At a first glance it might look as if buying flight tickets is like a big lottery; A few lucky bastards get lucky and pay nothing for the seat next to yours, while you seem to always pay overprice.
‘Ah well, next time it might be me who is the lucky one’, you think.
These ‘lucky bastards’ aren’t lucky at all, they just know how to play their cards right.
Finding cheap air fare deals is almost an art, but quite easy to learn. The best way to get a great price on airfare is to know where the deals are.
But it’s not all up to the airline companies, there are many things you can change that will make it a lot easier to find good cheap flight deals.
I found that by changing these things in my life I got many great travel deals – like the 100EURO 12hr flight from Malaysia to Amsterdam we got last year!
Here are some changes in your lifestyle which you can adapt to help you find the good deals:
How To Get The Best Airfare Deals Be Flexible
– If you can keep your head cold and wait until they release the last minute tickets, you can save a lot of money.
– If there aren’t any cheap flights to the destination you’ve planned to visit, be flexible and go somewhere else, or check if there are any cheap flights to a destination close-by and go from there. For example if you want to go to Milan in Italy, there are usually cheaper deals to the airport in Bergamo, a city about an hour away from Milan.
– Sometimes you can actually save money on going to the neighbor country and take a bus from there. If there aren’t any cheap deals going to Thailand, why not see if there are any to Malaysia and go from there?
– Be flexible to be able to change the dates of your trip, one day here or there can save you hundreds of dollars.
Choose the “wrong” time to travel
There are high and low seasons for pretty much every destination, and people in general tend to have their holidays at the same time. Most people work monday – friday from 9-5 = Travel when these people can’t.
For example, a weekend trip is a lot cheaper if you go from friday to monday rather than thursday to sunday, not to even mention how cheap it is when going in the middle of the week!
For North America and Europe, the seasonal calendar is quite similar.
Summer is high season
This is usually the nicest and warmest part of the year and all the kids are out of school. This means that between mid June to late August you will have to fight for a sun chair at the beach in typical vacation spots like Greece.
High season brings the highest prices on basically everything (air fares, room rates, taxi etc) But keep in mind that the high season isn’t always the best time to travel, it can get brutally hot in some places and just ruin the whole vacation.
Winter is low season
The exception of ski resorts as well as Christmas and new year when many places (particularly cities) are crowded. This is the opposite from high season; Less crowded, lower prices, colder and also a bit unsteady weather. Some places are completely closed during the low season, like the east coast of Malaysia shuts down completely during low season (rainy season).
Spring and fall are shoulder seasons
Meaning that they are between the high and low seasons. This is when you can get some great deals and still get the weather you want, but with a slight risk taking.
If you go to Greece in the end of May beginning of June you can get some great deals and have the same (if not better) weather as in the high season.
This is often the most pleasant time to travel, I think. Yeah, all the clubs might not be opened yet, and if you want to party big there might not be many people to party with, but it’s great for all those backpackers who want to stay away from the fanny-pak tourists and try to get the attractions to themselves.
- Jan 7- March 31: Low Season
- April 1 – June 14: Shoulder Season
- June 15 – Aug 31: High Season
- Sep 1 – Oct 31: Shoulder Season
- Nov 1 – Dec 14: Low Season
- Dec 15 – Jan 6: High Season
Choose the “wrong” destinations
Obviously, beach destinations are dead in winter, and ski-resorts empty in summertime. These destinations are sometimes incredible to visit off-season as well. For example, the ski-resorts might have great hiking or mountain biking in summertime, with a great view over the alps, and swimming, windsurfing in the lakes – i.e Austria.
Well in advance Or Last Minute
The airline companies will release a few tickets really cheap to see if they sell and can fill the plane, then if there is interest they raise the prices. By being well in advance you can get some really cheap deals.
When flying with national airlines it’s nearly always cheaper the earlier you book.
Buying last minute tickets are another way of finding cheap deals.
However, last minute deals are never quite ‘last minute’. In fact, if you wait for too long they most likely raise the price again as they know someone will always be willing to pay a higher price.
You can actually find last minute tickets more than two weeks before the trip, so start looking earlier.
Hope there are some great tips for you here, we will be expanding on this amongst heaps of other great travel tips in an up-coming ebook – stay tuned 😉