Booking flights may be easy, but booking the cheapest ones is an art in its own. Most of the time, planning trips will depend on your budget so getting the most out of what you have can certainly help you tick your bucket list sooner! To start you off this travel season, here are four tips to booking cheaper flights:
Do it incognito
You may be scratching your head after thinking that a ticket price has changed after searching it a few times in your browser. You’re right but you’re also not crazy. Based on the cookies in your web browser, flight prices do increase when a particular destination and schedule is repeatedly searched. It’s a good idea to always clear cookies or use incognito/private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
For the uninitiated, incognito is enabled in Google Chrome by hitting Ctrl (or Command for Apple OS) + Shift + N . For Mozilla Firefox Or Microsoft Edge, hit Control (or Command) + Shift + P. For Safari, click “Safari” in the menu bar and select “Private Browsing.” For this reason, it’s better to book flights on a PC or laptop rather than on mobile devices.
‘Chase the fare, not the destination’
If you’re a travel enthusiast, then this mantra may not be new to you, but for most, it’s easier said than done. First of all, prioritizing cheap fares means that you don’t always get to the destinations you want. Secondly, you need a system to always get the cheapest tickets available.
To find out when to travel cheapest, try this: Go to Skyscanner.com.ph and enter your departure and arrival destinations. Select “one-way” (even if you’re flying round-trip). Click “Depart” but instead of entering a specific date, select “Whole Month” so you can see which day is cheapest. Be sure to sync your trips to long weekends and holidays to get the most out of your vacation leaves.
To find the cheapest destination to travel to, hop on Kayak.com. Enter your destination, then select a month of departure, and then click “Routes.” Approximate costs then appear over hundreds of countries around the globe going to your selected destination. It’s especially handy in finding out how you can cover the most distance for the lowest cost. For example, maybe you want to go to Paris, France from Manila but flying straight there is expensive. There are a lot of budget of airlines in Europe so once you’re in the continent, flying around can be pretty cheap. The tool helps you find out the cheapest European country to fly into first, while saving you a lot in the process.
Stalk budget airlines
The easiest way to get the best ticket deals is to stalk budget airlines like an obsessed lover. Bookmark and check their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for great deals everyday especially during discount season—usually during February, July, and November. It should be obvious, however, that cheap tickets come with compromises such as red eye schedules (2 a.m. – 4 a.m.), less leg room, small baggage allowances, and most importantly, no free snacks. But hey, if you can’t live without those luxuries, you shouldn’t be reading this article anyway.
Also, don’t forget about your frequent flyer miles and credit card travel rewards. It’s a good idea to use these points for in-country travel, as they usually use the least amount of points for the distance.
Divide and Conquer
This might sound confusing, but travelling in separate groups can save you some money. Because of group discounts, the rule of thumb is: the more people you have in your group, the better the rate, right? But that’s rarely the case.
Airlines typically limit the number of seats per flight that they sell at their lowest rate. For example, a certain airline might only have three discounted seats for a flight to Palawan in January. If you’re five in a group, then you’ll end up paying more if you all book the same flight. Planning flights with smaller groups give you more flexibility and will definitely net you better deals.