As flexibility is the key to finding affordable air travel, being flexible with when and where you fly can help you secure amazing airfare deals. There are a number of strategies you can employ in order to do just that.
Try searching for flights with layovers in your destination city, or look out for hidden city fares (where you travel to an alternate airport at significantly reduced fares). Also consider being open-minded about flying less popular airlines and airlines that may provide cheaper fares. And you can easily take advantage of flexible fares, like from Cathay Pacific.
1. Be Flexible
Flexibility is key when it comes to finding affordable air travel. Not necessarily in terms of destinations; rather, be open-minded when considering traveling on different days or times throughout the week and open to different offers if possible; doing this could save a substantial amount, particularly if flying internationally.
Flights to Europe and Asia tend to be much cheaper if you fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays rather than Saturdays, since demand increases on weekends when most people fly. Furthermore, red-eye flights (flights that travel through the night) tend to be significantly less popular and thus cheaper.
Being flexible when booking connecting flights can also save money; according to Google, adding one connection can result in savings of up to 20 percent over booking an all-nonstop flight.
One helpful way of discovering flight deals is using an application like ITA Matrix. This website allows users to search specific routes and compare pricing across airlines; additionally, price alerts allow for notifications when prices decrease.
Finally, try booking your flights as far in advance as possible. While this may not always be feasible – such as if traveling for an event or holiday – booking early increases your chance of finding great deals.
2. Fly Off-Season
Travel destinations typically have high and low seasons for travel, with airfares typically being higher during high season and crowds being larger. To enjoy a more relaxing trip and avoid crowds altogether, consider traveling during off-season flights.
The off-season in most countries and cities varies by region, but usually falls somewhere between November-February (excluding holidays ) in most cases; June-August in the southern hemisphere. Travelers should keep in mind that weather may also impact off-season activities so it is wise to do research about what each destination has to offer throughout the year.
Flight prices fluctuate constantly, making it vital that you regularly monitor them. Signing up for price alerts or using apps that allow flexible dates can help. Sites like Skyscanner and Google Flights provide insight into when prices may reach their lowest points.
Some airlines also offer sales or promotions during the off-season to find cheaper flights, while purchasing a bundle may often work out more cost effectively than purchasing flight and hotel separately. Sometimes it can pay to fly for longer if it means getting an even better deal; just ensure it fits with your schedule properly!
3. Fly on Off-Peak Days
Flights are one of the more costly components of travel. By being open-minded and searching around, however, you may be able to get more bang for your buck when searching for flights. Here are some strategies for finding cheap fares–whether your plans include two week getaways or yearlong adventures.
Everybody knows that Tuesday is considered to be the ideal day to purchase airline tickets; however, this is simply an urban myth and marketing ploy designed to keep people searching for deals. There’s no one day with consistently reduced rates across all destinations and routes – instead prices change constantly with each passing minute and you never know when a deal might pop up!
Flying during off-peak hours offers more advantages than simply saving money. For example, having wrestled your suitcase up or down narrow escalators of a train station or trying to fit it onto an already full rack with disgruntled fellow travelers will appreciate how easy moving about during quieter off-peak hours on a weekend is.
On the bright side, there are numerous airlines that provide low-cost fares during off-peak times, from budget carriers like Norwegian and WOW Air to established names like Delta and American. You may also see reduced fares available from large full-service airlines with domestic and international routes; or if your itinerary allows, smaller boutique airlines that specialize in regional routes might have cheaper airfare options too!
4. Set an Airfare Alert
Flight prices fluctuate regularly and it can be hard to know when is the ideal time to purchase. Setting an alert can help avoid FOMAD (Fear Of Missing A Deal) by notifying you as soon as there is a price drop worth taking advantage of.
Google Flights’ handy alert system enables you to set alerts for specific routes and dates, notifying you when prices have decreased. All it takes to use it is entering your travel dates and preferences into Google Flights before clicking “Track prices” toggle; alternatively you could also set alerts for specific airlines or all airlines, depending on your travel plans.
KAYAK and Hopper both offer similar flight search features. Hopper allows users to input their destination and departure dates, then the app will tell them whether now is a good or bad time to book as well as track prices over time. Skyscanner operates similarly; users can sign up using email addresses, Facebook profiles or Google accounts and set alerts accordingly.
If you don’t know exactly when and where you want to travel, searching for “Flexible Dates” on KAYAK could help keep prices under control and alerts when prices fall for specific travel dates. Or use Top 25 Cities alerts if you want to explore destinations like Reykjavik without having to commit to one travel date at the moment. Please be aware that fare alerts don’t always arrive immediately – particularly if the offer involves mistake fares or only lasts temporarily; in these instances they might not appear immediately in alerts as soon after receiving them.
5. Check with Online Travel Agencies
OTAs (online travel agencies) serve as one-stop shops for everything related to travel – flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises – making them the largest source of bookings while often providing package deals that include airfare and hotels. In addition, OTAs act as brokers between travelers and travel providers – charging a fee during booking process or post trip (depending on whether it makes money).
Hopper is an online travel agency (OTA), that specializes exclusively in airfare. Their algorithm uses historical data to predict when airfare prices will become cheap, alerting you when the time has come to purchase tickets. Agoda and Kayak provide more general travel services such as accommodations, packages and car rental – offering search tools to help find you the best price.
Not only can OTAs help you locate affordable flights, but many also partner with shopping portals and credit cards to offer extra rewards when you book through them. These partnerships could add up to significant savings on future flights for frequent flyers with suitable credit cards.
On the downside, online travel agencies (OTAs) can be frustrating when something goes awry with your itinerary. Finding someone when something goes wrong with a flight can often prove impossible and they will simply refer you back to an airline service representative – creating an interminable cycle of customer service and not helping resolve your problem!