Flights are a mundane yet unavoidable expense that can eat up huge chunks of your travel budget. But what many travelers don’t realise is that you can save hundreds on the cost of flights. And it’s easier than you might think. So how do you find cheap flights? Just follow these 10 simple hacks to become a flight ninja.
1. Thou Shalt Stalk Thy Local Airport
Set up a Google news alert to find out about new routes departing from your local airport. Eg “new flight route London airport”. Often airlines will offer promotional fares for introductory routes, so be quick and you could save big.
2. Thou Shalt Always Fly On A Tuesday
As a general rule of thumb, Tuesdays are the cheapest day of the week to fly. Saturday afternoons and evenings are also a good bet. There’s more demand at the beginning and end of the week from business travellers and city breakers, which pushes the prices up. So always avoid Mondays and Fridays if you can to save some extra money for your next adventure.
3. Thou Shalt Clear Thy Cookies
This is one of those travel hacks that’s been debunked and re-bunked more times than we can remember. But the fact remains, clearing your cookies works – at least some of the time. So make sure you give it a try when trying to find cheap flights. If you don’t want the hassle of clearing your cookies, just switch to incognito mode to make the purchase.
4. Thou Shalt Seize The Moment
Airlines sometimes make mistakes and accidentally publish ludicrously cheap fares. Oopsy! But since they’re there, it would be rude not to take advantage of them. Check out secretflying.com for up to date info on erroneous fares. You’ll need to be quick, and you won’t have much choice in terms of dates and location, so this isn’t a hack that will work every time, but it can be good for the odd adventure.
5. Thou Shalt Love Thy Flight Comparison Sites
Flights comparison sites take the work out of finding cheap flights, helping you instantly compare offers from every airline in one place. It’s a good idea to check a few before you book, and sign up to their newsletter to make sure you get up-to-date insider info on the best cheap flights. The big ones are Skyscanner, Google Flights and Momondo. *Shameless plug alert* We think Skyscanner are rather splendid, which is why we’ve teamed up with them to help you book the cheapest flights around. Check it out and let us know what you think 👉 show me the cheap flights
6. Thou Shalt Honour Thy Indirect Flights
If you’re time rich but cash poor, you should seriously consider an indirect flight to your destination. They’re less convenient and take longer, but can sometimes save you hundreds of pounds. And if you’re very lucky, you could even get two holidays for the price of one. Some airlines now allow you to stopover for a certain amount of time (usually up to 7 days) before taking your connecting flight. Icelandair are on of the best airlines for this amazing perk. For example when you fly from London to New York, you can stop over for up to 7 days in Reykjavik for no extra cost. Click here for more info on Icelandair’s stopover options.
7. Thou Shalt Flip It & Reverse It
So you’ve decided you want to travel from Perth to Singapore, you’ve found a cheap flight and you’re about to book. NOT SO FAST! You should always reverse it and check the website of both airlines offering the flight to make sure you’ve got the cheapest possible deal. In this case we found the exact same flights were offered by the Singapore equivalent of Tiger Airlines for $100 less.
8. Thou Shalt Be Flexible On Dates
This is an obvious one but it catches lots of travellers out. Wherever possible, you should never put yourself in a situation where you HAVE to fly on a certain day. You’ll end up paying over the odds for a flight, just because your visa’s about to expire or you left it to the last minute to travel home for Christmas.
Most airlines and comparison sites allow you to look at cheapest prices both on a monthly and yearly overview. So if you know you want to fly to Berlin in March, for example, but you’re not fussy about when exactly, you can easily narrow down which day would be the cheapest. Or if you know you want to visit Bangkok sometime this year, you can also see which months are the cheapest to fly.
9. Thou Shalt Embrace The Unexpected
This is an amazing feature of flight search engines that not many people know about. If you leave the destination field blank on sites such as Skyscanner, you’ll get a list of the cheapest flights out of your nearest airport. If you’re open-minded about where you go and like an adventure, then this can be one of the cheapest ways to fly.
10. Thou Shalt Act Fast
Subscribe to airline and flight comparison newsletters for flash sales and ACT FAST when you see something you fancy. Also consider following your favourite airlines on social media. Ryanair, for example, announce their flash sales on Twitter. These usually run for just an hour, but you can get amazing deals like return flights from London to Copenhagen for £10.