There are 3 golden rules for finding cheap flights that I always employ, namely off-peak, price comparison and cookie clearing. Following them will help you find some of the best deals around and save you money even before you’ve left home.
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By off-peak, I mean that the cheapest flights to your destination will generally be during the low season(s), so do your research about when these periods might fall.
If you are intending to visit during peak season, which can be necessary for hiking, diving or sunbathing, make sure you never fly during school holidays.
Flight companies will dramatically increase their costs around these times and the weeks either side, so doing your research on these dates really pays off.
Also avoid flying at weekends as these tickets tend to be pricer too. Mid-week i.e. Tuesday – Thursday, normally bats you a better deal.
Websites like Momondo or Skyscanner are great, because they instantly show you a diagram with the price of tickets on various days around your selected dates. If you’re flexible, this is a very handy tool in helping to secure the best deal.
#2 Price Comparison
Equally with price checking – a bit of research goes a long way.
Don’t pay for the first flight you find, instead click about online and see what comes up.
Try to avoid high street travel agents, they might feel more official, but with all the rent they have to pay, it rarely means they are able to offer you the best flight prices.
If you don’t mind extended layovers or weird flight times, like 2am, you’re far more likely to save a few bucks.
Bed down in the airport the night before if you do have an early start and avoid crazy taxi fares and pricey airport hotels.
Sleeping in Airports is a great web resource for information on this.
Lesser-known airline carriers, or budget flight companies will tend to have cheaper flights too, but do check out their credentials first, especially if you’re travelling long-haul!
Also make sure that any comparison flight search tool you use includes these budget carriers.
Airfarewatchdog is a good place to start.
#3 Cookie Clearing
And finally, cookies.
Booking online means travel websites can track how many times you click onto their page and what you search.
Sneakily, they often put the price of your searched flights up each time you revisit them, so that it looks like prices are escalating making you panic and quickly book a flight.
Clearing your web browser’s cookies will make the site think it’s your first visit and therefore guarantee you the best price.
*To do this using Safari, simply open a web browser, click History on the menu bar, scroll down to the bottom and click Clear History and Website Data.
Then hit confirm.
Close all your web browsers and then reopen. *