You’ve decided to take the family on holiday but are short on funds. You dream of white sand, palm trees, turquoise water and cocktails with little umbrellas, but don’t want to max out your credit card. Never fear! Your dream holiday is much more affordable than you thought. I’ll show you how to find the cheapest flights to make your family travel dreams a reality.
The answer is to hide your search from cookies so each time you search appears to be your first visit to the site. This can be done by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or an Incognito browser.
Alternatively you can clear your cookies and/or search history after each visit or use multiple devices.
Subscribe to newsletters and follow airlines and cheapest flight Search Engines on social media, to ensure that you are notified as soon as a sale is announced. Followers and subscribers will often receive advance notification before sales are advertised to the general public.
Googling cheapest flights will reveal a dizzying array of choices, but how can you know which are a genuine bargain and which are making profits for third-parties?
Tried and tested search engines for finding the cheapest flights include:
Of these, my personal favourites are Skyscanner and Google Flights. It is always a good idea to cross-reference more than one site and check with the airline’s own website to see if you can get the cheapest flight by booking directly.
In these times of D.I.Y. travel booking, it can be easy to forget about traditional travel agents. However, some agencies can be very helpful with finding the cheapest flights, by offering a price match guarantee. When you find a cheap fare online, consider showing it to your preferred travel agent to see if they can price match it for you.
The ability to be flexible which dates you fly can save you hundreds of dollars. If you know where you want to go but don’t mind when, Skyscanner allows you to search by cheapest month. So for example, you could search Sydney to Kuala Lumpur by cheapest month, to see that August is significantly cheaper than April.
Every destination will have peak, shoulder and off-peak seasons. Off-peak can sometimes be a fantastic experience (e.g. snow holiday in Europe) for a bargain price.
If you are inflexible with the time you need to fly (two weeks in mid-September) but don’t have a destination in mind, use “Everywhere” as your destination in Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
Even varying your departure and arrival by one or two days can create a significant saving. Monday, Friday and Sunday are generally the most expensive,while Tuesday and Thursday are usually much cheaper.
Obviously, avoiding holidays and festivals if at all possible will help you find the cheapest flights.
If you are unable to be flexible with either dates or destination, it’s generally best to book as far in advance as possible. While there is a possibility of last-minute specials, it is not worth the stress of missing out altogether.
Once you have decided on a destination, research other airports in the area. It may be cheaper to fly to a smaller airport and catch the train to your destination. Of course, you need to account for the extra cost and time. If you need to add on a night’s accommodation and ground transport costs, it may not be the bargain it first appeared.
Although the search engines are very comprehensive, they don’t feature every airline. Google airlines which fly to/from your destination to see if a local budget airline has been overlooked, then book with that airline directly.
Consider booking each leg separately. Sometimes multiple one-way tickets are cheaper than a return fare. This also gives you the option to plan a stopover. Two holidays for the price of one!
Sometimes budget airlines do not have the cheapest flights! By the time you pay a surcharge for luggage, meals, entertainment and priority seating, in addition to booking fees and taxes, your bargain airfare may not be looking quite so cheap. It’s definitely worth researching all-inclusive airlines to see whether the price is comparable.
Bringing your own food, electronic device and flying with carry-on luggage only will help reduce costs. If you do choose to fly with checked luggage on a budget airline, always pay for it at the time of booking your ticket, you will pay a hefty premium if you wait until you are at the airport.
Depending on where you are travelling and the type of holiday you enjoy, a package holiday may be an affordable option. If you can find a good deal, it can sometimes work out cheaper to buy a package holiday than to purchase flights and accommodation separately. This is even more likely if airport transfers, meals, excursions, kids club etc are included.
Free flights and accommodation sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? However, that’s exactly what you can get with rewards points and loyalty schemes. If you anticipate flying with a particular airline or staying in a certain hotel chain regularly, sign up for their loyalty scheme as soon as possible to start earning reward points towards your free flight or stay.
So there you have it – 9 sure-fire ways to save you money and help you find the cheapest flights. What are you waiting for? Make your travel dreams a reality today!
If you found these tips helpful please let me know in the comments.
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