Flight tickets are usually one of the costliest parts of your trip, especially international trip. If you’re someone who travels a lot for professional reasons or for holiday, you would prefer to save on flight tickets which eat up more than half of your entire trip’s budget. Here are the 13 best ways to save on flight tickets while traveling.
1. Book early for cheap flights
Once the destination and time of your trip is decided, book the tickets as early as possible. The air fares start increasing at a rapid rate three weeks before the departure date. One would find reasonable flying rates if tickets are booked within one- three months before the departure. Also, booking the tickets early ensure the choice of desired seats, especially in the peak seasons.
2. Be open and adjustable to date and time
As the rate of air tickets continually fluctuate, one may get a cheaper flight around the day of departure if not exactly on that date. Hence, it'll be easy to find an inexpensive flight if one is flexible with date and time of the trip. Keep a dynamic range of +3 or -3 days between your exact departure dates. This helps you get the cheapest air tickets while not causing any major inconvenience to your work schedule.
3. Consider booking a flight using another currency
Though budget airlines insist on you paying in the currency of the destination you’re departing from, at times, you can get access to cheaper airline tickets if you pay through another currency. While opting for this step, ensure you have a credit card that does not charge you fees for foreign transactions or else you might end up paying more than saving more. You can also use a VPN and show your location to be another country, while booking a flight ticket.
4. Search & compare; Don’t restrict yourself to one portal
You can either book straightaway from the airline carrier or use a third-party flight portal for booking your airline tickets. It is usually suggested to opt for a third-party site as they not only provide better deals for you but also analyze and compare through research tools to help you find the best affordable option. They also provide you daily alerts if there are any reductions in the fares of flights flying your preferred route.
5. Select budget airlines for travelling
These airlines have low fares because they cut out on most traditional services like beverages, food, luggage fee, etc. The budget airlines do not usually offer luxuries but ensure you have a satisfactory flying experience for cheap airline fares. Airlines like Spice Jet, Indigo and Air India Express offer reasonable booking prices.
6. Keep your searches secret
7. Identify the cheapest days and destinations
Use flight search engines and do a visual check of flight fares of a month. There is no specific way to determine the cheapest days. On some routes, the fares are cheaper on weekdays i.e. Mondays to Fridays and expensive on weekends. But this is not a rule for every route. On some routes it is the other way round. So you need to find this by comparing ticket prices on weekdays and weekends. Flight search engines and travel sites can help you identify the cheapest day for flight bookings as they mention the flight schedule and prices too. You can also sign-up for low air fare alerts.
8. Book flights in bulk or book round trips
This is a thumb rule when one is trying to save the expenditure on Flight Tickets. Booking air tickets in bulk gives you a great advantage in multi-city flights. Booking tickets in bulk can be advantageous when you are using the same airline or airlines belonging to the same alliance for all your tickets.
9. Travel off-season
Travelling off season is an option considered by most of the buyers who want inexpensive flight tickets. Airlines increase the prices of tickets strategically during the holidays and peak seasons. Plus, they drastically increase the price within three weeks of the date of departure. So, either try booking your tickets a month before if you are going to travel during peak seasons or choose to fly during the off seasons.
10. Opt for hidden city ticketing
Sometimes, it is more affordable to book a flight that has your destination city as a middle stop than directly booking a flight to your destination city. Hence, one can book such a flight and get-off at the connecting city instead of going to the ultimate destination. In such cases, it is best to have a carry-on luggage because the checked luggage is often sent to the final flight destination. This can also be a precarious step because sometimes the passenger might not be allowed to disembark from the plane but it is okay to take this risk while looking for a cheaper flight. For instance, if you are planning to travel from Mumbai to Delhi, the cheapest alternative can be booking a Mumbai to Lucknow flight that has Delhi as a stop and you can depart at Delhi.
11. Book non-refundable air tickets
If you are absolutely certain about the journey you are planning to make, it is best if you opt for tickets that are non-refundable. It is a common rule among airlines to keep the pricing of non-refundable tickets less than refundable ones.
12. Sign up for frequent flyer programs with airlines
Frequent flyer programs are loyalty programs designed especially for loyal customers who prefer flying by a particular airline. Every time, you travel using that airline, you are rewarded with points that get added to your account. You can redeem these points and avail significant discounts and sometimes even fly for free!
13. Book last-minute & avail Airline Specials Benefits
Every airline provider provides a fixed number of cheap tickets and once they are sold out, the prices start rising. While it is usually believed that flight prices are the highest if booked in the last-minute, at times, you can wait up to the final week and avail yourself special last minute deals from the air-carrier directly. This usually depends on customer demand and route. If you are the adventurous kind, you can also plan a trip to any destination depending on the cheap tickets availability.