Looking to go soaring on a tight budget? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or an occasional adventurer, knowing how to find low-cost flights is a skill worth mastering, saving you more money to enjoy once you’ve touched down.
The joy of jetting off to new destinations becomes even sweeter when you know you’ve scored a great deal on airfare. In this guide, we’ll uncover some top tips, tricks and hacks to help you navigate the world of flight bookings and snag those budget-friendly seats on your next flight out of town.
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Be flexible with travel dates
One of the golden rules for securing low-cost flights is flexibility. If your travel dates are adaptable, you open the door to a world of potential savings. This is made even easier if you’re planning to fly solo on your next trip. Consider flying on weekdays instead of weekends and be open to midweek departures and returns. Often, adjusting your itinerary by a day or two can lead to significant reductions in ticket prices.
Set fare alerts
Consider letting technology work in your favor by creating airfare alerts. There’s several applications out there that automatically monitor your preferred routes and notify you when prices fall or reach a certain price point. Google Flights is one such option to consider. It has an inbuilt price tracker function, so it’s certainly one of the most intuitive applications out there. Sometimes these alert apps can help you to spot error fares or glitches, allowing you to bag a great deal. It could be a rock-bottom price for a long-haul flight or a cheap price for flying in a higher-class cabin, or anything that helps you to get more bang for your buck.
Be prepared to book at the last minute
Building on the need to be flexible with your travel plans, you may need to wait until the last minute to bag a great deal. Airlines are more inclined to slash their airfares if there are plenty of seats available in the days or even hours leading up to a flight taking off. One option is to keep the apps of every airline you’re prepared to fly with at hand, rebooting their booking engines every few hours. Some travellers don’t have the luxury of being able to check multiple times a day. These people tend to prefer using an online comparison portal which displays all available last-minute airfares on one screen with a single request. There’s dynamic modules for last-minute travel bookings with eDreams which update the latest prices on single and return flight tickets.
Consider flying indirect
If you’re planning a medium-to-long-haul trip, it may be prudent to consider indirect flights. Direct flights are the fastest and most convenient way to fly from A to B but, if you’re interested in saving some money on your next trip, connecting flights can be a cost-cutting option. Some people prefer flying indirect in certain circumstances. Those flying to the west coast of the U.S. from Europe may sometimes take an indirect flight. This means they clear customs and immigration at their first port of call, allowing them to take the connecting flight without having the hassle of immigration and customs at their final destination.
Overlook the airfare myths
One of the biggest issues finding low-cost airfares surrounds the myths that all too many travellers believe. Rule number one – there’s no silver bullet or magic trick you can do to get a cheap flight. Below, we’re going to debunk some of these myths, putting you firmly in control of your flight booking destiny:
- Tuesdays aren’t cheaper than any other day of the week to buy a flight – and nor is any other day of the week for that matter!
- There is no such timeframe to get a low-cost flight e.g. you don’t need to look 28 days before you plan to fly to get the best deal.
- It’s practically impossible to guess the price of airfares – it’s all based on supply and demand.
Budget carriers can be more palatable
If you’re someone who’s used to flying with high-end flag carriers, you can save a pretty penny just by considering flying with low-cost airlines. Although these no-frills carriers lack the bells and whistles you might get on premium airlines, they are very handy for short-to-medium-haul flights. Just be mindful that some budget airlines fly into smaller, more remote airports, so you might need to be flexible with your final destination.
It’s always best to browse online without cookies enabled, for whatever you’re looking to buy. This includes airfares too. Either go ‘cookie-less’ or load up a comparison portal in ‘incognito’ mode instead. This will help you to get an unfiltered, up-to-the-minute picture of the flights available to you, so you can book and start focusing on your packing options.
Scoring low-cost flights is a satisfying art that combines flexibility, timing, and a healthy dose of digital savvy. By staying open to alternatives, embracing technology, and being downright strategic in your approach, unlocking a new world of affordable travel possibilities.