How to Find the Cheapest Flights

Be flexible datewise

Flexibility is the key to flying cheap. Flight comparison sites like Skyscanner, Momondo and Jet Radar give you the option to compare flights across a whole week, month or year. As it is often cheaper to fly mid-week (Tuesday and Wednesday), there is the potential to save big bucks just by moving your travel dates foward or backward a few days. Flying in the off-peak season is much more budget friendly too, and will mean that you’re less likely to get caught up in the tourist hordes. If you need to travel during school holidays, try to choose travel dates closer to the start or the end of the holidays and you may still get shoulder season fares. So, before you sidle sheepishly into your boss’ office with that request for leave form in hand, do a little internet legwork first.

 

What’s the cheapest time of the day to travel?

The cheapest times of the day to travel are basically the times when no one really wants to travel – early mornings and late nights! If you’re a parent, you’re probably well accustomed to being rudely awoken pre-dawn anyway, so you may as well take advantage of the savings!

If you’ve got a good sleeper, try taking a red-eye (overnight flight). More often than not, late night fares are much cheaper than their peak hour counterparts. Plus, your baby will definitely probably hopefully maybe sleep through the whole flight! Rejoice! And hopefully you can get some shut-eye too.

It pays to be persistent

Shop around, and shop often. Always check a few different sites before you book, as some flight comparison websites  may not include budget airlines. Keep checking fares throughout the week, or at least once a week. Always have your credit card within arm’s reach, you never know when a flight sale will pop up! It also pays to subscribe to airline promo emails – you may receive a heads up when a sale is on.

Google Flights is another fantastic flight comparison tool, and will even advise you when it’s cheaper to fly on an alternative date. However, unlike the sites listed above, you can’t book flights.

If you want to wait and see if prices will drop, you can create a price alert, and an email will be sent to you when prices go down.

Be flexible, destination wise

Being open to flying to different destinations can save you lots of money, and also help you to discover places you might not have otherwise considered visiting.

The ‘Explore map’ feature on Google Flights shows flight prices to airports close to your chosen destination. For example, if you’re planning a road trip around Italy, it would be far cheaper to fly into a major hub (e.g. Milan) and start your trip there, rather than at a destination with more limited flight options (e.g. Florence).

Cheap flight from London to Milan…TICK! Cheap flight from London to Florence…not so much.

One of my favourite ways to discover new destinations is by searching for flights to ‘Everywhere’ on Skyscanner. This will give you a list of all the cheapest flights from your point of departure. While trying to find our way back to Australia from Europe on the cheap, I consulted Skyscanner and discovered that Norwegian airlines has direct and often-super cheap flights from Oslo to Bangkok. I only paid $200 USD!

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