaker currency, you may consider searching for fares with it. You will find that the air ticket is significantly cheaper with a weaker currency than it would be with a stronger one.

Luckily, most airlines allow travelers to use the destination currency for their bookings. If you are traveling to a country with a stronger currency, use your home currency for the search. Take advantage of this to save a few coins of your air ticket price.

Looking for affordable flights is hard work but worth the effort. When you are meticulous about getting a budget air ticket, you may save for your holiday and have more fun. Use the tips above to get the best fare prices for your next travel plans.