Finding cheap airline tickets can be a daunting task, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Whether you’re planning a trip for business or leisure, getting the best deal on airfare can save you a significant amount of money. With so many airlines and travel websites out there, it can be hard to know where to buy cheap airline tickets and how to get the cheapest flights. Fortunately, there are some proven tips and strategies that can help you score a great deal on airfare. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 15 tips for finding the cheapest air tickets, from using flight comparison sites to taking advantage of rewards programs. So if you’re ready to save big on your next trip, read on to learn how to get the best deals on airfare.
- You can use flight search engines such as Omio or CheapoAir to book your airline tickets at cheap prices.
- When it comes to Airport pickups, welcome pickups is always a great bet.
- If you need cheap accommodation and hotels, check out booking.com
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Google Flights is your best friend for finding cheap airline tickets
Google Flights is a powerful tool for finding cheap airline tickets. The website allows you to search for flights across multiple airlines, and it also offers a range of useful features to help you get the best deal possible. Here are some tips for using Google Flights to find cheap airline tickets:
- Search for flights in incognito mode: When searching for cheap airline tickets, airlines and booking sites may increase prices based on your search history. By using incognito mode, you can avoid this and potentially save money.
- Use the “flexible dates” feature: Google Flights allows you to search for flights on flexible dates, so you can see when flights are cheapest. Simply select the “flexible dates” option when searching for flights.
- Set up price alerts: If you have a particular destination in mind, you can set up price alerts on Google Flights. You’ll receive notifications when prices drop, so you can book your cheap airline ticket at the right time.
- Book flights in advance: Generally, flights are cheapest when booked in advance. Google Flights can help you see when flights are likely to be cheapest, so you can book your tickets well in advance.
- Be flexible with your travel plans: If you’re flexible with your travel plans, you can save a lot of money on flights. Google Flights allows you to search for flights to multiple destinations and on flexible dates, so you can find the cheapest flights possible.
Use points and miles to book heavily discounted and cheap flights
If you’re a frequent flyer, using points and miles to book cheap or heavily discounted flights can be a great way to save money. Many airlines have loyalty programs that offer points or miles for every flight you take, which can be redeemed for free or heavily discounted flights.
One way to maximize your rewards is to stay loyal to one airline. By doing this, you can earn points or miles faster and enjoy additional benefits such as upgrades and access to airport lounges. If you’re a frequent flyer, staying loyal to one airline can be very rewarding.
Another way to maximize your rewards is to purchase airline miles online. Buying airline miles online can be a cheaper way to secure yourself a business class or first class flight. This is because airlines often sell miles at a discount, and you can then use those miles to book a flight at a reduced rate. Just be sure to compare prices before you buy, as some airlines may offer better deals than others.
When redeeming your points or miles, it’s important to be flexible with your travel dates and destinations. Airlines often have blackout dates and limited availability for reward flights, so you’ll need to be prepared to adjust your plans in order to take advantage of the best deals.
Booking a flight with a stopover can be cheaper than flying direct
When booking a flight, it’s common to assume that a direct flight will be the most convenient and cost-effective option. However, in some cases, booking a flight with a stopover can actually be cheaper than flying direct.
A stopover is a layover that lasts longer than a typical layover, usually between 24 and 48 hours. Some airlines offer stopovers as a way to encourage travellers to visit additional destinations, and they can be a great way to see more of the world while saving money.
When booking a flight with a stopover, you can often find cheaper flights by choosing a destination that is not a popular tourist spot or major hub. In 2019, my husband and I, for instance, booked a flight from the UK to Dubai with a stopover in Lebanon. We had the most amazing time in Lebanon and our flight was significantly cheaper than it would be with a layover anywhere else, or a direct flight.
When booking a flight with a stopover, it’s important to check the visa requirements for any countries you’ll be visiting. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough time to explore the city or country during your layover, and to plan for any additional costs such as transportation and accommodation.
Research cheap flights before picking a destination
When planning a trip, it’s common to choose a destination first and then look for the cheapest flights available to get there. However, it can also be a good idea to research the cheapest flight prices before choosing a destination. This is something that many savvy travellers do.
By researching flight prices before choosing a destination, you can often find great deals on airfare and save money on your travels. For example, if you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia, you may find that flights to Bangkok, Thailand are much cheaper than flights to other nearby cities. This could influence your decision to make Bangkok your base and then travel to other destinations from there.
Researching flight prices before choosing a destination can also open up new possibilities for your travels. If you find a great deal on a flight to a destination you haven’t considered before, you may be inspired to explore a new city or country that you hadn’t thought of before.
My husband and I often research flight prices before choosing a destination, especially when traveling in Asia. We have found that by being flexible with our travel dates and destinations, we can often find great deals on airfare and save money on our travels. This has allowed us to see more of the world and experience new cultures, while also sticking to our budget.
Be flexible with your dates to save on airline tickets
When it comes to finding the cheapest airline tickets, one of the most important things to keep in mind is flexibility. Being flexible with your travel dates can often save you a significant amount of money on airfare.
One of the main reasons why flexibility is key when booking airline tickets is that prices can vary significantly depending on the day of the week, time of year, and other factors. For example, flights during peak travel season or on weekends are often more expensive than those on weekdays or during off-peak periods.
By being flexible with your travel dates, you can often find better deals on flights. This means considering traveling during off-peak periods, such as midweek or during shoulder seasons, when demand is lower and prices are often more affordable.
Another way to be flexible with your travel dates is to consider alternative airports. Sometimes flying into a nearby airport can be significantly cheaper than flying directly to your destination. For example, if you’re traveling to New York City, flying into Newark or LaGuardia airports might be more affordable than flying into JFK.
Set up faire alerts to track the prices of your flights
When it comes to finding the cheapest flights, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that prices can fluctuate rapidly, and it’s not always easy to keep track of them. That’s why setting up fare alerts can be an invaluable tool for travellers looking to save money on airline tickets.
A fare alert is a notification system that allows you to track the prices of your flights and get alerts when the price drops or rises. Many travel booking websites and airline websites offer this feature, which allows you to set up alerts for specific flights, dates, and destinations.
By setting up fare alerts, you can stay on top of any changes in ticket prices and take advantage of deals as soon as they become available. This can be especially helpful if you’re booking a trip in advance and have plenty of time to wait for the best possible deal.
Fare alerts can also help you avoid overpaying for airline tickets. If you’re watching the prices of a flight you’re interested in, and you notice the price starts to go up, you can jump on a deal before the price goes up even further.
Finally, setting up fare alerts can help take some of the stress out of travel planning. By allowing you to keep an eye on prices without having to constantly check for updates, you can focus on other aspects of your trip, such as accommodations and activities.
Decide whether to book with a budget airline or not
When it comes to saving money on airline tickets, choosing a budget airline can be a great option. Budget airlines are known for offering lower prices on flights than traditional airlines, which can make them an attractive option for travellers looking to save money.
However, it’s important to note that there are some trade-offs when it comes to flying with a budget airline. One of the main things to consider is that there are often hidden costs associated with budget airlines that can add up quickly. For example, many budget airlines charge extra fees for checked luggage, priority boarding, seat selection, and other services that are typically included with traditional airlines.
In addition, many budget airlines do not provide complimentary meals or snacks during the flight, and some even charge for water or other beverages. This can be a concern for longer flights, as passengers may need to bring their own food or purchase snacks on board.
Despite these hidden costs, choosing a budget airline can still be a great way to save money on airline tickets. By opting for a no-frills flight experience, you can cut down on costs and use the savings for other aspects of your trip, such as accommodations or activities.
Paying in a foreign currency can be cheaper
Paying for airline tickets in a foreign currency can sometimes be cheaper because exchange rates can work in your favour. In some cases, airlines may offer cheaper prices in a different currency due to factors such as currency fluctuations, taxes, and fees.
For example, let’s say you’re booking a flight from the United States to Europe. If the airline’s website is set up to display prices in US dollars, the price may include additional fees or taxes that are specific to US travellers. However, if you change the currency to Euros or another foreign currency, those additional fees may not be included in the price.
In addition, exchange rates can sometimes fluctuate in your favour, meaning that the cost of the flight in a foreign currency may be cheaper than the cost in your home currency. This can be particularly true when the currency of the country you’re traveling to has a weaker exchange rate than your own.
It’s important to note that there are risks associated with paying for airline tickets in a foreign currency. Exchange rates can be unpredictable, and you may end up paying more than you anticipated if the currency fluctuates in the opposite direction. In addition, some airlines may charge extra fees for paying in a foreign currency, which could offset any savings you may have gained.
If you do decide to pay for airline tickets in a foreign currency, be sure to do your research and compare prices in different currencies to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. Consider using a currency conversion calculator to help you compare prices, and be aware of any potential fees or charges associated with paying in a foreign currency.
Do not book flights in peak travel seasons
Booking flights during peak travel seasons can be expensive, as airlines tend to increase their fares to meet the high demand. The peak travel seasons usually include major holidays, school breaks, and popular events or festivals. If you are looking for cheap airline tickets, it is important to avoid these peak travel seasons and instead travel during the off-peak seasons.
During the off-peak seasons, airlines tend to offer lower prices to attract travellers, as the demand for air travel is generally lower. This means you can often find cheaper airline tickets during these times, sometimes up to 50% less than peak season prices. You can also take advantage of other benefits, such as fewer crowds, shorter lines at the airport, and better deals on hotels and other travel-related expenses.
By being flexible with your travel dates and avoiding peak travel seasons, you can save a significant amount of money on airline tickets. Additionally, you can use the money saved to enjoy more activities, dining, and experiences during your trip. So if you are looking for cheap airline tickets, plan your travel dates carefully and avoid the peak travel seasons.
Consider booking two separate one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket, which can be cheaper.
Booking two separate one-way tickets instead of a round-trip ticket can sometimes be cheaper. This is because different airlines or online travel agencies may offer cheaper fares for one-way tickets on different legs of your trip. By booking separate one-way tickets, you can take advantage of these cheaper fares and save money on your overall trip.
For example, if you are traveling from New York to London and back, a round-trip ticket may cost you $800. However, you may be able to find a cheaper one-way ticket for the outbound flight on one airline, and a cheaper one-way ticket for the return flight on another airline or online travel agency. This can bring your total cost down to $600, for example, saving you $200.
In addition to saving money, booking separate one-way tickets can also give you more flexibility in terms of travel dates and times. You can choose different airlines for each leg of your trip and schedule your flights based on your preferences.
Compare prices for nearby airports to see if you can get cheaper airline tickets.
Comparing prices for nearby airports can help you find cheaper airline tickets. Airports in different locations may have different airlines, flight routes, and prices, which can all impact the cost of your ticket. By looking at nearby airports and comparing prices, you may find a better deal on your flight.
For example, flying to and from Gatwick Airport in London may be cheaper than flying to and from London Heathrow. Even though Heathrow is a major international airport, airlines may offer lower fares for flights departing or arriving at Gatwick, which is about 30 miles away from Heathrow. This means that you can save money by flying to and from Gatwick instead of Heathrow.
In addition, there may be other nearby airports that are cheaper to fly in and out of, especially if you are traveling to a smaller or less popular destination. It’s worth checking the prices for airports within a reasonable distance from your origin and destination to see if there are any significant savings.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the transportation costs and time needed to travel to and from the different airports. If the transportation costs are too high, it may not be worth it to fly to and from a different airport, even if the flight ticket is cheaper. Be sure to weigh all the factors before making your final decision.
Check if booking a package deal (flight, hotel, car rental) can save you money.
Booking a package deal that includes a flight, hotel, and car rental can often save you money compared to booking each of these components separately. This is because travel companies and airlines offer discounts and special deals for bundled travel packages, which can result in significant savings.
One of the main advantages of booking a package deal is that it provides a one-stop solution for all your travel needs, and you can often get a better deal than booking each component individually. In addition to lower prices, package deals may include other perks such as free breakfast, complimentary upgrades, or additional discounts on local activities and attractions.
Another advantage of booking a package deal is that it can simplify the planning process and save time. You don’t have to spend time searching for each individual component of your trip and comparing prices. Instead, you can book everything at once and have the peace of mind of knowing that all your travel arrangements are taken care of.
However, it’s important to do your research and compare the total cost of a package deal to the cost of booking each component separately. Sometimes the savings may not be significant, and you may be better off booking your flight, hotel, and car rental separately. Also, be aware that package deals may have restrictions and limitations, such as specific travel dates or minimum stay requirements.
Buy airline tickets during Airline Sales
It’s important to keep in mind that airlines often run sales and promotions throughout the year, offering discounted rates on flights to various destinations. For example, major airlines like Qatar Airways and British Airways often have sales around the holidays, offering up to 20% off their flights. This is a terrific opportunity to take advantage of discounted airfare and save money on your travel expenses.
To stay informed about airline sales and promotions, it’s a good idea to sign up for airline newsletters and follow their social media accounts. You can also set up price alerts on travel booking websites to be notified when prices drop for specific routes or destinations.
However, it’s important to note that not all sales are created equal, and it’s important to compare prices and read the fine print to make sure you are getting the best deal for your needs. Some sales may have restrictions or blackout dates that limit the times when you can use the discounted rates.
Use travel credit cards that offer travel rewards, airline miles, or cashback on flight bookings.
One way to save money on airline tickets is to use a travel credit card that offers rewards, such as travel points, airline miles, or cashback, on flight bookings. These rewards can add up quickly and ultimately result in free or heavily discounted flights.
Many travel credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that can be redeemed for a certain number of points or miles, which can be used to book flights. In addition, some cards offer bonus points or miles for spending in certain categories, such as dining or travel expenses. These points can then be redeemed for flights or other travel expenses, such as hotel stays or car rentals.
It’s important to note that travel credit cards often come with annual fees and other fees, such as foreign transaction fees, which can add up over time. However, the rewards and benefits offered by the cards can often outweigh these costs, especially for frequent travellers.
When choosing a travel credit card, it’s important to compare the rewards offered, fees, and other benefits, such as travel insurance or airport lounge access. Some cards may also offer additional perks, such as priority boarding or free checked bags, which can help you save even more money on your travel expenses.
Book your flights in advance, ideally 6-8 weeks before your planned travel date.
One of the most common and effective ways to save money on airline tickets is to book in advance. While there is no hard and fast rule, it’s generally recommended to book your flight 6-8 weeks in advance of your planned travel date to get the best deals.
When you book in advance, you have more options and availability to choose from, and airlines tend to offer cheaper fares to those who book early. As the travel date approaches, the airline may increase the fares for the remaining seats, especially if the demand is high.
By booking in advance, you can also avoid the stress of last-minute bookings and the possibility of flights being sold out or unavailable. Plus, if you’re traveling during peak travel seasons or holidays, it’s even more important to book in advance to secure the best fares.
However, it’s important to note that prices can fluctuate depending on various factors, such as supply and demand, seasonal changes, and even unexpected events like weather disruptions or strikes. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up fare alerts or regularly check the airline’s website to see if there are any changes or sales that could help you save even more.
Can I track the airline ticket prices of specific dates or destinations?
you can track airline ticket prices for specific dates or destinations to get cheap tickets. There are several tools and websites that allow you to set up fare alerts and track the prices of specific flights or routes over time.
One of the most popular tools for tracking airline ticket prices is Google Flights, which allows you to search for flights and set up price alerts for specific dates or routes. You can also use websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Hopper, which have similar features.
By setting up fare alerts, you can receive notifications when the price of a particular flight or route drops or rises. This allows you to monitor the prices and book at the optimal time to get the best deal.
How can I book cheap business class flights?
Booking cheap business class flights can be a bit challenging, but here are some tips that can help:
- Look for sales and promotions: Keep an eye out for sales and promotions offered by airlines. These are often advertised on the airline’s website or social media pages. Sign up for email newsletters from airlines to receive notifications of special offers.
- Use airline rewards programs: Joining airline rewards programs can help you earn points or miles that you can use to book business class flights. Some airlines also offer credit cards that can help you accumulate points or miles faster.
- Book in advance: Booking your flight well in advance can help you get cheaper business class tickets. Many airlines offer discounts for early bookings, especially for long-haul flights.
- Search for business class consolidators: Business class consolidators are travel agents who specialize in selling discounted business class tickets. They have partnerships with airlines and can offer lower prices than the airline’s own website.
- Check for last-minute deals: Sometimes airlines offer last-minute deals on unsold business class seats. You can check for these deals on airline websites or through travel agencies.
- Fly on weekdays: Business class flights are often more expensive on weekends and during peak travel seasons. Flying on weekdays, especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, can help you get cheaper business class tickets.
- Be flexible with your travel dates: Being flexible with your travel dates can help you find cheaper business class tickets. Consider traveling during off-peak seasons, and avoid traveling during holidays and major events.
Is it safe to use hidden city ticketing?
Hidden city ticketing refers to the practice of booking a cheaper flight with a layover in the destination city that you actually want to travel to and then skipping the remaining leg of the journey. For example, if you want to fly from New York to Los Angeles, you could book a cheaper flight from New York to San Francisco with a layover in Los Angeles and simply get off the plane in Los Angeles.
While this may seem like a clever way to save money, it is important to note that hidden city ticketing is not always safe. Many airlines prohibit the practice in their terms and conditions, and if you get caught, you could face consequences such as being banned from the airline or having your return flight voided.
What is the best way to book multi-city airline tickets
The best way to book multi-city airline tickets is to use a travel search engine or an online travel agency that specializes in multi-city bookings. These websites allow you to input your desired cities and dates, and will search for the best combination of flights and fares to get you to all of your destinations. You can also try booking directly with the airlines if you already know which flights you want to take. It is always a good idea to compare prices and options from multiple sources before making a final booking. Additionally, consider booking well in advance to ensure availability and to get the best possible deals.
Should I clear my cookies before searching?
While some experts claim that clearing cookies can help you get cheaper prices, others dispute this. There is no definitive evidence that clearing cookies will always get you lower prices, and some travel industry insiders have stated that prices are more likely to fluctuate based on factors such as demand and supply, competition, and airline pricing algorithms.
Is it cheaper to book last-minute airline tickets?
In general, last-minute airline tickets are often more expensive than booking in advance. Airlines usually increase the prices of their tickets as the travel date approaches, as they know that last-minute travellers may be willing to pay more for the convenience. However, there may be occasional exceptions to this rule, such as when an airline needs to fill empty seats on a flight that is not fully booked. It’s always a good idea to compare prices and check for any promotions or sales, but in general, it’s usually cheaper to book airline tickets in advance.
How do I find cheap last-minute flights?
Finding cheap last-minute flights can be challenging, as airlines often increase the prices of their tickets as the travel date approaches. However, there are a few tips you can try to help find cheaper last-minute flights:
- Sign up for airline newsletters: Airlines often send out last-minute deals and promotions to their email subscribers.
- Check airline websites frequently: Airlines may lower their prices for unsold seats as the travel date approaches.
- Use travel apps: Some travel apps, such as Hopper, can help you find last-minute deals by predicting whether prices will go up or down in the coming days.
- Look for flights during off-peak times: Flights during early morning, late evening, or midweek may be cheaper than those during peak times.
- Be flexible with your destination: Check nearby airports or destinations you may not have considered before.
- Consider budget airlines: Budget airlines may offer last-minute deals to fill their unsold seats.
Is it cheaper to fly basic economy?
Flying basic economy can be a clever way to save money on airline tickets, but it’s important to understand the restrictions that come with it. Basic economy fares are generally cheaper than standard economy fares, but they often come with certain limitations and fees that can add up.
One of the main restrictions of basic economy is the baggage allowance. Airlines may only allow you to bring a small personal item on board, such as a backpack or purse, and may charge extra for carry-on or checked baggage. In addition, you may not have the option to choose your seat, and you may not be eligible for upgrades or changes to your flight.
However, if you’re willing to travel light and don’t mind the lack of frills, basic economy can be a wonderful way to save money on airline tickets. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Lieze Neven is a globetrotting travel writer and expat currently based in Nepal. With a passion for exploration, she has lived in Dubai, the UK, and Belgium, alongside her international teacher husband. Her parents live in France and she tries to visit Paris at least once a year. Together, they travel the world looking for the best hotels, experiences and food locations have to offer!