They say, “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a plane ticket and that’s kind of the same thing.” True that!
Travelling satiates your soul like nothing else does. The experience is sweeter when the costs are low. Since flights eat up most of the vacation budget, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could lay your hands on the cheapest airfares for the destination you desire to visit? Check out these tips that will help you find and book cheap flight tickets to your dream destinations!
11 tried and tested tips that will help you book cheap flight tickets for your next vacation
1. Know where to search – use travel search engines.
The Internet is a treasure chest of cheap flight tickets but you must really know where to search. Websites such as Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kayak are travel search engines that give you the chance to compare flight prices across websites. If you search flight tickets on them, you will not have to really bother going on multiple websites to search for the cheapest flight rates. The result? You will save both money and time.
2. Be flexible with your dates and time
If your travel dates are flexible, you have a chance to lay your hands on the lowest airfares possible for your 2018 holiday. The best days to depart tend to be on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. For departures, flights in the early mornings or mid-day tend to be cheaper. Whereas for return flights, the early morning flights tend to be cheaper.
This makes lots of sense, if you consider your own behaviour. You’d want to minimise the days you need to take leave from work, and you’d aim to get there just in time to check in to your hotel, and return to Singapore as late as you can.
With everyone thinking the same way, the airlines will certainly want to charge more for the convenient timings, since there will always be people willing to pay for it. Hence if you can be flexible, you’ll get to save some money.
3. Know which destinations fit in your budget
Deciding the destination is inevitable before you book that flight. However, if you have a budget in mind but no destination, it can really slow down the pace of planning the vacation. To inspire you, websites like Anywhr.co will have you to plan a surprise trip based on your budget.
4. Know when to fly
Websites such as Skyscanner display airfares for the entire month, so you can actually see which dates have the cheapest fares and travel on those. For example, if you wish to travel to London in March 2018, you will only need to select the departing and destination airports and in the dates’ section, select a month instead of any specific dates.
If you are ultra-flexible with your travel dates, you could select the cheapest month option too:
5. Use tools for deciding when to book
Since flight rates change all the time, it is difficult to keep tracking them. That’s where tools such as Price Alerts come in. Websites such as Kayak and Scoot offer these. When you sign up for these alerts, all you have to do is feed in your email address, and they will let you know when the price of the flights you are interested in increases or decreases.
6. Book early
The early bird gets the worm. Or at least gets it at a lower cost than the others. This is true for almost all flight bookings globally. If you’re 8-12 weeks from your holiday, it’s wise to book your flight already.
That said, booking your flights too early without a sale isn’t a good idea. If you’re 10 months away from your holiday, for example, there’s still time to wait for an upcoming sale before you book your flights.
7. Consider indirect ways to get to your destination
Indirect flights are common, especially if we’re heading over to Europe or the US. And in many instances, they tend to be slightly cheaper than a direct flight, given a choice. For example, a direct SQ flight to Rome typically will cost around S$1,100, but if you could take a cheaper Turkish Airlines, with a stopover in Istanbul, for less than S$1,000.
But we can also consider slightly more creative ways to get to our destination. If you’re planning to visit Morocco, get a cheap flight from Singapore to London or Spain, followed by a budget flight from within Europe. If the timing is right, you might be able to save a few hundred dollars.
8. Embrace budget airlines
Budget airlines can be a blessing in the world of exorbitant airfares. So, even though you might have to give up on all the frills and good service, you will save a substantial sum when you book these. However, these airlines have super strict rules which you ought to follow and luggage restrictions which if not adhered to, might attract a hefty fine. So, read those conditions carefully.
9. Sign up for newsletters and follow airlines on social media
Most flight booking websites have newsletters and social media pages loaded with offers and deals. If nothing, they will provide you with enough inspiration for your next trip. If you do not want to clog your inbox for these, make a separate folder for them and let your inbox divert them there.
Sign up for email newsletters from budget airlines like Scoot, AirAsia and Jetstar to get weekly deals right in your inbox and score amazing deals all year round.
10. Use your credit cards wisely
Your credit card can be your best friend when it comes to getting cheap airline fares. Credit card companies or card associations (Visa/Mastercard) often advertise exclusive deals with their partner airlines throughout the year. Keep an eye for those to get a good discount!
If you have been collecting air miles by using one of these credit cards, you will be able to offset your airfare with miles or even redeem for a full flight! We’ve written about our own miles credit card strategy so that you can travel better for less.
11. Clear your browser cache and cookies before booking
Did you notice the prompt at the corner of your airline’s website telling you that they are using cookies?
These cookies help the airline to remember your searches so that they can follow you with ads all over the internet. The other thing it does is to show you a higher price if when you come back and check the price again. The higher price makes you panic and want to book your flights right away, doesn’t it?
So next time, when you’re searching for flights, remember to go into incognito/private browsing mode.