Over the past few years’ I’ve been lucky enough to travel a reasonable amount, although there’s always time for more, but for most people they don’t head away as often as they’d like due to the expense of traveling. You’ve got to factor in the price of flights, hotels, insurance, travel, spending money and much more. Flights can be one of the largest expenses of a trip, but they don’t have to be as you can grab cheap airfares to Europe for the same as what you’d spend on a takeaway delivery, and one’s further afield can be as cheap as what you’d spend on a fancy holiday in London. Here are some of the tips I have used to grab cheap airfares and continue to travel.
Search in Incognito Windows
When you search for anything on your computer it is stored within the cookies of your computer, and search engines/ websites remember what you have previously searched for. This works that if you’ve looked for flights to a particular place and you go back and check them a few days later the prices will have increased, this is done because the flight companies know you’re interested in going there and by increasing the price it might scare you into booking them there and then. If you use an incognito window the cookies from your previous search history will not be stored and you won’t be subjected to various differing prices quite as much. It is always worth double checking on another device/ IP address before you commit and click the book button.
Use comparison search engines
There are a number of websites which can compare prices of the flights and my personal favourite is Skyscanner. You can choose your destination and dates and you can see which airline is going to be the cheapest as it might not always be Easyjet or Ryanair depending on your location and dates. You can also choose to search and leave the destination empty if you’re unsure where you want to go. I do this quite often to see if there’s anywhere in particular I can fly to cheaply if I am strict on when I am free to go, cheap airfares are just a click away.
Work out the cheapest date to fly
If you’re a little flexible and not locked into specific dates you could save yourself a lot of cash. When you select your destination on a site like Skyscanner you can leave the dates as ‘whole month’ or even empty and choose the dates depending on when’s cheapest to fly. Friday and Saturday flights out of the UK and Sunday flights into the UK tend to be cheapest as most people want to go away for a weekend. If you’re going away for five days you might find Wed- Sun cheaper than Fri- Tues so it’s worth moving around your dates to find the cheap airfares available.
Look into alternative airports
It might not always be cheaper to fly directly to where you want to go, especially if there’s an event going on around the time. In some European countries such as Germany, you might find that a lot of airports are within a few hours of each other and it might be cheaper to fly into an alternative airport and pay for a coach/ train to where you actually need to be. For example last year I paid £20 for a return flight to Frankfurt Hahn and just £15 for the return coach into the city center. It might have taken 2 hours on the coach but flying directly into Frankfurt would have cost about £100.
Look into credit card bonus’
Pretty much the only reason I applied for an American Express credit card was because you get Avos points to use with BA. Now I use my credit card a reasonable amount, paying it off in full every statement because who has time for interest?! By using this card I am earning points every time I make a purchase and I’ve already accumulated a large stash of points which can be used against flights. It’s worth looking into credit cards and see if anything works for you. Cheap airfares are all well and good but if I can get free airfares then even better.
Look at longer stopovers
If you’re doing a long haul trip and need to make a stopover it might be cheaper to have half a day or even a few days in the locaiton before travelling on as flights which are designed to connect can work out more expensive. Not only might you save money but you can add an extra part onto your holiday, for example you can stop over in New York or LA when flying to Hawaii or stop in Singapore when flying to Australia.
Check if it’s cheaper to book in another currency
If the airline you’re booking through isn’t local it might be cheaper to pay in another currency, for example the currency of the destination you’re visiting. This could save you money if the exchange rates are good but make sure that you opt to use a credit card which is free from foreign transaction fees if you are doing this.