Flights are probably the most expensive parts of a trip. There’s no way around it, and the alternatives: trains, buses, ferries, renting a car… can be just as expensive, time consuming, and uncomfortable. But there are plenty of ways to score the best flights. Here’s a few tips to score the best deals.
1. Being Flexible on your Destination and Dates- If you’re open to going anywhere, you can search “Everywhere” on Skyscanner. You can also look at entire months of flight prices on many airline sites once you have a destination in mind. If you’re looking to generally backpack around, the play around with destinations and dates to see what the cheapest route is. Keep overnight buses as an option, but if you just want to get there within an hour or two with minimal neck pain then the flights might be the best option for a few dollars more.
2. SkyScanner- As mentioned before, Skyscanner has by far offered the best flight deals. You can get the lowest flight deals, and it’s much cheaper if you book roundtrip. Check the website often for new flight deals. Sometimes third-companies can offer extra savings that are automatically applied through Skyscanner.
3. Budget Airlines and Promo Codes- Once you check Skyscanner, double check the airlines website to make sure they don’t offer a better deal by booking directly through them. Some major budget airlines to check out include Wow Air and Norwegian Air. These are great for backpacking, since you’ll have to pay extra for luggage. Keep in mind you’ll also pay extra for getting the seat you want and any food or drinks on the flight. But if you’re okay with going without these, then a budget flight may be a win for you. Sign up for the airlines newsletters and you’ll get alerted whenever there are low prices. And they’ll send you promo codes!
4. Holiday Sales- You see the department store commercials on tv: “Black Friday- HUGE discounts!” Well it’s not any different for airlines either. Cyber Monday is a big day too. President’s Day, Valentines Day, New Years Sales, you name it! These are great times to book flights.
5. Major Airports- If you’re going to a destination off the beaten track, it may be cheaper to fly into (or out of) a major airport too. Major airports include NYC-JFC, Istanbul, Bangkok, Shanghai, London, Paris, and I’m sure many others.
6. Willing to be Bumped from a Flight- Take out your headphones while waiting at the airport and listen to the intercom. Sometimes they’ll ask if you’re willing to be on standby. If you do accept, and in fact do not make it on the flight, the airline will offer being good to go on the next flight out and with a free hotel stay, PLUS some extra cash or airline tickets. It happened to me once, and having to leave a few hours later, plus a hotel stay and 250 euro was definitely worth it.
7. Long Layovers- When looking at flights, consider long layovers. It can turn into an extra destination for your vacation where you don’t even need to buy an extra flight. You can get whole day layovers, going from morning to dawn, with plenty of time to explore.
There you have it! Seven tips on scoring the best flight deals!
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