The Top Ten Ways to Save Money on the Cost of Your Next Flight
When it comes to booking a vacation, we’re all aware that paying for a flight well in advance can save us a substantial sum of money.
What isn’t so obvious, however, is just how many different factors can affect the cost of an airline flight. Whether it’s taking advantage of a loophole in layover flights or just keeping a beady eye on exchange rates, we’ve rounded up ten of the best ways to reduce the cost of your next flight, below:
1. Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates
It almost goes without saying that to be able to book a cheap flight, you need to be as flexible as possible regarding the dates of your travel. Many flight comparison websites allow you to search for flights over a whole month, so you can easily see which days are the cheapest to fly on.
2. Be Flexible With Your Destination
If you can’t decide where you want to visit on your next vacation, why not let the cost of the ticket decide for you? Skyscanner allows you to search for the most affordable flights based on the airport you choose to depart from.
3. Book on the Weekend
There’s lots of conflicting information online regarding whether or not the day you book your flight on has an effect on the cost of your ticket.
One of the biggest online flight comparison websites, Expedia, certainly seems to think so, with the travel company claiming that the weekend is the best time to book your flights.
Why? Well, their research shows that business travellers tend to purchase their tickets towards the end of the working week, which in turn leaves the demand for tickets at the weekend at a much lower rate.
4. Sign up to Price Alerts
The price of an airline ticket can vary greatly over the course of just a few days thanks in large part to demand and promotional offers. To make sure you book your flight at the cheapest cost possible, set up an email price alert.
5. Sign up to Newsletters
One of the easiest ways to stay in the loop regarding any upcoming promotional offers from an airline is to sign up for their email newsletter. This way, if there is a special offer available for a limited time only, you can make sure you’re at the front of the queue.
6. Search for Flights in Incognito Mode
There’s a long-standing rumour that airlines increase the price of certain flights based on the number of times a particular route is searched for via the same device. While it may all be an urban myth, we’d advise searching for your flights in incognito mode to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
7. Travel in the Off-Season
As a general rule, it’s best not to book your flight during a school or public holiday if you’re looking to find the cheapest price for your trip.
It’s also worth considering that many sub-tropical destinations have a dry and a wet season, which can affect the demand, and therefore the cost, of flights at certain times of the year.
8. Keep Your Eye on Exchange Rates
Any sudden fall or rise in the value of a currency can have a huge effect not only the cost of a flight but also a holiday in general.
The recent Brexit vote in the United Kingdom was a classic example of this, with the value of sterling dropping 10% against the dollar in just a matter of hours.
9. Look out for ‘Hidden-City’ Flights
A ‘hidden-city’ flight is when it works out cheaper to depart from your journey during a layover than booking a direct flight. For example, you could fly to New York to Los Angeles for $300, or alternatively choose to book a flight from New York to Seattle with a stopover in Los Angeles for $200.
While you’re able to walk out during a layover, it’s worth remembering that any checked luggage will make its way to your final destination, so this option is strictly for those that don’t mind travelling light.
10. Consider Flying From Another Airport
The cost of a flight to the same destination from two closely located airports can vary greatly depending on how much competition an airline faces on a certain route. That’s why it’s always worth adding a few extra possible departure airports when searching for flights online.