Searching for cheap flights? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find how you can save money on your tickets before you take to the sky.
Ah, cheap flights. Not quite so easy to find anymore. With rising fuel prices and increases in tax, you may think that cheap flights are a thing of the past. Well not quite. Jordan Cox managed to find two flights to Berlin and back again for just over £20. It turned out to be cheaper for him to fly to Germany and back again than it was to get a return train ticket from Sheffield to Essex.
Where to start looking for your cheap flights?
As with most services, price comparison sites should be your starting point. These are three of the top comparison sites.
Now, contrary to popular opinion, it is better to book your flights early rather than leaving it to the last minute. Okay, you may receive a great deal in a last minute sale, but if you have your heart set on somewhere you may end up paying a lot more.
When can you fly?
Try to be as flexible as possible when booking your flights. Midweek will generally be cheaper to fly, and evening flights will be even cheaper. When booking your flight, make sure you try several dates either side of when you want to depart. This will give you a good indication of whether you are getting a good deal or not. And if you have the chance to fly outside of school holiday times, then do so. Not only will it be far quieter for you, you will not have to pay peak prices.
Where can you fly?
Again, try to be as flexible as you can. Some major tourist areas will have smaller airports nearby. These aren’t always as convenient, so you may need to arrange transport to your accommodation, however they are generally far cheaper to reach.
This doesn’t apply to just your destination airport, but also where you leave the UK from too. People in the South-East are luckier as there are a greater choice of airports, but don’t just check flight costs from your nearest. I have seen great deals from places such as Manchester, so although it may mean a hotel stay, it could still save you money.
Kiwi.com is a great site to use for looking for alternative airports. Enter the dates you want to fly and a departure and destination point and you will be shown a map like the one below. This will show you the costs of flights and as you can see, they vary from £431 up to £3,359, even though they are all in the same State.
A further tip is to look at booking long-haul flights separately. Connecting flights will often save you money. For example, flying to Florida via Texas could be far cheaper than flying directly.
But remember that budget airlines are not always listed on price comparison sites. So consider booking that flight to Texas, but check out the local airlines to see if you can find that onward ticket to Florida even cheaper.
If you’re willing to wait for a connecting flight by spending a night in a hotel, this could make you further savings.
How you pay
Check to see if it is cheaper to pay using local currency. Budget airlines will usually charge you in the currency of your departure country, but not always. But remember that you may be charged extra by your card company, so take this into consideration. Something like the Halifax Clarity card would be worth looking into to avoid currency charges.
It’s possible that using Avios points could be a way of reducing the cost of your flights. You can collect points in 1000’s of stores. Shopping online is similar to using a cashback site. You use the Avios website first, rather than visiting a retailer directly. If they are signed up to the Avios scheme, you receive points. You can also convert Tesco Clubcard vouchers or withdraw earnings from TopCashback into Avios points.
When you have collected enough points, you can then put them towards flights. However, you need to work out if the Avios points are worth more than the cashback you would receive – and generally, it isn’t.
You can find out more about Avios and how to boost your points here.
If you’re looking to go away, why not take a look at my article about booking your own holiday to Florida.