Every traveler dreams about error fare, when you can fly for few cents to exotic destination. That is not a dream, that can happen. Just type in your search engine “error fare” and you will see the results. There is no one recipe though, which will guarantee the best price. Of course, it is worth to buy planned in advance trips in a so called first minute. But it is not a rule and there can be last minute promotion as well. I decided to collect all the steps I am using myself when hunting for a cheap flight ticket.
How to fly cheap?
Use low-cost airlines
If you are in Europe you will love prices of Ryanair, Wizzair and EasyJet. Often promotions also have Volotea – Spanish low cost, I bought once ticket to Corsica for only 6€. Air One offers cheap flight in Italy, Blue Air in Romania. In Asia leader in low cost is Air Asia, in Turkey popular Pegasus or Atlas Airlines. You never know when will be the promotion in those, so basically if you are interested in a certain destination check directly their site from time to time. Be careful when buying though, their sites are full of extra features like travel insurance, seat reservation or others which you may need to un-check if you don’t need them. Always observe your final price, if it hasn’t changed over the booking process.
With the low-cost airlines you need to keep in mind luggage size allowance- since they can measure it at the boarding and give you a nice fee for taking it to check-in. Don’t forget to make research about location of the airport, low-cost airlines often have separate airport, which can be 100km far from your destination. In the end you can pay more for the shuttle bus, than for your flight (examples: Paris or Oslo). For instance Ryanair will also charge you if you don’t print your boarding pass. They are the cheapest in Europe, but will take money out of every single mistake, which passenger makes.
Check flight compare
Thanks God there are some websites, which will show the best price to the destination without need to check each airline site separately. The bad point is that non of them include all the airlines.
skyscanner.com allows you to compare prices of flights, hotels or car rents. You can even check prices for the whole months and choose the cheapest day.
kayak.com works similar, but it has nice interactive map which shows the cheapest price so that you can choose your destination according to that.
kiwi.com or formerly skypicker.com includes in search all low-cost airlines and it is very easy in use. Simply click left of your mouse on the map to where you want to travel and it will show you the cheapest way to get there.
momondo.com has beautiful design and searches flight as good as the previous sites with many useful filters.
Choose good flight date
First of all the most expensive flights are for Christmas and all other holidays when half of the planet moves to eat at mommies. Avoid choosing those, if you can and try to fly off hot touristic season. Expensive is also beginning/end of the month. Besides, the most expensive during the week is going for a weekend. Instead, try to choose Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, which have the better prices. Booking on those days can be also much cheaper than booking on Monday.
Always search secretly
Check charter flights
Travel agencies often sell flights separately (without need of booking whole package) and if they have some left you can hunt an amazing deal. It is the cheapest way to go on holidays to touristic destinations during the hot season. I was using them coming from Poland to Tunisia. Regular airlines were 3 times more expensive than charter flight going to resorts.
Catch an error fare
Check for example secretflying.com or fly4free.com to see the latest error fares and open-jaw deals. You can hunt a real dream flight for few cents. If you see one take it immediately before the others will do. Remember that according to the policy all the airlines should offer free hold or cancellations in first 24 hours if you book your flight minimum 7 days prior the flight. You must also book your flight from the airlines site directly, not through the travel agencies. Check the policy of the airlines you flight with to learn details.
Signing for a frequent-flyer program of all airlines will bring you only profits, since it is completely free of charge. Being their client you will get newsletters about hot deals and options to win more miles. With that you can one day have a free flight whenever you want.
Don’t ignore alternative airports
Do not focus on the closest city, it is possible that destination you are about to go is cheaper from the neighbor town and you are missing it.
It is not always better directly
Direct flights are comfortable and quick, but sometimes it is worth to check indirect connections, which can be cheaper. Moreover, some airlines offer free stopovers so you can take a benefit from that and make your holidays more interesting. For those who don’t mind sleeping on the airports: the cheapest connections are usually at night. Not so comfortable, but if you want you take what you pay for… If you decide to do so check sleepinginairports.net before you fly, because some airports are closed by night, so you may get kicked out and freeze your ass out.
Traveling only with a hand luggage is always cheaper, especially in low-cost airlines where you have to pay extra, if you want to check-in. Moreover, seeing the picture above, you are sure that your belongings will survive. Btw, yes this was a passport of my friend, which happened to be in the checked-in suitcase. How is that possible? I have no clue.
Search for single person
If you are traveling with a group search a ticket for one person. Otherwise, airlines will automatically put higher price by trying to put the seats together. You can always add passengers in the end of the booking process.
Hidden city method depicts buying ticket from point A to B through C – which is your real destination. It means you are cheating the airlines and skipping the second flight since you know that indirect flights can be cheaper. I mention this tittle-tattle but I don’t recommend it. In my opinion it is just too much. If you decide to use it, remember to don’t have your luggage checked-in, because you will have to go to the point C anyway…
Check another currencies
Depending of the exchange rate and how different currencies are strong on the market price may vary for the same destination. Sometimes it is worth to change the currency for the weaker on the market and compare the price. Another case is point of sale – price can be cheaper if you buy ticket from let’s say Delhi to Mumbai being in India than if you are buying from abroad.
Add multiple cities
As you already know, tickets may be cheaper when flying indirectly I introduce you another method to try beating the price. Choose multiple cities trip and in the end remove all the flights you don’t need. Compare the price choosing the flight normally, of course all in the incognito mode. It worked for me with easyjet airlines. Instead of Poland- France i chose Czech-Republic-London-Poland-France. Later I removed flight which I don’t need and price was 10 % lower, than using traditional method.
As you see it is time-consuming but worth trying! Wish you good luck in hunting your cheap flight and if you find one don’t forget to share! 😉 If you still have not read Guide How to Travel Cheap – do not hesitate and learn secrets to save money.
The Bee is a nature lover and tea addict. Loves the idea of slow life and responsible traveling, constantly trying to improve to bee more eco-friendly. Appreciates old cultures and traditions, loves to immerse with locals, listen to ethnic music as well as taste regional food and drinks. Her favorite spots while traveling are family houses and street markets.