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The biggest tragedy in the life of a traveler is the price of an air ticket! Sometimes even loyalty points don’t do the trick, giving us little choice but to rely on a little research and expert advice to save us some bucks on air travel. Thank me while you’re sipping cocktails in Ibiza!

1. Timing is everything:

You’ll be surprised how many times one hears,”I booked months in advance, I was expecting a huge advantage on fares.” Unfortunately, it seldom pays to book your tickets months in advance. The best time to book your ticket is a little prior to 30 days before your desired date of travel. Typically by 30 days, airlines have sold most of their seats and prices tend to hike. Booking too many months in advance has a counter effect as well, since it’s too early to estimate whether the seats will sell or not, they always start with higher prices that significantly drop in the consecutive weeks. Insider tip: Avoid flying on Monday, Friday or Sunday. Most people choose to travel on these days and the prices are usually on the higher side. 

2. Be Flexible:

You’ve probably heard this enough, but be flexible not only with the airline you choose, but also with the timing, dates and destination if you can. You might come across a better destination at a cheaper price! Insider Tip: Type “Everywhere” in the destination search area on Skyscanner for the cheapest international tickets from your city. 

3. Long Layovers aren’t such a bad idea:

Layovers might seem nightmarish, but they don’t have to be! A 30 hour layover can be a blessing. It gives you one extra destination to explore, and certain places really can be worth exploring Catch up on your sleep in the flight- why waste special travel hours snoozing? Insider tip: Cities like Kuala Lampur and Abu Dhabi (along with others in South East Asia and the Middle East) can easily be experienced in a day. 

4. Bookmark airline websites:

Sometimes great deals show up on airline websites exclusively- some you probably wouldn’t even find on booking engines. Airlines often have certain sectors where they don’t meet their minimum passenger requirement. Keep scouting the websites to grab the few discounted deals that crop up! Insider Tip: Air Asia has some deals worth digging into!


5. Ditch the round-trip tickets: 

Whoever said round trip fares are cheaper, probably hasn’t booked a ticket lately! Booking one-way tickets can often yield far better results. Try it the next time, the difference might surprise you. Insider tip: Sometimes two different airlines end up reducing the price further. 

6. Check one-person fare first:

It always helps to check the fare for one person first. Booking two tickets individually is sometimes better than booking them together. Insider tip: This way, you won’t have to fight between yourselves, for who gets to keep the loyalty points! 

7. Stick to an airline, it’s literally “rewarding”:

Some airlines have better reward systems than others. I’m a huge fan of Vistara but had to change my loyalties to Jet- their loyalty program is so much more convenient in comparison. Sticking to an airline really helps- think free reward flights, upgrades and exclusive deals. Insider tip: Platinum membership with certain airlines can actually help you skip long check-in and flight boarding queues!

8. Mile runs are the best things!

Sometimes airlines offer triple reward points for traveling a certain sector, where they don’t have enough seats taken. If you’re flexible, mile runs are the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone! Insider tip: Sometimes airlines offer these deals for hotel nights as well. Ideal way to collect some coins while you enjoy a weekend getaway!

Nikita Butalia is a solo 20-something traveler who documents her experiences around India and the rest of the world in witty narratives and travel tales that are best read curling up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate on a winter evening.

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