Our desire to travel is ever so often quelled by the sobering reality of the astronomical travel costs. We have all at one point or the other put off a trip because we just didn’t have the budget to afford that holiday. If you look at the expenditure break-up, the airfares take up the lion’s share of the cost. The fact that some people always manage to get a steal of a deal on air tickets while you are postponing your travel plans until you have the dough to spare is like a rub of salt in a wound. As these people who have mastered the art of scoring airfare discounts will tell you, there is always a way to work around the system and get true value for your money. We bring you a rundown on some smart and savvy tips to save on airfare and travel more:
Time Your Bookings Right
As the cliché goes, booking early can help you save on airfare. It is often considered one of the smartest tips to save on airfare. While booking your flight tickets ahead of time is always a good idea, buying tickets too early on can also be counter-productive sometimes. Booking your tickets six months in advance, for instance, doesn’t necessarily guarantee the lowest price. An airline is more likely to slash their prices closer to a travel date if the flight is not sold out. Travel experts and professionals from the field agree your chances of landing a sweet deal are the best 45 days or 6 weeks before the date of travel. If you are certain about a travel plan, that is the best time window to look for air tickets.
Browse in Incognito Mode
Leverage the Flight Comparison Sites
Another savvy tip to save on airfare is to leverage the services of flight comparison sites. While booking portals offer you a list of different flight options to a particular destination, flight comparison sites take it a step further and give you a comparative analysis of different rates being offered for the exact same flight by different booking avenues. It’s like Trivago for air tickets. Skyscanner, Airfarewatchdog, Kayak and Momondo are some of the popular flight comparison sites operational in India, and it’s always a good idea to run a search on these portals before finalising your flight. There might just be a stellar deal lurking around somewhere.
Fly to a Less Famous City or Airport
This hack can prove to be one of the most rewarding tips to save on airfare if you plan to cover an entire region or country on a single trip. For instance, if you are travelling to Europe, flying to a less tourist-centric city like Stockholm can work out cheaper than mainstream destinations like Milan or Paris. Or say you are travelling to Australia, flying to Perth will be cheaper than Sydney. If you are flying to a prominent city like London, flying to the Stansted airport will definitely be cheaper than flying to Heathrow or Gatwick. Similarly, for New York, the NOP airport can work out to be more cost-effective than JFK or LaGuardia.
Shop Talk with a Travel Agent
Routing your holiday planning through a travel agency may seem extremely olde worlde in a time when all the information you need to put together a trip is just a click away. However, this tip to save on airfare can land you an extremely lucrative deal. Once you have finished you share of the research on travel costs, approach a local travel agency and ask them if they can beat it with a better offer. Given how many travel agencies are struggling to stay afloat in the present market situation and considering their special tie-ups with airlines, you might just get air tickets at unbelievable discounts.
Keep Your Travel Plans Fluid
Ask any travel pro for tips to save on airfare and they’ll tell you that keeping your travel dates flexible is a sure-fire way of cutting back on cost. If you aren’t heading out a tight schedule, select the ‘flexible dates’ option while browsing for flights and look for flights for an entire month instead of a specific date. You will notice that there is a different price for the same ticket every day of the month, allowing you to choose the cheapest fare possible.
Tuesday through Thursday Are the Best Days to Fly
Air ticket prices surge and fall through the week too. If you are looking to save on airfare, you must steer clear of flying on Fridays and Sundays, as the ticket prices peak during these days of the week and take a dip from Tuesday through Thursday, so planning your travels mid-week is the smart way to make some substantial saves without drastically altering your travel plans.