It’s the “getting there” that eats up the biggest part of your budget. I remember going to Thailand. My flights were €720, while travelling around, staying in hostels, eating, drinking and visiting temples and museums in the month that followed surmounted to about €1000. Damn, flights were a pretty big part of that budget, huh?
But obviously, with the recent revolution the travel industry went through ( thank you internet ) and the fact that I am now older and wiser ( I think) than 20 year old me, I found some great ways of making sure to always get the best and cheapest flights to the most awesome destinations.
- Book your flight seven weeks in advance
Remember when last-minutes were still a big thing? You would call up the airline or your travel agent 2 weeks before, book an incredible cheap flight and off you went. Airlines were extremely eager to sell off their empty seats and people with flexible schedules were able to take “advantage”. But now everything changed. The world has become smaller and people need to travel more. This means that for instance, business people, will hop last minute onto a plane. Airlines have noticed this trend and last minutes became – more or less, a thing of the past.
Recent studies by websites like flightscanner have revealed that tickets are cheapest 6 to 8 weeks in advance.
- Sign up to mailing lists of low cost airlines
Don’t miss out on promotions! Signing up to mailing lists of low cost airlines is a smart way of being sure never to miss out on a cheap flight. I know, they like to be spammy, but use your spam mail and in google Inbox (Love it!) you can make a special folder for “travel” where all your travel related emails are automatically sorted into.
I made one like this for Eurostar and DFDS which means I can cheaply go and visit my parents and friends back in Belgium.
- Erase your cookies when looking for cheap flights
No. I am not kidding. Websites will know when you are looking for flights and try to convince you to take an expensive flight by upping the price every time you visit and check for new prices. I have had this problem once with Thalys.
I wanted to travel from Antwerp to Paris. I had been monitoring prices for a week from my computer and every time I visited the page they seemed to go up. Shit. I was going to have to pay €180 there and back for a ticket or not go at all…
But then one weekend, I checked the prices at my parent’s, on my dad’s computer. Prices were at €120 again. Motherfuckers!
- Flexible dates = flexible prices when flying
Keep your dates as flexible as possible and keep school holidays in mind! Prices within a couple of days can mean the difference between paying €600 for a ticket to Chiang Mai and back or coughing up €1150 for a return ticket to Bankok ( from where you will have to pay another €50 to get to the North).
- Frequent Flyer programs are the shit!
I love them! I myself am part of the Avios club. I can collect Avios points by shopping online, filling out online surveys, buying my morning coffee at Café Nero and travelling! And if you get the British Airways Credit Card you can cash in on cheap flights and free travel through Avios!
- Use Google Flights for mapping out your flight
It is no secret that I am a Google Fangirl. I absolutely love what they are doing and Google Flights has since long been one of my favourite gimmicks the company has brought out. It is a well-known secret but it is a handy one for us travellers! Especially if you are pretty flexible of where you would like to go to!
You can literally just select the dates you would like to travel, the airport you would like to depart from and your budget. Google flights will map out all destinations you will be able to fly to. HOW COOL IS THIS!