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TravelHow to Book Cheap Flights - Our Best Tips

How to Book Cheap Flights – Our Best Tips


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Airfares can fluctuate significantly. We compiled 11 actionable strategies to help you to cut travel costs. While these suggestions aren’t miraculous solutions, they offer straightforward measures towards securing lower-cost flights. Dive into our guide to potentially reduce expenses on your upcoming trip.

Securing Budget-Friendly Airfare

Cost-effective journeys are within reach. Airline tickets often constitute a major part of the travel budget, and by opting for more economical flights, you can significantly reduce your overall travel expenses. While there are no guaranteed methods for finding the lowest-priced flights, certain strategies can greatly improve your odds of securing an affordable fare for your next journey.

Proven Strategies for Economical Air Travel

Our geographical position in Helsinki, encircled by the sea, makes flying the most straightforward option for leaving our base. We have accumulated knowledge on how to scout for excellent flight deals over time and are eager to share these insights with our readers.

We introduce 11 tips for cheaper travelling.

Travel During Off-Peak Season

Whenever feasible, choosing to travel outside peak seasons can result in notable savings, as airlines and accommodations often lower their prices. Plus, with fewer tourists around, the travel experience is typically more pleasant.

For Europe, the summertime is the high season, with July and August seeing the highest travel costs due to European holiday schedules. Conversely, winter is a costly season for long-distance trips. The optimal times to explore Europe are spring and fall when the weather is favourable and prices are more reasonable. Fall is perhaps the best because Europe tends still to be warm.

Traveling during non-holiday periods may not always be possible, particularly for families with work and school commitments. Luckily, there are additional cost-saving strategies at your disposal.

Choose Economical Travel Destinations

Certain destinations offer more affordable flight options. For instance, flights from Helsinki to places like London, Budapest, or Berlin are consistently reasonably priced, likely due to a surplus of seats over demand.

One effective method for identifying the most budget-friendly destinations is to utilize Skyscanner. Simply enter your departure city and select Explore anywhere for your destination. Skyscanner then provides a visual representation pinpointing the most economical travel destinations.

Price visualization on Skyscanner
Selecting Everywhere as your destination on Skyscanner yields a convenient list of cheap flight destinations.

Maintain Date Flexibility

Fridays and Sundays often come with higher airfare costs, catering to business professionals returning from work and leisure travellers embarking on weekend excursions. Consider starting your weekend journey on Thursday and wrapping up on Monday to potentially save on costs.

Skyscanner’s flexible search option is an invaluable tool for discovering the least expensive travel dates, providing a straightforward comparison view for flight prices near your intended travel time. You do not need to select exavt travel dates but you can simply look for the cheapest month. Finally when the month has been chosen, you can quickly see the prices for different days.

Exceptions do occur. At times, Friday or Sunday travel can be cost-friendly. Utilize Momondo to pinpoint the most economical rates for your specific travel plans.

Opt for Budget Airlines

While many prefer the amenities offered by premier airlines, choosing budget-friendly carriers means opening your wallet less. Airlines such as Ryanair, Wizzair, Easyjet, and Norwegian can transport you rapidly to your desired location, just like their more expensive counterparts. The on-board service might not be as high-end, but the financial savings can be substantial. In the end, there is not much difference between low-cost and legacy airlines in Europe.

Be cautious of the hidden fees. Budget airlines often market themselves as more affordable than they are. It’s important to account for all potential expenses, including additional services and transfers to more remote airports, when comparing total costs.

We regularly opt for budget airlines, which remain cost-effective as long as you resist the temptation to purchase non-essential add-ons. If those extras are important to you, you might find better value in sticking with traditional carriers.

Adopt a Light Travel Style

Adopting a light travel style is not only more economical but also a more environmentally friendly approach to flying. For brief trips, there’s no necessity for cumbersome baggage. A modest backpack or carry-on will suffice, steering clear of the airlines’ hefty luggage fees and the burden of lugging around heavy bags.

Complimentary food and drinks are not typically provided on budget flights. Bringing your snacks is allowed, and you can carry a refillable water bottle, topping it up at the airport before boarding. There is not thing you should keep in mind: your alcoholic drinks can’t be consumed in the cabin.

Early Reservations Can Lead to Savings

Booking your flight in advance is usually less costly than last-minute reservations, although there are always outliers. Monitor fare trends weeks ahead of booking to ensure a good deal.

Flights booked during the week before departure are typically priced at a premium, so it’s wise to secure your tickets at least a month or two in advance.

Skyscanner’s price alert feature simplifies the process of tracking fare changes, making it easier to get a good deal. You will get a notification when the price changes. For that you need to log in in order Skyscanner to know your email address.

Price alert notification on Skyscanner
With Skyscanner, setting up price alerts is straightforward, allowing you to monitor specific route prices more efficiently. Simply log in to get started.

Leverage Third-Party Booking Platforms

Using third-party booking sites divides opinions, but we find them valuable. Often, they offer tickets at lower rates than the airlines directly. Just ensure that you don’t purchase any additional services and that your travel plans are firm, as dealing with customer service issues can be more complex with these sites.

We suggest considering third-party booking platforms but remain mindful that addressing any issues may be more intricate. Finding the most competitive third-party booking sites can be done efficiently through Skyscanner.

Self-Arrange Connecting Flights

Sometimes, booking separate tickets for connecting flights can be more cost-effective. This is worth trying when there are no other reasonably priced direct options. For example, if you’re travelling from Helsinki to Ponta Delgada, consider first booking a flight to Lisbon and then making a separate reservation to Ponta Delgada. Self-arranging flights can be time-consuming but rewarding in terms of savings.

Remember, when you book flights separately, airlines do not guarantee connections, so ensure a generous layover between flights. We also advise taking out travel insurance to cover any additional costs that may arise from missed connections. Obtain instant quotes from a dedicated travel insurance provider such as SafetyWing.

Utilise Vouchers for Payment

On occasion, airlines offer vouchers as compensation for cancelled flights. These vouchers often exceed the value of a cash refund. If you’re certain you’ll fly with the same airline in the future, accepting a voucher can be a sound choice.

Be on the Lookout for Error and Promotional Fares

Every so often, airlines mistakenly offer flights at exceptionally low prices. While these may be errors, airlines typically honour these fares if booked promptly. Error fares disappear quickly, so immediate action is necessary.

For error fare alerts, websites like Secret Flying are invaluable. For regular promotions, Skyscanner is a reliable resource to find affordable tickets.

Fly for Free

The most economical flight option is to not pay at all. Complimentary flying involves leveraging frequent flyer miles and reward points. Accumulating these miles requires time and isn’t an immediate pathway to free travel.

Certain credit cards reward spending with miles. If you maintain your usual spending patterns, these credit cards can be a beneficial route to complimentary flights. For instance, we utilize the Bank Norwegian credit card, which accrues points redeemable for flights with Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Browse in Stealth Mode

Many guides on flight bookings suggest searching for fares in incognito mode. While its effectiveness is debatable, trying this widely endorsed tip costs nothing.

Flight Price Comparison Websites

To maximize savings, it’s crucial to compare flight prices. The internet hosts numerous flight comparison platforms, each varying in quality. Superior sites provide extensive data access, rapid processing, and user-friendly interfaces.

Skyscanner stands out as a major comparison engine with a trustworthy reputation. While tools like Momondo are also valuable, Skyscanner serves as a solid starting point.

Occasionally, comparison tools might miss fares from smaller, local airlines. If your travel plans include domestic flights with such airlines, it’s advisable to verify prices directly on the airline’s official website.

Understanding Flight Comparison Website Mechanics

Grasping how flight comparison websites function is essential.

These platforms act as meta-search engines, collating and comparing prices from various online travel agencies without selling tickets directly. Upon selecting a flight, customers are redirected to the travel agency’s site for booking, with the comparison site typically earning a commission from the referral.

Be aware that the prices listed on comparison sites may not always be current, as fares fluctuate and the site’s data caches may not be instantly updated. On rare occasions, the advertised price might not be available when booking.

These tools are most effective for popular routes; less common destinations might not yield all the best options.

PRO TIP

Skyscanner is an excellent tool even though you may prefer booking through the official channels. Skyscanner finds the cheapest fares and the best routes quickly.

Common Questions

How to find cheap flights? 
Keeping an open, adaptable mindset is key to uncovering inexpensive flights. Utilize comparison engines, remain flexible, and select the most cost-effective airline or connection.
Is Skyscanner trustworthy? 
It is. Skyscanner excels at discovering attractive fares, but bookings are made through external sites. Sometimes, price information on Skycanner may lag behind real-time updates.
When should I book a flight? 
Booking too early is better than too late. Generally, reserving a flight three months in advance is sufficient.
Are online travel agencies reliable for bookings? 
Most are reliable. Prefer established online travel agencies and complete transactions with a credit card for added security.
Which season is most budget-friendly for travel? 
In Europe, the seasons of autumn and spring offer more affordable travel opportunities.
Is opting for budget airlines advisable? 
They are a practical choice provided you manage expectations. Steer clear of extra charges, as they can be pricey.
Can I travel without checked baggage? 
Absolutely – we typically travel without checked luggage to minimize expenses.
What if I miss a connecting flight? 
If the connecting flight is booked under the same reservation, the airline is responsible for rebooking you to your final destination. Otherwise, you may need to cover the new costs yourself or seek compensation from your insurance.
Where can I find error fares? 
SecretFlying.com is a reliable source for error fares.
Do airlines honour error fares? 
They often do. If the booking isn’t cancelled within a few weeks, it’s likely to be upheld.
Is it beneficial to use incognito mode when booking? 
While it’s harmless, incognito mode may not offer significant benefits.

Bottom Line

Travel invariably involves expenditures, but savvy booking can lead to significant savings. A bit of effort is required to unearth these deals.

Despite the plethora of online booking resources, a handful of reliable tools is often sufficient. Personal preferences matter; whether Momondo or Skyscanner is your go-to, choose the platform that suits you best.

Do you have additional booking tips? Share them in the comments section below!

Tags: booking, flight, cheaper travelling
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