Last Updated 19 April 2020
I love the feeling of getting a good bargain, whether its a beefy discount or getting incredible value for money 🤑
Booking cheap flights is no different!
But, with the amount of flight search engines that exist these days, figuring out exactly how to book cheap flights online can start to get a bit overwhelming…
You can easily get sucked into spending more time looking for cheap flights than you will actually spend at your destination, and where’s the fun in that? While you will want to spend a bit of time on finding the best price, but at the end of the day – if you see a great deal, GRAB IT!
But, how can you feel sure that you’re getting the best possible price for your flights without scouring the internet for weeks on end?
Well, my friend, you’re in luck! I’ve booked more cheap flights online than I can remember, and I’m happy to share my secrets with you!
Here are my tried and tested, little known secrets on how to book cheap flights!
PS – This post may contain affiliate links: That means that if you purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Of course, I only recommend products/services that I have used and believe are great! Please read my disclosure for more info.
Be Flexible On Dates
Knowing how to book cheap flights by using the airline’s calendar view or flexible date option is one of the easiest tricks in the book. Simply leaving or coming home a couple of days earlier or later can save you a nice bit of money! Most likely you’ll find that flying mid-week is cheaper, with Fridays and Sundays being most expensive of all.
Many search engines will have a +/- 3 days option that you can tick, to give you a variety of prices so you can easily pick the cheapest option.
Other sites, like Skyscanner, even give you the option to compare flight prices across an entire month, or search for the cheapest month to your destination!
Be Flexible On Airports
Many cities have more than one airport. As an example, London has six! New York has three and Melbourne has four…
Flying to a slightly lesser-known (and usually smaller) airport a bit further out of town can work out a lot better when you want to book cheap flights.
Some search engines allow you to select “Nearby Airports” to see what other options you might have. Again, my favourite search engine is Skyscanner as it allows for great flexibility when searching to make sure you get the best possible deal on your flight.
Or, even opting to fly to a nearby city instead of your desired destination and then making your way there by car or public transport could be a great option. This gives you the added bonus of seeing a bit more of the surrounding area at the same time!
Just make sure that the added travel from the airport to your actual destination doesn’t negate the savings you make when you book the cheap flight!
Book On The App
Sometimes, it can pay to compare prices online vs the booking App. Some search engines and airlines offer extra discounts simply by using their App rather than the website!
Side Note: Actually, this is also true for hotel bookings – accommodation sites like Bookings.com regularly have special mobile deals when you use their App.
Book Flights & Hotel Together
This will mostly be the case with travel search engines, although many airlines do offer hotel bookings through their own websites nowadays too.
You can easily save a couple of hundred euro on the total price of your holiday if you book your flights and accommodation together! If you need somewhere to stay anyway, why not get it all done in one go?
Sign Up For Loyalty Programs And Email Alerts
Let the computer do the hard work of finding cheap flights for you by signing up for airline loyalty programs and email alerts.
There are different options here but you could choose to be notified when a flight you’re interested in drops in price, or when there’s a sale on for a specific destination.
Signing up for newsletters can also be useful, as they might reach out with special discount codes or early deals. Often, these discount codes are only valid for a short time but it’s worth being signed up in case it coincides with you booking a trip!
Being part of an airline’s loyalty program often means that you’ll be the first to know of any special deals happening. And in addition, you can earn points on your bookings, which you can then use towards a cheaper flight in the future.
With this one, you might want to be pretty open about where you end up going… But, there are companies out there like Holiday Pirates or Secret Flying that track error airfares (= cheap flights!) as well as general good holiday deals.
Follow them on social media or sign up for their emails and be prepared to book quickly!
Error fares rarely last long.
Return vs One-Way Tickets
Check various combinations of the same flights to get the best deal. For example, booking return with the same airline can be much cheaper than two one-way tickets.
But, sometimes booking two one way tickets with two different airlines can save you a bit of cash. Some travel search engines like eBookers (Orbitz in the US) will do this for you to make things a bit easier.
I’d also recommend you then check directly with the airline on their own websites as you might get a better deal booking direct.
Going one step further and booking your flights in portions could work out cheaper again.
For example, if you’re flying from the UK to Australia, rather than booking it in one ticket you could opt for a stop-over somewhere halfway.
By booking two single tickets (e.g. UK – Singapore and Singapore – Australia), you get a bonus stopover somewhere new and jet lag becomes a lot easier to deal with!
Note: If you don’t opt for a long stopover, bear in mind that booking your flight in portions means you will have to pick up your luggage and check in again at the halfway point. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time in case of any delays!
Cheaper isn’t always Cheaper…
Check the small print, especially when booking with budget airlines. (Although I’d suggest doing so in any case.) The price you see isn’t always the final price you get.
While it might not make a massive difference, it could still save you at least €20-30.
- Look at what the airline’s luggage allowance is and whether you need to pay extra for a checked bag.
- Are meals included or do you have to pay extra?
- Can you select your seats for free in advance or is there a fee?
- What about credit card fees? Some sites charge a few percent of your overall ticket price and this can soon add up! Often, it can be cheaper paying with a debit card rather than a credit card to save on transaction fees
Have I missed anything?
What are your own secrets when it comes to booking cheap flights?
Let me know in the comments below!
Related Posts You Might Like
Travel Like A Pro – 21 Secret Travel Tips
12 Essential Travel Items You Absolutely HAVE To Have For Your Next Trip!
Six Smart Ways To Spend Less While Travelling
15 Sneaky Travel Costs That Could Accidentally Blow Your Travel Budget