Cheap flight ticket – tips and tricks how to find one
Flying all around the world these days is not that big of a deal. Just hop on the first flight and in 1 and a half hours you are in Paris, Rome… Finding a cheap flight ticket? Easy peasy! Not to mention that it was never easier to travel overseas. Ticket to New York nowadays can cost less than some inside Europe flight.
It wasn’t always like this. Older than 25 will remember the time when flying was only for privileged (or to say it right: wealthy ones). Overseas tickets were thousands of dollars. Not only that, to buy a ticket you had to go to the airport or call them. These days you only need your card and internet connection. Buying a ticket was never easier.
Due to that fact, the number of passengers has significantly increased over the years. Reports are showing increases in the number of passengers each year from 1970. I found this report where you can see that the number of passengers increased from around 311000 in 1970 to almost 4 billion in 2017.
Almost every single passenger just thinks about how to buy his ticket cheaper. Thankfully, that is not so hard today. There are so many tips and tricks that can help you with this and I have collected them all in this post. People always think that I earn a lot of money when I travel so much. The truth is not even close. My income is nothing more than the average one, but I do know how and when to shop for my trips.
And I want to help you as well. I have read so many articles and did so much research. Below you can find an overview of things that you need to take into consideration if you want to fly cheaper.
When to buy, when to fly or does this all makes sense
I have read so many articles about this. More I read, it made less sense. Some are saying that the best day to buy a ticket is Sunday and the best day to fly is Thursday or Friday. On the other hand, some of them claim that Tuesday is the best day to buy your ticket.
I did test the fact that some low budget airlines are giving sales on Tuesday. And it turned out to work a few times: Ryanair did drop the prices for some flights on Tuesday afternoon. This is not the rule but it helped me a few times to score a cheap flight ticket. But when I look, for example, for flight ticket Prague- Bali, the cheapest ticket is going and returning Friday. So in my modest opinion, these “cheapest day to fly” theory is just not working anymore.
Use search engines to find cheap flight ticket
I think everyone has heard for Skyscanner. Ok, maybe your grandma didn’t. But it is probably the most used search engine if you want to find a cheap flight ticket. As I mentioned before, finding a good deal was never easier. And Skyscanner is not the only app: there is Momondo, Google Flights or similar. But Skyscanner is the one I use the most. It is super easy to use and it gives quite good deals.
However, I started recently to find benefits from Google Flights. When you already know where you want to go, Skyscanner is great. But when you don’t have an exact destination in mind, Google Flights are coming pretty handy. My favorite feature is that you can add up to seven origin and destination places and then choose the cheapest one. What does this mean? For example, you know that you want to go to New York from Europe. You can easily put 7 different cities to fly from: maybe Vienna or Munich are cheaper than fly from Paris or Budapest? Or maybe flying to Boston or Philadelphia will make a major difference in price.
Another thing that I love about Google Flights is the option that you can open a map and choose your cheapest destination. Although Skyscanner also has an option to chose to fly everywhere, seeing it on the map makes much more sense. If you’re flexible and want to buy the cheapest possible ticket, Google Flights is your friend.
Don’t wait for Last Minute deals
Very important rule! While in theory, this sounds tempting and good, in practice this rule showed not to be effective. It made sense before when it was not such a big demand for flight tickets, but today, unfortunately, this is not a case anymore. In most cases, buying the last minute will cost you a lot more then if you buy the ticket earlier. Which leads me to my next point.
How much ahead of the trip to buy a cheap flight ticket
Finding the perfect sweet spot when the flight ticket will be the cheapest is not the easiest thing to do. Many factors can affect the perfect timing. Are you flying overseas? Is your trip inside Europe (the cheapest continent to fly)? Are you traveling during the holiday season?
Anyhow, experts agree that the sweet spot for buying your flight ticket is three weeks or more ahead of your trip. However, low budget companies are regularly releasing insane offers. Ryanair is the most famous one for it: 10 euro or 1 euro tickets are something that you can often see in their offer. I’m flying to London for 10 euros. You don’t need a good income for that! 😊
Bonus tip: During October and for Black Friday or Cyber Monday are the highest chances to catch a good deal with Ryanair. So, don’t forget to check it out.
Book super early flights
Book your flights late nights or early mornings to get the best price. Not only that you will get a better deal, flying early morning you will get additional bonus day at the destination. The best thing is that you don’t have to pay for accommodation one day extra.
Use the website from the origin country
This means that when you search for a flight from Munich to Rio de Janeiro, you should use a German version of Skyscanner. The difference can be significant.
You can see in the picture below that on Skyscanner.de price was almost 400 euros cheaper than the one on Skyscanner.cz. Eventually, the Czech website would also lead you the first price but on the first look you would just give up. Many people do that, and they miss so many good opportunities. So be creative and look everywhere for cheap flight tickets.
Don’t travel during holidays
The worst time of the year for finding a cheap flight ticket is during the holiday season. Do you want to go to the Maldives for New Year? Good luck with that because you will probably pay your flight ticket double the price. I’m not saying that you should not travel during these times. I know most of you have days off at this period of the year. But don’t get your hopes high when it comes to cheap flight tickets.
If you see a good price for these days, don’t think twice – book it immediately.
Check nearby cities (or not)
Well, this one can be tricky. On one hand, if you live in some city where low budget airlines are not flying, chances are that you will overpay for your ticket. Then it’s good to explore nearby cities.
For example, I lived in the Croatian capital Zagreb. I love that city, but the flight offers are horrible. Buying a cheap flight ticket was an impossible mission. Two or three hours far away in Zadar or Ljubljana, you can find way better deals. I’m talking about Zadar- London flight tickets for 5-10 euros. At the same time flying Zagreb – London can cost you several hundred euros.
But you need to be very smart here. Sometimes going to another city to fly from there will, in the end, be more expensive and time-consuming. Or at least the same.
Example: flying from Ljubljana to Brussels can cost you as little as 20 euros return ticket. At the same time, you can find Zagreb- Brussels for 100 euro, return ticket. But you need to consider this:
- Going to Ljubljana and back will cost you an additional 20-25 euros.
- The flight is departing pretty early and you need to sleep in Ljubljana, so you need to count on your accommodation. This depends on you, but it can be 15- 50 euros more.
- You will have few meals on your way so in the best case add additional 10-15 euros to your calculation.
- Wizz Air flies from Ljubljana and lands on Brussels Charleroi. This airport is far away from the city and it will cost you an additional 14 euros each way to reach the city.
In the end, the price is almost the same, but you spend a lot more time for transport between two cities.
So, my advice is to be very smart and explore all your options.
The most basic advice ever but it’s true. If you want to fly cheap, be flexible. There are so many cheap flight tickets these days, but you need to plan your trip according to them. If you want to travel more for less money, be flexible with your destination and your traveling time.
As you can imagine, behind every flight ticket price is an enormous amount of software that is calculating price rise or price drop for every single destination.
That is why it’s so hard to predict when the prices will be low. But the important thing is that flight tickets are getting cheaper and cheaper every year now. What is expensive now will be cheap tomorrow. Do your research, check all available resources and follow people like me who like to track cheap prices.😊
I hope, that after reading this post, next time you will score some serious deal for your flight ticket. And if you still think that accommodation can’t be a bargain in some destinations, be sure to check my accommodation guide for Dubai where I proved different.
Until next time,
Traveler To Be!