When it comes to shopping online one game that seems rigged is flight purchases. Flights and hotel bookings are weighted heavily in the seller’s favor. Here we present some tips to ensure you get the best deal possible.
In most markets, things have a set price and if you like that price you purchase the good. If I want to get a bus from London to Manchester that bus price doesn’t change. Yet if I want to fly from London to Manchester the price changes dramatically depending on a number of factors (mostly demand). It doesn’t seem fair. Flight sales can make huge amounts of profit if they are able to sell seats to unsuspecting buyers.
The key to being successful is flexibility. If you need to be in a certain city, at a certain time on a certain day, you will not be able to get a cheap flight. There are some tricks we can pass on but in reality, the majority of your options are gone.
Many sites like Google Flights now offer a very flexible approach to picking flights. Start by looking at a bunch of cities and see which has the lowest cost to fly to. Even play with the airport you leave from. We have found that it is often worth taking a bus to a different city to benefit from a cheaper flight. Once you have found a low-cost city to fly to, now start to look at the dates. Google Flights allows you to look at the price for two months at a time. This can allow you to choose the cheapest date in your time period. While this may not sound significant, leaving on a wrong day could cost you double.
The best way to think about booking cheap flights is about crossing oceans. If you are in the US and want to get to Europe, take any city. From there you can purchase cheap flights to any country on the continent. If you are in Europe and want to go to Asia, the same thinking applies.
Having flexibility will save you a huge amount of money and can still give you a great holiday. Try to take your holiday when no one else is. In Europe and the US, the busy times are Christmas, New Year and June to August. If you can go outside these times you can save a bundle.
Of course, it is not always possible to be flexible. Sometimes there are places you need to be at a certain time. In this case, it still makes sense to look at the option for an extra flight. Extra stopovers mean extra savings. If you need to be in a certain city on a certain day, see if you can leave early and have a nice stopover that makes your whole trip cheaper.
Our final tip is to be internet savvy. Cookies are the crumbs you leave around the internet showing businesses that you have been on their site before and what you have looked at. Flight and hotel companies have code in place that increases the price if you have looked at an option already. They know you are likely getting desperate and are going to catch you at a higher price. Delete your cookies before purchasing flights to ensure you are not being ripped off.
The reality is that the more flexible you are the more you will save. If you are looking for a romantic getaway for two sometime in the next year you can have an incredibly cheap option. Always book your flights at least two months in advance to ensure you can save a little extra too.