5 Pro Tips For Finding The Best Cheap Flights To Suit Your Budget
Want to find the best cheap flights to suit your budget? You’re in the right place. Here are 5 pro tips to help you travel like a pro and find the best hot deals on flights that won’t break the bank.
When it comes to finding cheap flights, flexibility is key. Consider including nearby airports in your search, as well as an open-ended destination, which can often result in greatly-reduced prices. Also, you may want to look at the cheapest days to fly — generally, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best bets for lower rates.
Be sure to get to know the different airfare search engines. With so many tools out there to choose from, you’ll want to research which ones offer the best deals and serve your needs. Some will offer rewards points, while others have options for flexible dates and low-fare calendars.
Take advantage of hidden city tickets. This travel technique involves taking a flight to a certain destination, then leaving the flight at the second layover destination instead of at the final destination. It can produce great savings, but it’s best to use this approach sparingly.
Check out price alert subscriptions. Google Flights and many other flight search sites offer notifications when prices change. You can also use sites like SkyScanner and Yapta to book flights and set price alerts.
Be vigilant about finding promo codes and discounts. There are lots of resources out there tailored to finding the best budget-friendly flights. From student discounts to airline and combination discounts, the right promo code can often provide further savings off already low prices.
Weigh in with the right luggage
It may sound counterintuitive, but consider packing light when you’re hunting for low-price tickets. Overweight baggage fees can quickly add up and increase the cost of your flight, so aim for simple, lightweight luggage that can easily be stowed away. Backpacks are great and the fewer pieces you can bring along, the better.
Make sure to look into the different carry-on restrictions, too. Every airline is different in terms of what size and quantity counts as one carry-on item. You may want to aim for the middle of the road when putting together your carry-on bag to avoid being handed a hefty fee at the gate
Consider investing in a travel rewards credit card. With the right card in your wallet, you could be eligible for great bonuses like free airfare and discounted flights. Be sure to read through the fine print before applying, as some cards come with restrictions, annual fees or high interest rates.
A travel card can also help you rack up rewards points for future trips, too — so if you plan on traveling often, you may want to look into cards that rack up rewards on spend. It’s all about weighing your options and finding the credit card that offers the best rewards for your needs.
Seek special deals
Be sure to follow airlines and destinations on social media for special deals and announcements.
This is a great way to stay on top of flight rates and even snag cheap flights if your timing is right. Smaller or regional airlines may also offer lower rates for certain routes, so it pays to do your homework and seek out cheaper carriers.
Try and avoid booking at peak times. Many airlines still use dynamic pricing systems to increase prices around the most popular travel times — like the holiday season, weekends, etc. So, if you’re able to travel outside of peak times, or even off-season, you’re likely to get a great deal.
Alternatively, last-minute deals are often available for travelers willing to book with short notice. It won’t always work out this way, but you may just be able to bag a bargain if you’re prepared to plan your trip within a few days (or even within the same day).
Finally, signing up for email lists can be a great way to get special deals and discounts sent straight to your inbox. Make sure to pick airlines and destinations that provide great value for your travel needs to ensure you get the best deals for your budget.
Planning ahead pays off
Sometimes (but not always) planning ahead can be the difference between a pricey ticket and a great deal. Booking flights early can often mean a major discount, but be aware that many airlines now offer their lowest fare rates only when seats are first opened, which could be six to nine months in advance.
So don’t wait until the last minute to start searching. Mark your calendar accordingly so you know when it’s time to make inquiries and lock in the best rates. In fact, some sites now offer fare predictions to help you guesstimate the best time to buy.
Another advantage of booking early is that your seat selection will be guaranteed. Airlines like to release their cheapest tickets first, and those deals are almost always pre-assigned seats — so it pays to get in early and choose the seat that fits your travel needs.
For more information, it’s a good idea to connect with fellow travelers online. Join forums and Facebook groups and start asking questions. Locals may be able to provide great advice on where to get the best deals and which airline is best suited to your travel needs.
If you frequently fly the same airline, you may want to look into their loyalty program and partner programs. Many airlines reward passengers with points and discounts each time they fly with them. And partner programs offer additional ways to redeem points — think hotels, car rentals or experiences.
These programs can be a great way to save money and enjoy VIP treatment on your travels. Perks can range from priority check-in lines and special discounts to exclusive lounge access or even upgrades.
You can also look into loyalty programs for hotels and car rentals, where you can collect points to redeem at optimum times for rewards and discounts.
When you’re searching for the best cheap flight deals, there’s a slew of creative solutions out there.Slice your costs without sacrificing the experience of your journey by: being flexible with departure/arrival times; researching the right airfare search engines for your needs; taking advantage of hidden city flights; using price alert subscriptions; and seeking out promo codes and discounts.
Don’t forget the luggage factor. Pack light for cheap flights and look into the allowances and restrictions for carry-ons. And if you fly often, it can pay to get a travel rewards credit card to rack up bonus points towards future trips.
Finally, plan ahead and make sure to follow airlines and destinations on social media for great deals, as well as seek out special deals on regional airlines. Sign up for email newsletters and use forums and Facebook groups to get insider tips on finding the best flights for your budget.
- Q: What are the best airfare search engines?
- A: There are a lot of different airfare search engines out there, and it pays to do your research to find which one best suits your needs. Popular ones include Google Flights, Expedia, Kayak, Skyscanner, and Yapta.
- Q: Is using hidden city tickets a good way to save money?
- A: Hidden city tickets are a great way to save money, but it’s best to use this approach sparingly. Be mindful that this isn’t legal according to certain airlines.
- Q: What is the best way to get bonus points for future trips?
- A: Investing in a travel rewards credit card can be a great way to rack up bonus points for future trips. Read through the fine print before applying, as some cards come with restrictions or fees.