How to secure cheap flight fares

Often I get the question "How do you manage to travel that much? Isn't it too expensive?" And the fact is we travel a lot because we know how to get the best deals and save money... Here are some advises on how to save some money when buying travel tickets...

  1. Search the flight search engines first. Sites like skyscanner.net or my favourite if you read German flug.idealo.de allow you fast look for the cheapest fare possible. They often are capable of combining airlines to get the best deal for you, which is not something you can always do yourself. It is a good idea to use the 'incognito' mode of your browser when using these, as many sites use cookies and change the prices based on these. For flights (unlike rental cars), the presence of these cookies normally means higher prices for you. 
  2. Check for a package deal. Often it is way cheaper if you book the hotel and the flight simultaneously. I got this experience with British Airways where it was 20 GBP cheaper to book also the hotel for my stay than to get only the flight (flight only rate was 20 GBP more expensive than the hotel+flight deal). 
  3. Be flexible with your dates. Very often if you can change your trip start and end date with a couple of days you will get much better prices. 
  4. Follow the newsletters of the airlines you prefer. You will often get vouchers or will learn about the great deals before the others. For example from the Lufthansa newsletter got me flight from Bulgaria to San Francisco for 380 EUR only, as opposed to 850 EUR standard price... or I got 2 tickets for the price of one with Qatar Airlines to Thailand... 
  5. Check the low cost airlines separately. Often they are not offered on the general flight search engines, so please make sure to always check their websites... my favourite is Ryanair.com where I scored my personal best fare ever! 0.96 € per leg from Baden-Baden to Berlin (this is a price with all fees and taxes included) or my second best 5.60 £ from Frankfurt Hahn to London per leg. And I also love Wizzair.com as they offer so many destinations to choose from! 
  6. Remember to check the nearby airports. Do not use the international ones, as the smaller ones around are much cheaper as a rule. Also, you may find another low-cost airline that flies to there. The money you can spend from choosing a less known airport may be enough for your trip to the city and even for a beer or two ;) 
  7. Plan the purchase of the ticket timely - early enough (but not too early) or last-minute. The best time to buy a ticket with a standard airline would be 5-6 months in advance. For a low-cost airline the fares are cheaper 2-3 months in advance. Remember that also if you buy the ticket last-minute, this may be a huge saving... still this is a bit more risky. That is why I prefer to use low-cost airlines and buy my tickets about 3 months in advance. 
  8. Choose less-known cities. If you do not know where to go, go to your favourite airline's website and search for deals. Ryanair allows you to find the best deal for the upcoming 2-3 months and even allows you to choose the period of stay before looking for the fares. Very practical :) Less touristic places generally mean cheaper flights and also - less crowd... this way you may find some real hidden gems! 
  9. Make surprising trips. Some airlines, like Eurowings, offer the so called blind booking. You buy a very cheap flight ticket, but you learn your destination only after you bought it. If you just want a weekend getaway, this is a great option to save some money. 
  10. Be creative. Remember that most low-cost airlines do not offer connecting flights... but you can save hundreds of dollars if you book the flights yourself and think of the appropriate connections. Remember to always leave plenty of time (at least 3 hours) between the flights. This way you will not miss the next flight if the first one delays. There is always a risk, of course, if one of the legs gets canceller or delays, but you can save a lot! 
Hopefully you will get to you dream destination with these advises! 
More tips for cheaper travel coming soon! Stay tuned! And enjoy summer


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