Finding a bargain flight to the right place on the right dates is like hitting the jackpot or winning the lottery. I would like to share my tips in this post and let you in on our secret on how we find those super cheap flights and grab the deal of a lifetime, every time.
Wanderlust hits me hard and if I don’t have a flight booked to somewhere I become very unpleasant (or so I have been told!). It is like a switch to happiness knowing I have plans and trips to organise.
It is so important to be flexible with your dates that you can travel. Being a teacher my holidays are not flexible at all but juggling the departure and return dates by a day or two can save thousands. Leaving on day one of the school holidays is usually the most expensive – yet three days before the holidays is a huge savings. Remember to factor in having days off work with no pay can add to the holiday bill. It is best to bring up the monthly price calendar of the airline which will show the price range for each day. The cheapest days to fly can be seen this way.
I have no loyalty to an airline, we are members of a few airline frequent flyer programs but I prefer a cheaper flight over points. I subscribe to many different airlines email list and get specials emailed on a regular basis. I also follow airlines on Facebook. It is usually on Facebook that the airlines will announce deals and specials.
APPS and WEBSITES
My biggest tip is to subscribe to SKYSCANNER. Choose a few of your favourite trips that you are hoping to take. Give SKYSCANNER a few different dates. They will send you an email on a daily basis telling you if the price has gone up or down. Be ready to jump on those cheap prices. Prices rarely drop closer to the date. Another APP that I use is HOPPER. It also sends notifications about price drops. Another website that I often check is IFly.
WHEN TO BOOK
I have noticed that the prices for any airline seems to drop over the weekend. They also don’t change from Saturday to Sunday. Once I have found a great price on Saturday it gives me a day to chat to Billy and a night to sleep on it. If we are happy I will book on the Sunday. If we miss it one Sunday I will wait a week to book on the following weekend. And if we miss it altogether I know there will be something better around the corner.
EXTRAS when BOOKING
The hidden extras can really add up when booking flights. Be very careful when completing your booking as many add-ons need to be unclicked so you are not charged not the other way around. Also the booking credit card fees suck. It can add up to $25 per person each way for international flights. There is often little choice around this. I have noticed with Jetstar that you can pay by direct debit which avoids the credit card payment fees. I have used this service a few times, your funds must reach their bank within 48hours. This often gives you another night to sleep on the fares you have booked.
When travelling overseas and if bags aren’t included I will always book more bags for the return trip then the departing trip. This can be an expensive add on so always compare an all inclusive fare with bags and a meals with a flight that includes nothing.
When we flew to Japan (which you can read about here) our super cheap deal was with Jetstar. It included no luggage or meals. I was very reluctant to book an aeroplane meal for the kids as they often turn their noses up at it. Instead we went to Subway and ordered subway sandwiches. I asked for the sandwiches to be cut into quarters so they were easier to eat and I could spread out the distribution of them on the plane. I also take lots of snacks. You can read more about my aeroplane tips here.
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