HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

how to find cheap flights

 

This is how to find cheap flights the clever way. You’ve been so excited about visiting Europe. It’s all you can think about. EUROPE EUROPE EUROPE! You just need one more thing to make your dream a reality. You make a nice cup of tea, open up the laptop, and hope to find a flight…

OH DEAR- you’ve left it too late. The budget flights aren’t so budget. Trip cancelled. Dream over. You have made a classic mistake that even we have made. And you aren’t alone. Thousands of people make the mistake of not researching and fail to find those cheap flight tickets.

That’s why we have come up with the best tips (20 to be precise) to save you a tonne of money and unnecessary problems when booking flights. We will show you how to find cheap flights.

 

1. Use Top Comparison Sites – a great time saver

First and foremost – don’t go straight to an airline. Use a price comparison site to get multiple flight search results. You will save yourself a lot of time. You might find this the best way to fly cheap.

Top Tip – make sure you check at least 2 or  3 different comparison sites as they don’t all search the same companies.

How to find cheap flights: The Best Comparison Sites:

  • Skyscanner

This is our favourite flight comparison site. Skyscanner allows you to search over a year to find the cheapest month to fly. It’s great for finding flights through budget airlines, comparing over 1200 travel companies to find you the best price. Hey ho – we all want to pay less.

  • Kayak

Another great flight comparison site known for it’s multiple search options. The difference between Kayak and Skyscanner is that you are able to search using more filter options. Such as whether you are checking bags in our using a credit card. A good option as it will give you a much more accurate price. It also has a great feature called “Explore”. – more about that here.

  • Momondo

Known for it’s helpful information and search results. Are you a flexible traveller? This is a good option for you. Choose your preferred dates you want to travel and it will give you results of the cheapest to the most expensive dates around your preferred travel dates.

  • Google Flights

A must try. Google flights contains the usual common features as all above. If you are a visual person, this is a good option for you. A map search area gives you the option of a map view to search destinations and prices right around the world. Uses notice that it is similar to Kayaks explore tool.

This is a first if you want to know how to find cheap flights.

 

2. Be Flexible – timing is everything

Have you noticed prices for toys and gifts tend to go up at Christmas? Why? Because everyone wants toys and gifts. “But this is about flights?” – you do the maths.

Airline computer systems are programmed to increase the price of a flight – the higher the volume of bookings and searches. Summer months, May to August are the most busy therefore expensive times to travel.

There are however tricks around this.

Not all but most flight search engines allow you to search for the cheapest month and destinations.

This how to find cheap flights to anywhere.

If you use Skyscanner, navigate to the search bar inputting your “From” destination and tab across to the “To” and let the browser select “flexible”

If you are even more flexible or just darn right spontaneous, navigate to the departure date:

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 15.27.43

And select “Cheapest month”. This will bring you results of the cheapest times and destinations to visit.

Being flexible definitely is travelling smart and will grab you a bargain.

 

3. Flexifare Loophole – perfect for European travel

If you want to find cheap flights to Europe, we have found a clever and easy way to travel hack using Easyjet “Flexi Fares”.

Top Tip – if you plan on flying during school holidays or flying because of business, this is for you.

How it works:

It’s simple – find a date you want to travel, book a ticket for either 3 weeks before or one week after your departure date. Wait 24 hours. Then make the change for the date you originally wanted to fly, at no extra cost.

It can be tricky and nerve wracking as you wait for those 24 hours to pass, but you can save a lot of money. On average, customers can save up to £250 and it’s how to find cheap flights, the clever way.

 

4. Book On A Tuesday – afternoon to be precise

There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding this method of “travel hacking”. However, it works more often than not when searching for those elusive cheap flights.

Top Tip – some airlines like Ryanair have low prices on flights 10 days before departure.

According to travel giants Opodo, booking on a Tuesday afternoon has proved to be the best time to book cheap flights.

Customers can expect to save up to 17% if they hold on and wait for Tuesday to roll in, afternoon of course.

However, each airline is different so it’s worth researching when is best to book flights.

 

5. Fly Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays – to get the cheap(er) flights

Can you afford extra time off from work? Just that extra day?

Flying mid-week is the cheapest time to fly.

Top Tip – don’t fly Sundays if you can help it. This is found to be the most expensive day to fly.

Travel experts also agree with this fact…

“…airfares tend to be lowest for flights that depart on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”- Airfarewatchdog.

Thursdays and Saturdays

These are next when choosing the cheapest day to fly.

However, time of year and airline policies are factors in producing the price you want to pay for your flight. We recently flew to Bologna for £32.99pp return from Manchester on a Saturday, so it’s always worth double checking the days. Using a good price comparison site like Skyscanner will always give you a broad overview.

 

6. Book 7 Weeks In Advance – according to Skyscanner

But hey, they’re just the experts.

Top Tip – book 18 weeks for long haul – take note if you are travelling long haul to Europe.

Getting a bargain deal on your flights used to be about sitting around, waiting or that last minute flight on Teletext. (If you don’t know what Teletext was, Google it)

Today however, this is no longer the case.

We’ve crunched the data and found that seven weeks is the best time to book for short haul flights…” Skyscanner

This is perfect for travelling around Europe!

 

7. Go Incognito – web browser that is

Nooo not that type of incognito.

Ok – you’ve found your flight.

I’ll leave it a day or two, I’ll book them some other time” – you go back to book your flights and –

Oh dear!” –

THE PRICE HAS INCREASED.

Has this ever happened to you? Why didn’t you just book? We have all do this many times and later regretted hesitating.

Top Tip – remember, your search history can be monitored by airlines hence the price hike.

Like many websites, Airlines use the data collected from searches in their Algorithms to determine prices –

The more you want something, the more they know you want it.

The solution? Use an Incognito Browser.

“Incog what?”

One of these.

This allows your web browser to act private – meaning your history form data and cookies won’t be stored. So the airline companies aren’t able to see how desperate you are to search for those cheap flights.

 

8. Book Accommodation With Flights – this is worth a try

Flight brokers and airline companies are no longer just providing the means of getting to your destination. It’s 2017 and the kind folk have done all of the hard work for us by becoming their own “travel agent”

Because of this, saving are passed on to you, the buying customer. However it’s sometimes just as cheap to book separately.

The bonus is you get more added protection if the company and your holiday goes bust.

 

9. Book Car Rental With Flights – planes, trains & automobiles

If you want to explore more than just a city next to the airport, you’re going to need a car.

Booking is key! We have found that booking our car rental as soon as we book our flights has saved us around £100 in most cases.

Top Tip – book your car hire straight after paying for your flight but shop around first.

If you fly with Easyjet, they offer a 35% discount on car hire with Europcar if you book directly through them.

Again, the later you leave it, the more it cost you. We have fallen victim to this a few times and always ended up paying more than we could have. So book early and you’ll always know how to find cheap flights.

 

10. Find Budget Airlines – cheap and cheerful

Do you remember the days of old – booking a package holiday and waiting for the boarding passes to arrive in the post? Travel as we know it has evolved.

There are now approximately 38 low cost airlines operating within Europe alone so you should know how to find cheap flights if you live in Europe.

It’s clear that budget flights are the number one destination if you don’t know where to look for cheap flights.

Top Tip – if you need European flights, be sure to sign up to Ryanair and Easyjet email alerts.

If you want to explore more than just a city next to the airport, you’re going to need a car.

Booking is key! We have found that booking our car rental as soon as we book our flights has saved us around £100 in most cases.

Flights with low cost airlines can be found for as little as 1p!

While a very large amount of flights are sold at £9.99 one way. We flew to Dublin from Manchester for £18 return with Ryanair but you can get it even cheaper.

Another airline to take note of and who we frequently use is Easyjet. We recently flew from Manchester to Bologna (Italy) for £32.99 return, each.

Other airlines include:

  • WIZZAIR
  • Monarch
  • Vueling
  • Flybe
  • German Wings
  • Jet2

This is perfect if you want to know how to find cheap flights in Europe.

 

11. Buy A One Way Ticket – oh, and on your own

Yes – you heard right. If you are serious about saving money and you are booking as a couple, try this first.

Top Tip – if you are using a flight comparison site, select the “One Way” option (and Incognito).

We have found that booking a return flight with the same airline isn’t always the cheapest option.

We recommend using Skyscanner.

Whilst there are other flight comparison sites, we’ve found that Skyscanner is great for finding multiple ways of getting you to your destination for as little spends as possible.

Europe is perfect to try this out.

How to do it:

  • Book a one way ticket from London to Malaga with Ryanair,
  • and find a return with Easyjet or any other budget airline
  • AND even to a different airport, if it’s cheaper.

If you wondering how to find cheap flights through two different airlines, this is the one.

 

12. The 24 Hour Rule – be quick, it’s only one day

Booked a flight you wish you hadn’t? (Done it plenty of times)

Or paid well over the odds?

DON’T PANIC! – there’s a solution, but be quick

Some airlines may offer you a refund FREE of charge – if  you cancel with 24 hours of your booking.

Another great advantage to this is you can watch out for cheaper flights during this crucial 24 hours. And if the price of the flights happen to drop, cancel your original flight, go ahead and book the cheaper flight.

 

13. Make Stopovers – if you are travelling long-haul to Europe.

So you want to know how to find cheap flights to Europe?

Let’s be honest, we would much rather prefer to get to our holiday destination, backpacking trip, adventure, as quick as possible.

The problem is this –

IT TENDS TO BE MORE EXPENSIVE.

However, if you can spare a bit of time, you will save a lot of money if you make a stop over.

Indirect flights are still a great option, but be sure to check this little trick out first.

How to do it using Skyscanner:

  • Search for a return flight.
  • Allow the search results to appear and select an indirect flight.
  • Find out where the common stopovers are (in this case Hong Kong International).
  • Then, search for a one way flight to the connecting airport.
  • Next, find another flight from the connecting airport to your destination, either the next day or some time later.

Sleeping in the airport is a cheap option but based on the amount of money you will save but stopping over, it may be worth catching some Z’s in a nearby hotel.

However, most flight comparison sites will filter this information for you (as shown above). But it is always worth trying as not all of the flight data appears, so try it manually.

You can check this out by searching for flights on Kayak, Skyscanner and Momondo. But don’t forget to filter and compare the prices.

 

14. Create A Diversion – aka indirect flights

Similar to stopovers, this trick for finding cheap flights is easy and will save you a lot of money.

Whether you are flying within Europe or arriving from a non-EU country, creating a diversion and grabbing connecting flights is a great way to travel hack and save money.

It’s simple.

How to do it:

Search for a flight, but choose the “Direct Flights” option.

Allow for the flights to appear and find the cheapest one.

Next, search for your flight again. This time, make sure the “Direct flights only” box is clear. This will allow a search of flights with connections.

Then search for flights.

Your results will appear with the cheapest first, detailing flight data such as flight time, number of connections etc.

Compare the difference.

In this case, we’ve been able to bag a saving of £275 for the whole flight.

So give it a try. Spending a few minutes of your time comparing flights will save you a lot of money.

 

15. Calling All Students – with an ISIC

Throw away the books, grab your bikini (trunks if you’re a man) and GET OUTTA HERE!!!

Because student airline tickets just got a whole lot cheaper.

If you have an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) this will allow you to have access to thousands of travel discounts in over 133 countries.

Top Tip – students, DON’T forget to buy your ISIC card to have access – it’s only £12.

125,000 discount options. WOW!

By using companies such as STATravel, you can save a minimum of 10% on travel and holiday bookings.

 

16. Easyjet – when to book cheap Europe flights

So you know the best way to fly cheap, but when is the best time to book cheap flights?

Simple answer –

as they’re released

– in most cases. (demand and pricing policy are factors in determining prices)

“But how do I know when cheap flights are released?”

This where social media is KING!

Top Tip – follow airlines such as Easyjet on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with offers.

This is essential as airlines release their flight information on their website.

They then advertise when flight schedules are published and we know this is a great time to book cheap flights.

So get in quick.

 

17. Pay By Credit Card – and be safe

It’s always reassuring knowing that if anything goes wrong, you’re covered.

“But should I book flights on a credit card?”

We think so.

We feel safer booking flights with credit card – it’s our preferred method of payment.

But if you do book a flight and the airline goes bust, you’ll be able to get your money back from your credit card provider.

Top Tip – ALWAYS check what protection travel companies offer – you might not be protected.

The same principle applies with travel companies. But they are usually members of ATOL and ABTA travel protection schemes.

 

18. Choose A Good Travel Credit Card – and fly for free

“WHAT? Fly for FREE?”

Yes!

But picking a credit card is hard enough as it is.

To get those flights, you’ll need to pick a card that offers a points scheme that can be redeemed for different prizes and services dependent on the card provider.

OR

You can pick a card that earns “miles”.

You may have heard of a “frequent flyer” programme. Some credit cards will allow miles earned to purchase a specific airlines frequent flyer program.

Top Tip – each “mile” earned is not a real mile. It’s just a nomenclature used to measure points.

You may have noticed that a lot of credit card providers offer little perks like free hold luggage.

Want to know how to find cheap flights using a credit card? Try it.

 

19. Get FREE Flights – formerly called “Air Miles”

We aren’t talking about a frequent flyer scheme.

This is a real but realistic way how to get free flights.

AVIOS is a points scheme like many general credit cards and rewards cards offer.

However, the rewards are travel focussed, but that’s what we want – isn’t it?!

You can collect points through most major outlets by spending online, filling up the car with fuel or when you buy flights.

Certain credit cards allow you to collect AVIOS points.

Top Tip – 9000 Avios points can get you to Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Brussels.

Typical bike with basket on a bridge, in Amsterdam.
Typical bike with basket on a bridge, in Amsterdam.

In Leyman’s terms, over 12 months, it’s an average of £380 worth of spending on your credit card a month. So it pays to use your credit card instead of cash. But don’t forget to pay your credit card bill early.

The amount you can earn all depends on where you shop and the amount you can spend.

 

20.  Sign Up To A Mailing List – it’s worth it

We have. About 10 to be precise.

This is perfect if you want to know how to find cheap flights through emails deals.

If you love to plan your adventures – this one is definitely for you!

You can expect to receive short term sales which the budget airline don’t always advertise. So beat the queue and grab a bargain.

Ryanair and Easyjet are our number one, or two when it comes to finding cheap flight deals.

We have been able to receive published flights information and we have found super cheap flights. Because we signed up to these mailing lists, we were able to travel to Bologna for £32.99pp return and £51pp return to Kefalonia from the UK and it’s how to find cheap flights the easy way.

Top Tip – some cheap flight deals are only live for 24 hours so sign up to get the cheap flights.

How to find cheap flights: We recommend signing up to:

  • Easyjet
  • Ryanair
  • Monarch
  • Opodo
  • Flybe
  • Jet2

But don’t forget to check with other airlines and compare flight ticket prices using a flight comparison site such as Skyscanner. Because we all want to know how to find cheap airfare, don’t we?!

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