How To Get Cheap Flights With 8 Hacks

How to get cheap flights-cover

It is always time to plan your next holiday, even if it means spending hours and hours on the web to get cheap flights. Yep, not always funny, but definitely rewarding. Because saving money on the airlines’ tickets can increase your budget for the travel or even make you afford dream destinations!

Find out how to get cheap flights with 8 travel hacks: learn how to use the best flight search engines, when it is the best time to book, how to find error fares, stopovers, air passes and much more.

Check this recap infographic or jump to the blog post!

How to get cheap flights infographic!

8 travel hacks to fly for less, booking budget tickets. Click for the full size and feel free to share it using the embed code below!

Infographic with 8 Hacks to book cheap flights and save money for your holidays: best flight engines, how and when to book, error fares, stopovers and air pass

1. Search “Everywhere”

Whenever you need travel inspirations or to know the cheapest destination to fly to, search “everywhere” and find the best bookable airfares!

Everywhere option is available for several flight search engines, like Skyscanner, Momondo, Airfarewatchdog or Kayak. Simply enter your departure city + travel period and wait for the offers to pop up, sorted by price. It is the easiest travel hack for big money-saving!

Book cheap flights- search everywhere as destination using search flight engines

Hacks for booking cheap flights- search everywhere using search flight engines
How to get cheap flights: results on my search on Skyscanner sort by price. Find inspiration and get the most affordable deals!

Are you a visual person instead? No problems, Skyscanner and Kayak also offer a search map tool: first, select your departure and travel period, then define your budget and search! You will see price tags with the lowest fares appearing around the globe.

Book cheap flights - visualize cheapest deals on a map
Cheapest flights can be easily visualized on a world map

2. Book ahead!

If last minute works well for hotels, unfortunately, it does not always for flights. Airlines are aware that business travelers tend to book at very last moment and without flexibility; for this reason, the prices increase when approaching the departure date to maximize the profit. At the same time, booking a ticket too early in advance is not convenient, since airlines usually wait before launching promotions.

The ultimate question is: when is the best time to book and how to get cheap flights? 

According to Skyscanner and Kayak’s analysis from 2018, you should book a domestic flight 1 month before, an international one between 2 and 6 months.

It is a vague indication unless you are located in UK, USA or Australia and you have access to the super “Best Time to Book Flights” tool!

Best time to book a cheap flight - Skyscanner tool
Skyscanner “Best Time to Book Flights” tool shows the price trend on a timeline for a specific travel route

Based on Skyscanner’s data of the past 2 years and given the departure and arrival cities, the tool shows you the cheapest and the most expensive months or the best time to book your trip. It also calculates the average discount. I wish we could have the same for The Netherlands!

*jealous mode ON*

3. Let the flight deals come to you

Subscribe to the airlines’ newsletters, Facebook and Twitter posts, email and/or WhatsApp alerts to be always updated with the newest deals!

Both Skyscanner and Kayak allow you to set up price alerts via email and to monitor specific flights, on a daily or weekly basis. Doing so, you won’t forget to book your ticket and you will get a low price!

Book cheap flights-set up price alerts to monitor a specific flight
When you search for a flight on Skyscanner or Kayak, you can set up price alerts via email. Book when the price trend changes to get the biggest discount!

4. Book on Monday and fly on Friday

Skyscanner data of 2015-2017 show that you should book on Monday and fly on Friday to fly for less.

5. Hunt down error fares

Heard about error fare or mistake fare before? It is basically a bargain flight uploaded online with an incorrect price, due to a technical bug or human mistake.

Check out this epic example: Flight from Switzerland to Thailand for a ridiculous price of Eur 15 (forgot some zeros?)

Like searching for a hidden treasure, error fares require dedication, speed, and cold blood.  Holiday Pirates, Secret Flying, and Airfare Watchdog are a great start, bookmark the URLs and monitor the latest posts. Holiday Pirates offers a cool WhatsApp service, subscribe for a first-minute deal!

Book cheap flights: find error fares or pricing mistakes to get cheap fare and save money
One of the super cheap error fares found by Holiday Pirates

How to book error fares?

Once you have found the error fare of your dreams, follow these simple rules:

  1. Book ASAP before the price get fixed or the flight been sold out. You have from few hours to few days of time, reserve quickly your spot!
  2. Take a screenshot of the offer as shown on the website and keep a record of all the booking steps, especially the flight reservation number and confirmation page.
  3. Pay with a credit card. The payment is faster and the refund easy, in case the reservation is rejected.
  4. Don’t contact the airline or the online travel agency for any reason: it would mean losing the big deal! Keep a low profile and hope for the best 🙂
  5. Although airlines have the right to cancel bookings with clearly unrealistic prices, most of the error fares are actually honored. So stay positive, while waiting for a couple of weeks.
  6. In the meantime, feel free to book the accommodation, but only with free cancellation policies. In this way, you won’t pay any penalty in case of travel’s cancellation.
  7. Last, but not least: stay away from fake and scam websites! When you find a new website with a super offer, always google for other users’ reviews before filling your credit card’s details. Pay also attention to the URL, you might notice some weird additions, typos or a wrong domain extension: www.lufthansa.airline.com or www.ryanair.org don’t sound good, right?

Good luck with the error fares hunt!

How-to-get-cheap-flights-pay attention to Scam_websites
Stay away from not secure websites, even if they offer the deal you were waiting for!

6. Vacation package  VS single flight

Allergic to all inclusive holidays? Actually, a vacation package can be more convenient than the flight itself! It doesn’t mean you have to stay and sleep for the full period in the resort: you could simply use it as the base to explore the country. Free accommodation and free food are never a bad idea, furthermore last-minute deal works great.

Need some inspirations? Check out on Tui for flying to Costa Maya in Mexico (November-May), Greek Islands (May-September), Krabi in Thailand (November-May) or Bali, Indonesia  (May-October).

7. Stopover: 2 for 1 holiday deal

Forget boring layover of a few hours, when you are stuck in the airport craving for a free Wifi. A stopover is a connection of 24+ hours that gives you an extra destination for free: it’s a 2for1 deal!

Several airlines offer stopover options in their main city hub, in some cases also including accommodation or free tour packages. Want to fly for less? Huffingtonpost has listed all the available airlines with booking terms and conditions.

And if you are bored to play around with multiple websites, no worries: Airwander is a great flight search engine that does the job for you! Easy and fast, it uncovers hidden multi-city stopovers, matching different routes and calculating the extra discount.

Simply select your departure (city, country or airport), your destination, travel period, number of days for the stopover (3 by default) and click on the magic red button. You will get the list of available stopovers and the price difference comparing to the standard fare. For example, I could fly from Amsterdam to Bali with a 3 days’ stopover in Singapore and save 28 Euros on the flight!

Book cheap flights- find stopovers for an extra discount
How to get cheap flights and enjoy an extra destination? Airwander is a great tool for stopovers.

8. Buy an air pass

If you are planning to explore an entire continent, then consider buying an air pass to save some money.

For example, Airasia airline has launched the Asean Pass, a flat rate deal to buy in advance all the flight tickets you could get in 30 or 60 days of travel. Interesting, right?

If you are traveling to South America, then have a look at this great article by Thrifty Nomads.

To conclude, here you can find an overview of air passes around the world and everything you need to know before buying. Get a calculator and a world map, it is time for a bit of algebra! Is an air pass convenient in your case?

How to get cheap flights? With an air pass!
How to get cheap flights? With an air pass!

Need to calculate the total cost of your next travel? Download my free Excel template and follow my 7 easy steps. 

 

Have you learned anything new on how to get cheap flights? Let me know how you book your tickets!

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How to book cheap flights with 8 travel hacks

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