GUEST POST: Tricks for Finding Best Flight Deals
**Note from the Kids: We are super pumped to have our first guest post on the blog! So far, we haven’t really asked other bloggers for posts. But when Jess contacted us and offered to write this post, we thought it sounded like really valuable info for you, our readers. Jess has her own travel blog at Tripelio.com that documents her own potpourri of awesome adventures. So check it out! But first read about her tips and tricks on a topic everyone has had experience. Enjoy!**
I would like to thank Cole and Elizabeth for publishing this article. Their site is a great place to follow their exciting and inspirational adventure to see all 59 US national parks within a year! After reading these tips and tricks for finding best flight deals, be sure to check out their post on essentials for National Park camping!
For any traveling experience, whether it’s a weekend or a year, the biggest part of your expenses will usually be the flight. To make it worse, the value of any one seat, on any one flight, seems to be worked out with an algorithm so complex that no human can truly grasp what’s going on. Flights can vary by, literally, hundreds of dollars, and this can be extremely frustrating for anyone traveling on a budget or just trying to get the best deal.
Almost every website and flight provider on the internet seems to claim to have to cheapest deals, so it’s almost impossible to know where to go and what to chose. Fortunately, there are a few surefire tips and tricks than can help reduce those hefty flying costs no matter who or where you are. These five points are easy steps you can take to locate and ensure the best flight deal for you and leave more money left over to enjoy your adventure and get the most out of your trip.
This seems simple, but it’s easily overlooked. Different flight providers often fly the same routes for a wide range of prices, so looking at what’s available is an essential first step. Not only this, but middleman price comparison websites will also make specific deals with different companies and offer the same flight for different prices. While an obvious first stop would be to look on sites such as Skyscanner or Booking.com to get instant flight comparisons, going on to check different websites and the providers themselves is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best for your money.
If you’re booking a flight with a stopover, another great way to save money is to individually check the prices of both legs of the flight. More often than not, it is cheaper to book the two flights separately than to book the route altogether. Sure, it means you’ll have to deal with more tickets and boarding passes, but it’ll definitely keep costs down.
When To Book
There is an ongoing debate about the best time to fly, and the best time to book flights. While most sources agree that avoiding Mondays—as it’s peak time for business travel—and weekends and aiming to fly on Tuesday to Thursday is the best idea, a recent survey by FareCompare shows that Saturday flights might be equally as cheap as those midweek. However, it’s definitely true that flying early in the morning is the cheapest time of day, if you can handle setting off at the crack of dawn, and if that isn’t possible, then aiming for dinnertime flights is your best bet.
In terms of when you actually book the flight, there are less definite practices. One source has suggested that booking on a Tuesday around 3 p.m. is the best option as many online flight deals are released at this time. Booking anytime between then and Thursday is a feasible option, as these discounts aren’t usually taken down until the weekend. However, while these tips are a great guide, there has not yet been a successfully definitive answer, so don’t completely rely on them if there seems to be a cheaper option!
Use a VPN
There is much speculation about this one however; although it hasn’t been proven to work indefinitely, it definitely makes a drastic difference when booking via Kayak. The theory goes like this: a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a program package that allows you to replace your IP address with the one assigned to the VPN server in order to pretend that your computer or device is located somewhere other than where it is.
It’s suggested that some flights are made cheaper for domestic users (i.e. people booking from the country in which the flight lands), so using the VPN to re-allocate your device to that country may reduce the cost of the fare. There are many great VPNs on the market, and alongside helping with flight booking, they also provide great online security features and help bypass geo-blocked content, so investing could help in many aspects of your traveling life!
Clear Your Cookies
It’s happened to many different people: you log on, check a flight price, briefly look somewhere else and then go back and the original cost has increased. Whether or not this is due to a cookies-related booking system scam can neither be confirmed or denied—unsurprisingly airlines haven’t made an official comment—but it’s definitely true to say that once the cookies are deleted, then the price goes back down!
Finally, after going through all the necessary steps and booking what, at that point in time, appears to be the cheapest flight, you could still find yourself out of pocket as an amazing deal pops up just a few weeks after you’ve confirmed your payment. Fortunately, there are many great airfare alert sites that will let you know if any specific booking could be made cheaper at a later date. Then, all you have to do to utilize this great money saver is to book your initial flight, being certain to make sure it’s refundable (some airlines require a small fee for the luxury of a refund), sign up to get your airfare updates and wait to see if a cheaper option comes along.By doing this, you don’t have to worry about when to book or fly, you just simply have to keep your eye on the updates and potentially lose out on a small about of cash if the initial flights refuse to provide a full refund.
Booking flights can be daunting, but with these five steps, you have an easy way to get the most for your money during the beginning, middle and end of your booking process. If you think there are any other points that should be added to the list, have any experiences with those already mentioned that you’d like to share or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below!
Read this post if you want to know how we got our flights to Hawaii for free.