Sunny spring morning. You are sitting with your just-made coffee, enjoying your breakfast and then thought is randomly coming up to your mind: when did I travel somewhere? Being busy all the time with constant tasks at work or deadlines for projects in university, your main entertainment is to go for a beer with your friends on Friday evening. With this thought in your head, you are going to Facebook, scrolling through selfies and tagged photos from the parties and then after some time you are finally finding these photos that you are looking for: photos from your last trip. “ Hmm, it kinda was 6 months ago”- appeared in your mind. You are coming up with an immediate excuse: “Naah, I just didn’t have money and time”. Then you have two options: to start thinking why you are having this excuse and how to change the situation or you will finish your coffee and be one of the people who chose to drown in routine.
I want to talk to the ones who are not afraid of changes: the ones who are stuck in their routine but want to change it. Being a person who is passionate about traveling and feeling safest in airports. I always spend my time on tickets-search websites. It is my ritual to go there and see where I can go.
My dad used to have a joke: if I have any money on my credit card, he used to tell me: Please, buy food, don’t buy tickets! But there is a promotion! They are so cheap! – There is always some kind of promotion on, but come on, you need to eat!! Yeah, I am that person that can sacrifice everything for a new adventure: it helps me grow, meet amazing people and, most importantly, it lets me feel alive.
I am about to leave for my 30th country, so, I guess, I can be the person, who can give advice on how to actually find nice deals. Just to let you know: I am not a millionaire, my parents are not oil barons: I am the same as you are: saving some money, working and trying to go cheaper with a higher value. So here are some tips how to find cheaper flights.
Take your time
You should understand that if you want to find cheaper deals, you need to invest some time in it. If you want to book just some random flight: yeah, it would take you 5 minutes. Money saves time:) Can you miss an episode of your favorite series or this useless flirt talk with some random guy/girl on Facebook and just use this time for your own benefit?
If you just wanna go for an adventure, try to be flexible. Don’t stick with one idea: I want to go to Zimbabwe and nobody can stop me!!! (only if Zimbabwe is your life dream and you were saving money to go there for ages:) ) If you have specific time for travelling, try to think about couple of destinations where you don’t mind going: then you can use the tool to go from your airport to “everywhere” and then you have a list of the countries where the price is the cheapest.
On the contrary, if you have a specific destination, but you are not really limited by time frames: then you can go for an option to choose an entire month or the cheapest month. Then you can actually analyze the tendencies: when the prices are higher and lower. You can see below the example from skyscanner.com:
Use different websites for search
My favorite website for searching the plane tickets is skyscanner.com.( you probably already figured out this 🙂 ) Nevertheless, I am usually cheating on it with other ones: kayak.com and momondo.com.
Sometimes, the results are the same, but sometimes they are super different. In addition, if you are super specific about your destination (like it is some small town in the north of Finland), there are probably only two or three airlines that are going there. Check their websites: Usually, you can find better deals, if you will think by yourself, not just let the machine decide:)
So to keep an eye on the ticket deals and destinations to go, I am following a lot of sites and blogs with travel related content. As now I am actually working with Feedpresso, I have collected all my favorite ones in one place. You can check them out as they helped me A LOT:
Don’t get stuck on one airport.
You are located in Warsaw and then it is logical to think that you should fly from there. Hell, no! Check the closest airports to you: maybe the tickets from Krakow (another city in Poland) are 100 $ cheaper! The same concept is going well with the flight of your destination: maybe it is cheaper to go Tallinn, not to Helsinki and then take a ferry to Finland? Check all options!
Round tickets can be evil
I bet, a lot of people have a stereotype in their heads that buying round way tickets should be MUCH cheaper. Naaah, not really. Search both: one way and round trip: there are a lot of situations when the prices can be higher as in round trip search you have been suggested the same airlines while going back with another one would be better for you.
Use incognito mode
It is common knowledge that if you search ‘flight to Stockholm’ every day, the prices for this search will increase. The algorithm will understand that you are interested in this particular destination and will just raise the prices.
I would also recommend using various devices and if you are not in incognito mode, you can switch to another country with VPN: it happens once with me. I was in Lithuania, my friend was in Belarus and we were searching for the same things. Her prices were higher than mine.
Play with currency
As most of the websites are trying to be international, they provide the ability to pay with different currencies.
Check: is it better for you to pay in dollars, euros or maybe a local currency? Of course, you should have the card with this currency or exchange rate should be worth it. But you will never know until you try:)
I have recently bought tickets to Sweden and the price was the same in $ and €: I just needed to choose the right country of origin. I didn’t save a lot on this deal, but who will say no to an ice cream when you know it is kinda free, just because you are a smart ass?:)
Don’t be afraid of travel agencies
Some people get super scared when they search kayak.com and see that this magic deal they want to get is offered by a reseller. Don’t be afraid of this: these resellers are also trying to do their business:)
Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that you need to buy tickets from some random websites. But there are a lot of trustworthy ones: for example, when I was going from Bangkok to Minsk, I used a travel agency and got the best deal. There were no problems afterward.
This is a tip is for those who travel a lot: there are a lot of loyalty programs promoted by airlines. If you subscribe to this, nothing bad will happen: you can just enjoy some future benefits: collecting miles, points, discounts or a free flight afterward:)
Follow the websites and communities that publish error fares
Trust me: it happens every day! The airlines are operated by people and people are making mistakes!:) So there are a lot of groups on Facebook where you can find some perfect deals: if you are a social freak and scrolling news feed at least a couple times per day, you will be definitely able to book the flight of your dream:) You can also google for some websites that are doing the same if you want to do everything by yourself: secretflying.com or airfarewatchdog.com can be a good example:)
So, have you started already searching for your new adventure?:) Hopefully, you have:)