A traveler’s guide to booking cheap flights
Flying the friendly skies does not have to be expensive. No matter the destination or the airline of choice, there are a few tips and tricks that anyone can use to get a much better price than the one that advertised. With a little know-how and ingenuity, cheap flights are possible for any destination. Use these tips to get a cheap flight and have more spending money to make the trip memorable.
Travel at the right time
Many travelers are aware that cheap flights are available in the off-season, but it is important to understand what the off-season actually is. The timing of the off-season is not based on when a flight is less convenient for the traveler. The off-season depends on tourist patterns in the destination. For example, July is a month that many American schoolchildren are on vacation, so there are very few areas in America where July would be considered the off-season. However, July is the peak of winter for the southern hemisphere, so an American family traveling to certain destinations south of the equator may be able to take advantage of off-season cheap flights at the peak of their own vacation season.
For obvious reasons, the off-season can be an inconvenient time to travel. Cheap flights can also be found during the shoulder season, the months right before and right after the peak of tourist season. The cheapest flights are offered during the off-season, but cheap flights are still available during the shoulder season.
Book at the right time
When it comes to cost, the timing of booking a flight matters far more than the airline the flight is with. There is no set price for tickets on any given plane. Airline tickets fluctuate in price constantly, and there are certain days of the week and times of the year that are usually much cheaper.
Grocery stores are known for running new sales on Wednesdays. For airlines, the new week of sales starts on Monday. Since companies adjust prices in order to stay competitive, the best prices have been statistically shown to be offered on Tuesday mornings. This is when plenty of tickets are usually still available on the marked down flights, so the sales prices still apply. As the day goes on, the sales prices could start to creep up due to less competition from other airlines that have already sold out and the scarcity of remaining seats available.
As a rule, flights are always more expensive on the weekend, and it is best to book about two months before the departure date. According to a study by Cheap Air, the cheapest flights can be booked exactly seventy days in advance of the departure date. Booking a year in advance is not recommended for getting cheap flights. The entire economy can fluctuate drastically in a year’s time and a person who books too early can be stuck with inflated prices.
Book through the right websites
Some third-party websites charge extra fees for booking through them. This information is often hidden in the fine print. Flight comparison sites do not have any special offers. These websites simply use computer programs to find and promote the cheapest flights being offered at the moment. Use these websites to find a cheap flight, and then quickly book through the airline.
Consider searching for a flight on one computer and making the final booking on another computer. Airlines (and most other businesses) use customer tracking technology. When a person searches multiple times for flights to Bora Bora, airlines and third-party websites are programmed to start hiking up prices on that computer. Get around this by making final bookings on a computer that has not been used to search for cheap flights.