Vacation season is just around the corner, and like all savvy travellers out there, you’ll be wanting to find the cheapest flights for your vacation. The problem is that this is always much easier said than done. Most people miss out on the cheapest flight deals, with Americans spending a whopping $1.8 billion on airfare in 2018 and Canadians spending $31.8 billion on travel in 2017.
To ensure you don’t fall into this trap, here are some fool proof ways you can plan ahead and nail the cheapest flights for your trip.
People tend to avoid luxurious destinations when it comes to cutting back on flight costs. Usually, you’d be right to, as it won’t just be flights you end up paying more for. Yet, the great thing about all-inclusive vacations is that you don’t need to compromise on price or quality.
It’s true: you are paying a larger sum of money upfront. When you realize this includes flights, food, drinks, and resort accommodation, you don’t need to do the math to know you’re getting more bang for your buck.
In some cases, these all-inclusive vacation packages also have a discount on flight fares. This is thanks to the connections various resorts have with airlines. If you book when the best deals are on, you’ll lock in the best price for your vacation, and you don’t need to worry about missing out on lower fares.
Avoid peak season
Peak season is known for its prime weather and abundant activities, but you’re right: it’s also far more expensive to travel in. At this time, fares soar, but hotel rooms can also double in price. The thing is that you’ll easily encounter the same benefits in the shoulder season. In this case, you might also enjoy the luxury of smaller crowds.
Every country has a different shoulder season, meaning you can enjoy a tropical vacation at any time of the year. In the ever-popular spot of the Caribbean, for example, the shoulder season begins in April every year. Flight prices are slashed despite the excellent weather.
As long as you avoid the lull of low season, you can bank on having just as good a time — if not better — than you would in peak season. All this for a fraction of the price you’d usually pay.
Be smart with your searches
Everyone has their preferred way to search for flights. Whether it be through a travel agent or your favourite flight search engine, sticking to one platform is a big mistake if you want the cheapest flights.
Instead, be smart with your searches. Check out various flight search engines, as this could save you a fair few dollars in the long run. If you’re sure to be visiting a booking site multiple times, conduct your searches on private mode. This prevents the site from sending cookies to your device and putting the price up each time you visit. Some experts suggest running two browsers at the same time. If the price differs, go with the lower fare.
If you don’t have time to carry out thorough searches every day, don’t worry. There are countless newsletters and discount sites you can sign up to, which will send you the best flight deals for destinations all around the world.
Try something new
Stress-free vacations are the aim of the game when it comes to traveling. This is why most people prefer to stick to direct, local flights to save on time. If you’re keen to unleash your adventurous spirit and save even more money, it’s best to try something new.
This means trying out alternative flight routes for your destination. If you split your journey up into multiple legs, you can save money and squeeze in some other destinations on your trip. If you’d prefer to stay direct, consider flying out (or into) a different airport. For example, if you want to vacation in England, remember that London has five international airports. Often, it’s cheaper to fly into London Stansted than London Heathrow — and the transfer time is just as quick.
This applies to destinations all over the world. Though it requires multiple bookings and more patience, it’s a trick that’s sure to pay off.
Book at the sweet spot
It doesn’t matter which destination you’re flying to, there is always a sweet spot to book your flights at. Though many people swear by booking as far in advance as possible, you could well miss out on some flight deals or last-minute fares.
The sweet spot considers two things: which day of the week you fly out on, and how soon you decide to book. Frequent flyers vouch for flying out to their destination on a Tuesday, which is renowned for being the cheapest and quietest day to travel on.
When it comes to the prime booking window, you can generally count on booking short-haul and domestic flights around 3 weeks in advance. For long-haul flights, you need to be more on the ball. 4-6 months is the sweet spot here, but you should make the most of Christmas and Summer sales to maximize the discount.
If you’re worried that you’re not getting the best price, you can always set up a flight alert on your flight search engine.
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