How to find Cheap flights
Whether you end up booking last minute or booking six months in advance, there are always deals available for cheap flights online. The key is to shop around and having a flexible itinerary.
Finding a cheap airline ticket is never a sure bet; however, you can increase your chances of finding a deal by keeping few of the below strategies in mind.
Start planning and research for cheap flights as much in advance as possible; especially, if you have a set schedule and destination. Monitoring airfares over time can help you understand the usual price ranges. Take time and shop around to see if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination. Check which airlines fly to your destination and compare airfares. Sometimes, booking flight along with hotel and rental car can save money.
Making last minute reservations during peak travel seasons can cost you a lot more.
Be Flexible with Travel Dates
Try to be as flexible as possible with your travel dates. Remember, the price of the ticket can vary depending on the time of the day, the day of the week and public holidays. Most people travel on the weekends or during the holidays. I would recommend traveling during the week or day after a major holiday to avoid paying higher fares.
Experiment with different travel dates and try shifting your itinerary around to find cheaper deals.
Identify Cheapest Days/Time to Fly
The days of the week and the time of the year you fly matters. You will usually find the lowest fares for travel during the week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Search for an early morning or late night flight for cheaper airfare. Every destination has a peak season, so look for travel dates right before or end of the peak season. For example, avoid traveling to Europe during the summer, try to visit from October to March.
Know when to Fly
It is important to know when to purchase your tickets. For domestic flights, I typically recommend booking 1-3 months in advance. If you are flying international, 2-7 months in advance is highly recommended. The hardest part is knowing when to stop tracking fares and make that final purchase. Try to book early, but not too early in advance.
If you book too early in advance, you can miss out on potential future sales.
Be Aware of Extra Charges
There are always hidden charges to look out for when booking flights. Be aware of extra fees such as excess baggage charges and airport taxes. The number of airlines that check bags for free is dwindling. For now, under-the-seat carry-ons are still free, however, dimensions vary, so check with the airline.
Look for Connecting Flights
Be flexible not just with the dates and times, but also with the route you plan to take. Sometimes it’s cheaper to take a connecting flight rather than taking a direct flight to your destination. Always compare airfares for both nonstop and connecting flights. Once you have calculated the savings, it will be easier to make an informed decision.