Most of us would like to jet off for a week or two but might feel we’re better off staying put because of high flight costs. But if you do it right, you can find cheap flights. Here are a few suggestions that could see you flying through the wild blue yonder for less, and sooner than you think.
1. Go incognito
Search for your flights in private or incognito mode. Your computer knows via cookies left on the system that you’ve been looking for flights to Las Vegas for example, so the program will act on the assumption you’re desperate to get to Vegas and take advantage by showing hiked prices. The system is programmed to behave like this in the hope you’ll feel scared the prices will increase if you don’t book now. Use your browser’s private or incognito function to outmaneuver the system and find cheaper flights.
2. Disguise your location
Flight prices aren’t the same the world over. They tend to be cheap in countries where living standards are low. You can take advantage of this by using a VPN to make it appear you’re in another country, say India, and you will probably find prices cheaper. Be sure to pay using a card that doesn’t charge for overseas transactions, though, as you’ll be paying in a foreign currency. If you do it right, you could make a saving.
3. Watch when you fly
It’s probably not a blinding revelation, but costs vary considerably depending on when you intend to travel. Obvious it may be, but many ignore it and pay accordingly. Even the time of day can make a considerable difference. If at all possible, avoid weekends when prices tend to be higher and opt for late or very early departures.
4. Email alerts!
Don’t forget to sign up for several flight websites’ email alerts to make sure you don’t miss out on the best offers. You could set up a dedicated email account so as not to clog up your regular email address.
5. Go anywhere (if you can)
If you don’t have anywhere specific in mind, just pick somewhere with cheap flights! While that may not help you if you have a particular destination, on the other hand, if you just want to take off and go on a last-minute (or even not-so-last-minute) adventure, you should give this option a try. Many sites have a built-in “search anywhere” function. Just decide on your budget, and see where it will take you. You could be pleasantly surprised.
6. Go low season
If you can avoid traveling in peak season, you’re sure to make a saving. Try flights to the Mediterranean, for example, around winter time. Sure it won’t be as hot as scorching July and August, but you’ll avoid the crowds, queues at the airport, and more importantly the high prices. The weather is still perfectly pleasant toward the end of the year in many countries around winter time so why not give it a try?
7. Stop off en route
Direct flights are nearly always going to cost you more than indirect flights. So opt for indirect routes in your search. If the stop off is several hours, you could make the most of it and take a tour of the city you’re in. You could enjoy a whistle stop tour of Paris, Rome, Vienna, or just about any place people usually spend top dollar to go and see. It’s like having a mini break thrown in.
8. Don’t be fussy
It may be somewhat inconvenient, but don’t stick to your closest airport. If you live in the UK in the Midlands or Warwickshire, of course, it would be great to fly from Birmingham, but you could also find yourself spending a lot more than if you could get to London. Forgo the convenience and see if you can get a better deal from another city. It’s all part of the adventure!
9. Savvy with luggage
Beat the baggage Stasi by first of all ensuring you haven’t gone over the luggage allowance which, of course, means weighing your luggage beforehand. You can also take as much as you can in pockets. There are some superbly designed coats on the market designed with huge pockets and compartments to fit your must-take items. It’s the best way to beat those awful, unexpected charges and still take the stuff you want.
10. Return or not to return?
Don’t always assume that purchasing a return flight is going to prove the cheapest. Sometimes booking two separate tickets can prove more competitive, particularly if you use different cities for arrival and departure.
11. One at a time
Even if you’re looking for flights for your family or more than just yourself, try adjusting your search to a single seat first because the airlines sell the seats in groups, some costing more than others. If you wanted three seats and only searched for three seats, the airlines will quote you the positions in the higher-costing group even if there is one left in the low-cost group. Try looking for seats one at a time to ensure you don’t get overlooked for the lower cost seats. Of course, this may mean you don’t get to sit next to each other, but if making a saving is more important to you, it’s worth a try.
So next time you would like to fly off but feel you won’t be able to afford it, try these money saving tips. You could find yourself jetting off a lot cheaper than you imagined.
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