This question always comes up when I tell people I travel for a living. Everyone wants to know the best and cheapest way to travel, and though we usually manage to figure out a way to save money on hotels, sometimes, using up all our savings seems like the only way to go! While there are plenty tips and tricks to getting cheap flight tickets, here are a few additional ones that have sometimes worked for me:
1. The best time to book is Tuesday:
Expedia conducted a research recently, which showed that on an average, tickets are cheapest on Tuesday, 3 weeks before your chosen date of departure. Although the difference may be minimal, it could just as well give you a choice between a cab and a bus in Europe.
2. Try Skiplagged:
Skiplagged is a website that searches different airline prices for your chosen travel route, and comes up with the best combination of flights that would give you the cheapest price for your journey when put together. The results it comes up with, are different airlines for different sectors. By adding one-way routes on different airlines, longer layovers and a few extra hours of travel time, this website gives you significantly cheaper tickets!
3. Airfare Calendars:
Glance at the airfare calendars before you book your tickets. This could easily end up saving you around 5k per ticket on longer sectors and 3k on shorter sectors. Most travel companies have airfare calendars, but ClearTrip has the most convenient and easy to use calendar.
4. Book from the airline website:
This one might be a surprise, specially since travel websites and booking engines come up with offers everyday. In order to drive more traffic to their own websites, airlines are now working up new ways to entice customers to book through them directly. This way they don’t have to give a part of the revenue to travel companies. Many airlines often roll out offers guaranteeing the cheapest prices on their website. They even promise to refund the difference to customers if they find a cheaper price anywhere else.
5. Last minute travel can save you a lot of money too:
Sometimes when you search for flights on travel portals, a tiny pop-up offers a cheaper flights for 2 or 3 dates before or after your selected dates. Often better carries come up on these pop-ups too. While searching for some tickets for Russia on Uzbekistan Airways, I got a cheaper option on Etihad for shifting my travel date by 2 days!
6. Book a package not a flight:
Wherever possible, try to book a package instead of a flight. Booking “group” packages turns out to be cheaper, since companies take specially contracted rates for flights. Most travel companies also come up with heavy discount offers close to departure dates when they have difficulty selling a particular package. Make the most of this and you could end up saving up to 20k on the entire package!