Whether you’re in need of a last minute ticket home or looking for the cheapest way to check out on a beach somewhere in the sun, searching for the best airline prices can be tricky. Hunting for the best deals online can seem like more work than it’s worth, as there are a whole host of sites to search through, all with unique combinations of potential flight times, carriers and routes to consider. Here are a few of the best places to find the best deals online:
If you know you have a trip coming up, or have always fancied a particular destination but have been waiting for the best deal, the Airfare Watchdog allows you to set an alert on a particular route or destination. Of course, this is not so useful if you are going for a last minute adventure, but if you have a chance to pre-plan, this could make a huge difference on the final price tag!
Yet another excellent search tool, Skyscanner compares international flights well and allows you to specify according to time and airline, should you have a preference.
A site that is certainly more powerful when it comes to booking many aspects of your journey, Expedia offers easy comparison of flights as well as car rentals, hotels, cruises, attractions and more. If you’re after more than just the flights, this can be a great way to get started to make sure you are getting the best overall deal for your trip.
This attractive site takes its data directly from the airline websites, making it more likely to provide accurate and up to date information. It will make the best suggestions price wise, which can mean you travel on different airlines for each direction of travel. But if that’s the best price, who can argue? It also provides an easy visualisation of other times you might save during the week, so it pays to be flexible.
Improving constantly, the Google flights search tool is generally best for domestic US flights, but has begun expanding its search. It includes a handy map tool to allow you to rearrange your desired route easily, and shows in detail the price changes over time if you want to investigate flexible options.
With these great sites in mind, don’t forget that there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind during your search online. These include:
Never book a flight on a Friday
This is supposedly the worst day to book flights, the best being a Saturday or Sunday. So if you can avoid a search on a Friday and wait a few extra hours, do so. Friday flights are often 13% more expensive. Therefore, you’ll likely save on the check out price if you can save the search for the weekend.
Use your debit card
Avoid a credit card fee on top of the flight cost by sticking to your debit. It might be small, but it does add up!
Cross check your search outcomes
Many price comparison sites are never as up to date as an airline’s website itself, so be sure to check back and make sure you are getting the best possible deal.
Look into Hidden City Ticketing
This trick is legal but not one that airlines encourage – for an in depth guide to how to utilise this saving, read this guide from Student Money Saver. You could save up to 50% on your next online flight booking!
Fly off peak if you can
If you are able to head out to your destination during midweek, or take those super early flights that most people dread, it might be worth the crazy early start time. Odd hours can mean that flights are slower to book up, leaving more of the cheap seats if you’re looking for a last minute deal.
Take hand luggage only
Save on checking in fees for big luggage by travelling light instead wherever possible. After all, every little counts! Make your trip a bit less of a drag, and put the check in fee to better use elsewhere. After all, if you’re also selecting a super early flight, you probably don’t want to get in even earlier to stand in line for check in – skip it and make the entire trip less stressful.
These are just a few great ways to get started in your online flight search. Use a combination of these hints to score the best deals next time you’re on the hunt for a holiday!
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