Whether you’re flying short haul or further afield, getting the best deal on flights can be a dark art. With people quick to boast about getting that secret sale offer or securing return city break flights for less than the price of a coffee, it can be hard to feel like you’re getting the best possible deal as you key in your card number. However here at Multitrip.com, we like to think that when it comes to all things holidays, we have you covered. We recently wrote about the many different ways that you can save for that trip of a lifetime. For this post we’ve scanned through multiple comparison websites, travel agents and blog posts from across the web to give you a better picture on when to book, how to book and other tricks to ensure you get to your destination for as little an airfare as possible.
Time of Year:
If your travel plans are flexible, then you can always travel during one of the years “Dead Zones”. Farecompare.com detail the main dead zones as falling around these times throughout the year:
- Early December: Before the Christmas rush.
- January: After The Christmas rush.
- Spring: Between January and the Easter Holidays/American “Spring Break” period.
- August – October: Once the Summer Rush has died down.
These times are obviously dependent on where you are in the world. The opposite dates will be true for planning a trip to Southern Hemisphere locations where the seasons and temperatures contrast with that of Europe or the US. By booking your flights during these off peak periods, you will be guaranteed to save on your seats.
One of the obvious factors in the price of your airfare is the destination you’re travelling to. Major cities during peak seasons will always be an expensive place to get to. However, you can save significant money by traveling to one of the less popular nearby airports that are serviced by a competitive airline carrier. For example, if you’re flying to New York, you can save big money on your airfare by flying to Bradley Airport (Connecticut) or Stewart Airport (60 Miles North of Manhattan) and getting a train to Manhattan. When traveling in mainland Europe, it may even be advantageous to book to a nearby city in a neighboring country if you can’t get good value flights to your intended destination.
Early Bird or Last Minute Deal?:
It’s long been a common misinterpretation among travelers that booking 6 months or more in advance will guarantee you the best offer on flights. Checking flights well in advance and seeing “2 seats remaining at this price!” flash across the screen can trap most of us into panic buying a ticket at a price we figure can only get more expensive later on. However, this is not always the case as in many instances, last minute seats can go for discounted prices. Flight comparison site Skyscanner recently crunched their data to give a definitive time frame on when to book to get the best price. They claim that for short haul flights, look to book 7 weeks in advance whereas if you’re going long haul, then 18 weeks before take off will get you the best deal.
Where to book:
Booking direct from the flight carriers website may not guarantee you the greatest deals either as some comparison websites regularly offer discount codes or promotions if you book the same flight through their website. These comparison sites include Skyscanner, Kayak, Google Flights, Momondo and Expedia with each offering you 100s of ways to get to your destination for a variety of budgets. Using certain credit cards with air miles and loyalty points schemes may also save you massive money or in some cases even avail of free flights so these are always worth looking into if you’re a frequent flyer.
Added Costs and Charges:
Once you’ve got your desired price for your dates, don’t forget that some airlines come with added charges and extras. It may at first appear like they’re getting you there for next to nothing, but will then end up charging you for everything. Some carriers draw people in with that unbeatable airfare only to make the money back through their baggage, boarding, seating, dining and in flight entertainment policies leaving you paying what you did for your fare all over again just to bring what you want and survive the flight in comfort. A quick google search on each airlines passenger and fee policies will allow you to quickly find out which ones offers the overall best value.
Now that you’ve used these tips to get the best deal on your flights for that dream holiday or trip away, make sure you don’t forget to save on your travel insurance too. We offer great value single and Multitrip Travel Insurance policies so get a quote today!