One of the biggest costs when traveling is the flights, especially if you have children and can only fly during the holidays. Airlines are the masters when it comes to pricing based on supply and demand. Meaning holiday time flights are on average 2/3 times more expensive than other times.
We have been traveling for years and over time have amassed a few tips to help keep costs down and ensure you do not overpay for your flights. We do not promise that you can get off peak prices when flying during the Christmas period, but we can show you how to get the best deal available.
Below you’ll find our tips and whilst you may not be able to apply all of them to your search, the more you do then hopefully the more you’ll save.
So have a gander and happy flight hunting!!!
- Book in Advance – This is the biggest money saver of them all and does not just apply at peak season, you can use this tip all year round. It is also the simplest of all tips, the earlier you book the cheaper price you will pay. Most airlines will release seats into the market 10 or 11 months in advance, so plenty of time in advance. The first people to pay always get the best prices. These early booked seats are how you get those mystical “from” prices you see everywhere but can never find.
- Shop around – Now this is not quite as straight forward as it sounds, airlines do not generally give different prices to different agents/websites, but from time to time certain agents may need to push a certain carrier to hit targets, so they may subsidize the cost of the ticket to make sure they get your business. Don’t expect massive discounts but £20/30 per person can be possible
- Use Online booking agents and price comparison sites – This automated systems will hopfully show some airlines you didn’t expect you could use. For example at the time of writing Air India have direct flights between London and New York, not a lot of people know that but they regularly beat BA/Virgin on price.
- Fly Indirect if possible – This tip does have the power to save you considerable cash. You can sometimes save up to 50% of the direct ticket price by flying via another city. Not only that if you have the time most airlines will let you break the journey at the stop off point, meaning you get to see somewhere else as well. Tip you need to arrange the stop off when booking, if you do after purchasing tickets you will be charged amendment fees.
- Book hotels/flights together – This can save you some decent money as well as a lot of agents and airlines will offer discounts to those booking both flights and hotels together.
- Try different airports – People are willing to pay for convenience and as such the most popular airports are the most expensive. If you have a few different airports to choose from at either end of your trip, then trying these could throw up a bargain. Most online agents will allow you to search nearby airports (you can set a radius). Make sure you factor in extra cost of getting to and from different airports as this may eat through your savings.
- Flexibility on dates – This can also save some decent money, being flexible with your dates can save big chunks of money for exactly the same flight. Saturday morning flights will be cheaper than Friday evening for example. Remember flights are priced on availability so the more popular a flight/time the more it will cost.
- Flexibility on destination – Now this one is easier said than done. But if you have a few places you want to visit and you don’t mind which one you go to? you could save by simply switching destination.
So there you go our top tips for finding the best deal for your flights…
If you have any tips you’ve discovered over the years do let us know and we can share them with the readers.