The best and probably the cheapest way to book a flight to your dream destination is by waiting for a seat sale or airline promotions and book your flight in advance, like 6 months or more. This is no secret so I am not going to expound on this. What I am going to share are some tips and tricks to score cheap flights even outside of the seat sale period.
Here’s how I score a cheap flight even if I book my ticket less than a month prior to my departure.
There are a lot of websites that compare prices from different airlines. Do not limite yourself in just one website. Use multiple websites to compare prices. I use the following websites:
Google Flights – I started using this since last year. This is an amazing tool to check and compare prices of airfare from different airlines around the world. You can only input a city or a specific airport in the “from” box but you can input a country, a region or a continent in the “to” box to compare prices from different airports.
Kiwi.Com – I have been using this since the past few years just to check prices. I seldom book a flight here because it’s quite expensive although I have scored a cheap flight here before from Singapore to Bangkok. The good thing about Kiwi is you can input a country, region or continent in the to and from boxes. This is good when your itinerary is flexible. Once you see the prices, you can go to the airline’s website and book from there if it’s cheaper. Kiwi also has a mobile app that you can use.
Skyscanner – I have also been using Skyscanner for quite some time now. I also encountered instances that the prices with Skyscanner are cheaper than the airline’s website. Skyscanner only compares prices. You will be given a link to a third-party website or the airline’s website to book your ticket. Just be careful with lower prices, always read the fine print so you know exactly what you are paying.
Check if there are available budget carrier
A significant number of budget carriers do not show when you use the websites mentioned above. What you can do is to google what budget carriers are operating in the airport you are flying from then visit their website and check if they fly to your desired destination. If you travel on a budget, this is an ideal hack for you.
Check out nearby cities and even countries
If your itinerary is flexible, you should use the websites mentioned above to compare airline fares between cities. For instance, if you fly to India, you’ll see that some cities have cheaper fares compared to New Delhi. If you plan to explore other cities, it might be worth it to book a flight to Kochi or Kolkota. This same goes when you plan to visit multiple countries like in Africa or South America. It might be cheaper to fly to Kenya than flying to Ethiopia. Use Google Flight or Kiwi and put the region in your destination. In this case, East Africa.
Cut your trip
If time isn’t much of a concern then you can cut your trips and fly to multiple airports. Let’s say you want to go to Africa. If you check out flights from Manila direct to Africa, for example, Kenya, Ethiopia or Tanzania, it’s costly. Flights are expensive unless the airline is on sale. Now, check out flights from Mumbai to these cities, it’s quite cheap compared to going there direct from Manila. So, what you need to do is cut trips and you’ll save a lot! When you cut a trip, do not just fly there, take time to see the city or the country. It’s hitting two birds in one stone! 🙂
Choose to fly on weekdays
It’s usually cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If you have a flexible departure date, consider flying on these days and you might be saving a lot of money. This does not happen all the time but it’s worth checking.
Book a roundtrip ticket
Booking a roundtrip flight is usually cheaper than booking a one-way flight. Of course, this is not applicable to budget carries or low-cost airlines as they have a standard booking script. For full-service airlines, roundtrip fares are cheaper than a one-way fare. You can play around. You can try using the multi-city option and check out prices. In some cases, it’s also cheaper to use this option than booking a flight separately. For instance, booking a flight from Mumbai to Nairobi and Kigali to Mumbai using the multi-city platform would result in cheaper fare compared to booking a separate flight.
Follow relevant social media accounts
You can follow @secretflying on twitter to get updates on the latest travel promos and airline glitches. When there is an airline glitch, you’ll be amazed at how cheap flights can be. When AirAsia had a glitch a few years back, I was able to book a roundtrip flight to the Maldives for less than Php500. I was not the only one. A lot of my friends were able to score for super cheap flights, too! So, you should follow relevant accounts and travel groups on Facebook. You can also follow our Facebook Page as we announce seat sale and airline promos from time to time.
The key here is to have a flexible itinerary so you can play around with the date and your entry and exit points. If you use these tricks, you don’t even need to book way in advance.
Have you tried these hacks? Do you have other tips and tricks in booking for a cheap flight? Let us know in the comment section below. We will be glad to hear it from you.