My *not so secret anymore* ways to book a cheap flight

Saturday, 25 February 2017

How to book a cheap flight

So I know I want to get away, but anywhere *hotter than the North East of England* will do? 

Sound like you? Check out my top tips first before you book a flight so you have extra £££’s for those strawberry daiquiris!

Destination: ANYWHERE
Start off by using the ‘search everywhere’ facility on Skyscanner. You can start off with your preferred airport and check the cheapest destinations for your chosen dates. Play around with different times and other nearby airports if you can and you’ll be sure to find a great deal. If you’re a student or under 26 many companies such as STA Travel offer discounted prices on flights so you’re best checking there next!

Don’t jump in head first
Even if you’re planning on skydiving whilst away on your trip, don’t jump in head first to buy the first flight you find. Search around different websites and if you can find cheaper, plenty of companies such as STA will either price match or beat. Although the price may be the same if they match it, you could end up with a better deal as some companies have added benefits such as better customer support and flexibility if you need to change the date/time of your flight.

Can you touch your toes without bending your legs?
Nah, me either. But you should try to be flexible when booking your flight. Typically if you fly mid-week it will be cheaper than the weekend. Also searching for off-peak times (outside of school holidays) can cut the cost by up to 60%! Make sure you select the +3 days box when searching certain dates and this will find the cheapest options around this date.

Do you believe in Unicorns?
Shh me too! But you do know they’re mythical creatures *cries*? And there are plenty of myths around the time you should book the best flight too. You’ll probably already know that if you want to buy a low priced train ticket you should book 12 weeks in advance. This is NOT the same for flights. In a nutshell there really isn’t a perfect time to buy a flight. I have seen the fare for a flight increase and decrease several times within 48 hours. Normally the longer you leave it the more expensive it will be, as travel companies know that people who travel for business will buy those last minute seats and agree to pay a higher fee.

What? Nà la carte meal and in flight massage, how will you cope?
Choose low-cost airlines such as Ryanair or easyJet. Don’t worry your safety is not compromised when you fly with these airlines as they all have to adhere to the same regulations. You will however have to sacrifice some luxury features that you may be used to with larger airlines, such as non-reclining firmer chairs and no TV screen. But at least the guy in front of you won’t be able to tilt back his chair onto your lap just after take-off. Ryanair have cheap flights throughout the year. The best way to search is to select your desired airport and choose everywhere. You can travel from Newcastle to Barcelona on March 28th for £9.99 *one way* at the moment! 

What’s the rush?
If you’ve found a direct flight at a slightly higher price than you were anticipating, why not try splitting up the journey and travel to other places on the way. This may work out cheaper and you will get to visit other places too. Win win!

Keep your eyes peeled
If you find a flight that you quite like the look of through Skyscanner, you can set up a price alert to receive an email when there has been a price rise or fall. You should agree on a fair price you are happy to pay and book it when you see it, to avoid being disappointed if it shoots up and doesn’t come back down. You should also sign up to numerous mailing lists to get the best deals straight to your inbox. easyJet release their cheap tickets in batches so get signed up and book up quick for a bargain.

Keep it top secret!
Not these tips… your searches. It’s a sneaky ol’ thing is the Internet so use incognito mode to search for flights. Open your browser (Chrome) and CTRL + Shift + N. Based on cookies (yum) in your browser, flights may increase in price as they know the route has been searched for multiple times.

Be a nosey parker
If you’ve bought a flight with easyJet, the money saving doesn’t stop there. Be nosey like me and go check to see if the price has dropped. If it has you can apply for them to refund the difference. This can only be done by calling the customer services team on 0843 104 5000.

Do you even lift bro?
Well no not if you don’t have to. For small getaways you can probably manage with taking your in flight hand luggage rather than paying extra for a 20kg bag to check in. Many airlines request that the bag can fit into a certain shaped box at the airport. Make sure you take a large but squishable bag to avoid paying extra for this too! Check the T&C's as some airlines allow you to take a laptop bag/handbag as well as your hand luggage.

Well look at you… Congrats! You’ve booked the cheapest flight out there. You can now sit back and dream of your holiday, sitting by the pool eating enough breakfast for a family of four, buying useless novelty souvenirs and failing in love with the local stray cat. 

Do you have any top tips when you book your hols?

Love Luce x

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