The key to traveling cheap and finding cheap flight tickets are simple. It all has to do with planning, and flexibility.
We all know that when it comes to traveling, it’s usually the cost of the flights that make us hesitate the most. Getting to the destination is the hardest part. With ridiculous airline costs the biggest questions a lot of people ask are ‘how much did you get your flight for?’ and ‘how did you score tickets for so cheap?’ When it comes down to it, the only way to score cheap tickets comes down to how much you plan in advance, how flexible you are willing to be and the level of commitment you are willing to put in.
Below are some tips that can help you score some cheap flights.
Buy your tickets in advance:
The only way you can really score cheap tickets is through planning way in advance. This is not to say that you need to know every single places you are going to visit, when you will go and how you will get there but it’s important to buy at least the ticket to the destination in advance. For instance, when I was booking my flight to Europe, I knew I was going to go around February or March but I couldn’t commit to buying a ticket. If I had left it to my usual self, I would have totally bought the ticket a week before my trip. I get it, I have commitment issues and the back of my head is always saying ‘what if…’ But like everyone says, there’s no right time to do things – so if you know around what month you are traveling, just go ahead, close your eyes and click ‘purchase.’ Flight to Copenhagen from Boston are over $1000 even a month in advance – I bought my ticket 4 months in advance and was able to get one for a little over $400. There’s your incentive to just buying your ticket and getting it over with!
When you do arrive in the city and are planning to travel to other cities, it is also a good idea to look at tickets 2 to 3 weeks in advance. If I book my bus ticket from Copenhagen to Hamburg now, it’s 50% cheaper than if I do it when I’m in Copenhagen.
Be flexible with your day/time of travel:
Flexibility is really important when buying a ticket. Being flexible on day, time and location is really important. I knew that I wanted to fly sometime end February to early March. I checked flights around the time and found that end of February (26th to be exact) was the cheapest I could find.
Be flexible with destination/routes:
I am lucky in that since my goal is to travel Europe for 3 months, I don’t necessarily HAVE to start somewhere or be somewhere at a certain time. I checked all major cities I could and found the cheapest city to fly into. Originally, my plan was to fly to Berlin. However, I saw that the flight to Berlin had a layover in Copenhagen. I checked flight to Copenhagen on the same day and it was $100+ cheaper! So what did I do? I booked a flight to Copenhagen. I saved $100 AND get to see an extra city/country. SCORE! I can now book a $30 bus ride from Copenhagen to Hamburg so I can get to Germany.
Fly on low traffic days:
This is a common rule that most people know but flying on a week day, mostly on Tuesday & Wednesday are the cheapest. Friday & Sunday are probably the most expensive. So if you can, be flexible and plan ahead.
Check out different flight searches:
Check as many flight searches as you can; as many as you can think of. My favorite to use right now is Bing Travel search. It seems to usually give me the cheapest flight options. Also, don’t always just rely on OTAs and flight distribution websites – check the carrier’s website itself as sometimes, they can be a lot cheaper.
Sign up and look out for travel deals:
With a flexible travel date and plan, I always subscribe to travel newsletters from websites such as Expedia, Cheapoair, Airfare Watchdog and so forth. This way, I can always see (in my inbox) if they have any deals to cities I want to visit.
I hope these tips help you score some cheap tickets for your next trip. Are there any other tips that you know of that are not included here? Please share!