Most of us are looking for the best price we can get when trying to book flights. This topic came to my mind because I am currently planning a trip to Europe. Having studied tourism and travel and currently working in the industry I’ve definitely managed to gather some tips along the way. Although ultimately getting the best price mostly rests on location and time of the year. Here are some things I’ve learned throughout the years:
- Best time to book and still have great weather is during shoulder season. In Europe that would be towards the end of spring and the beginning of fall, think April-May / Sept-Oct. This can differ in places such as Australia (South of the Equator) where the prices tend to drop around the winter months June-August.
- Check multiple websites, my go to is usually Skyscanner.net as it allows you to get a months view and set up price alerts.
- Once you’ve done your preliminary research, call or go to the travel agent. See what they can come up with, and compare. They might have access to special deals that are not available online.
- After you’ve checked online and gone to the travel agent, call the airline yourself for another comparison.
- Check for low cost airlines in the area in which you are travelling to. In Europe Easyjet and Ryanair rule and are generally cheaper than train travel. It’s important to keep in mind that they tend to leave you at airports that are outside of the city and have strict baggage restriction rules. For example if I wanted to go to Europe, I would book the cheapest ticket I could get there and then take a low cost airline to my destination. In Asia there are great low cost airlines like Nok Air, Air Asia etc…
- Collect your points and use your airmiles. If you are getting a credit card, try to get one which allows you to collect points that you can put towards your future travels.
- Follow all the baggage and check in rules with low cost carriers, unfortunately that’s how they seem to get those extra coins out of you. I once was charged 40€ on Ryanair for not printing my boarding pass.
- The earlier you book the better, the later you wait the higher the chances of the cheaper seats being sold out.
- Try to see if you can get a free or inexpensive stopover. On my way back from Australia I once got a free stopover in Fiji. I ended up staying for 5 amazing days. I realize a lot of people like to fly direct, but I always jump at the opportunity to experience something new, when it comes at very little cost.
- When you are using a third party website or travel agent to book your flights be aware of the booking and processing fees. Booking directly with the airline is usually the cheaper option.
And a bonus tip, I’m a fan of Airtreks.com for bookig around the world tickets, I once travelled the globe all the way to Ausralia for 2600 CAD.