Over the years traveling by plane has definitely become more accessible for all people, but it can still be hard to find good prices around certain times of the year, like Spring Break, beginning of summer or Christmas time. I have a few tricks that help me find good deals, and I wanna share them with you.
I have to book a ticket around every six weeks to go visit my boyfriend in the Netherlands, so over time I started to developed some tricks that really help me get good deals, even when the prices are overly high. I just bought tickets April, a really bad month because of Spring break, and it was quite complicated. So I decided to share with you guys what I did to find myself the best deal possible.
1. Keep your searches secret
This is a trick I learned quite early on and it’s one of the best tips I can give you – use the incognito window to search for all your flights! If you don’t do this, the website will store data from your searches and up the price of your destination/dates. So keep your searches private, cause Big brother is watching!
2. Keep the baggage to a minimum
Buying extra baggage is probably the most expensive extra in any flight. I see all of these great deals with Ryanair, and then they ask me 60€ for a 20kg bag. Not worth it.
What you can do is inform yourself of what the company allows as hand baggage. TAP (Portuguese company) allows me to take a suitcase plus a handbag – this way I can take two bags with me on the flight, and don’t even need to buy check in baggage. However, low cost companies such as Transavia are very strict about hand luggage and really only allow one item per person (meaning, you can’t take a handbag, or even a camera bag!).
3. If possible, be flexible with your date
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest dates to fly on average. Trying to book for these days might help with your price. Thursdays and Saturdays are the next cheapest days.
4. Compare airlines
Always compare airlines to the point of exhaustion! Every time I’m looking for a flight, I have a good number of tabs open on a bunch of different airlines’ websites to see which one offers the best price – just because they offered the best price last time, doesn’t mean it will happen again, so check all of them.
It’s also important to compare companies on luggage allowance and prices. Today I booked a Transavia flight with baggage, cheaper than the TAP flight without baggage!
5. Compare airports
This is very important. Sometimes it’s worth going off route a little bit, for a much better ticket price. Compare the price from one airport to the other, and look for train prices – if it’s worth overall to go off route, do it! I’ve done it, and will do it again soon.
6. Fly with two different airlines
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is this – book with two different companies! I have done this the last two times I’ve booked tickets, and it really makes a difference. Companies can have really different prices for departure and return (specially if you travel for a longer time), so picking and choosing the best flight for each date can save you a lot of money.
7. Fly really early or really late
This one is for every airline. If you are willing to fly at 6am or at 11pm, then you will get a better price. I usually prefer to fly at night, I don’t mind it at all, but if you’ve been flying in the middle of the day I advise you try this trick! You’ll see a big difference in the final price.
2. Here you can see how a few hours make a big difference in price.
8. Don’t wait to book
Try not to delay when you book your flight as your departure date arrives. Airlines start with fairly low price tickets, and as time goes by and the tickets sell, the reaming tickets will increase in cost.
I used all of these tricks to get my tickets for April and I ended up paying 150€ for a round trip – pretty good price given the season.
What I did was, book two different tickets (I leave with Transavia and come back with TAP). With the Transavia flight I had to book extra luggage because I’m taking two bags and with TAP I didn’t have to cause as I’ve said before, they allow two bags in the flight.
I hope that these little tricks help you as much as they helped me!