For most trips, the most expensive part of the booking will be the airfare. It can become quite expensive to book any trip, whether you are flying domestically or internationally, because of the increasing costs of the airfare.
When booking a family vacation, you need to think about your budget, as this will determine where you can go and how long the trip will be. Prepare for a large percentage of the budget to be taken up by your flights, as this is most often the case.
Because airfare can be so expensive, many people have been looking for ways to get cheap flights no matter where they are going. With expensive flights, it may seem impossible for you to be able to book that dream vacation, but we have a solution for you.
Instead of holding off for another year because you cannot imagine paying for flights right now, we have some tips and advice gleaned from other travelers to help you find cheap flights.
If you’re wondering how far in advance you can book a flight, check out our other handy guide!
How To Find Cheap Flights To Anywhere
Air travel has made the world smaller as it is now possible to travel to a multitude of different countries within several hours. However, although this is possible in the grand scheme of things, the rising cost of airfare is making it difficult for some families to book their dream vacation.
Before planning a trip, you will need to organize a budget, but this may feel disheartening when you know a large percentage of this money will be spent on flights.
Luckily, as this is an issue everyone will have to deal with at some point, there are some great tips and tricks out there to help you find cheap flights.
The following tips are provided as they have been recommended by those who have tried them for themselves. If you want to find cheap flights, you should:
1. Ignore The Myths About Flights
It may seem like you need a miracle to be able to find cheap flights for your desired destination, but this is not always the case. That does not mean that it will be easy to do so, but one simple way to make the process run smoothly is to avoid the myths and misconceptions which flood the internet regarding flights.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the cost of flying, and most has no truth behind it whatsoever.
When researching cheap flights and how to find them, you will be faced with several myths surrounding air travel. In fact, it is very likely, you have already come across a selection of them through this simple search!
There is no truth behind these flying myths. They will do nothing more than lead you astray when searching for cheap flights.
Some of the most common myths you will find when researching cheap flights are:
- It is cheaper to buy air tickets on a Tuesday
- Using incognito search will make things cheaper, as airlines cannot track your search results
- There is a specific timeframe for you to book your flights to make them cheaper
- It is easy to predict airline prices based on their past results
These are all myths that have led to many people being disappointed when searching for cheap flights. There is no evidence that suggests that any of these tips can help find cheap flights; there is no specific day of the week that is cheaper, nor are airlines using your information to increase their prices for certain flights.
Instead, airlines will use advanced computer systems and algorithms to determine their prices. These same systems are also used to process and run sales based on the time of year, passenger demand, location, major events, weather conditions, fuel prices, and competitor prices.
These are the main influences behind the cost of a flight, and there is no way to avoid these being counted. When searching for cheap flights, do not fall for the myths and misconceptions, as this will not result in any good deals being generated.
2. Aim To Be Flexible With Your Times
While there is no specific day of the week or time that you should buy tickets to get the cheapest prices, time does influence the total cost of air travel.
It is important to note that the cost of air tickets will increase at peak periods in the year, such as during the summer or over the holidays, as well as by location. For example, traveling to Europe is very popular in the summer so you can expect the cost of flights to locations like this to increase during these months.
If you want to fly at the same time as everyone else, then you will have to face increased prices.
This is why if you are looking for the cheapest flights, it is best to be more flexible with your trip schedule and the time you want to travel. It is always best to shop for off-peak times, as this is when there is less demand for tickets, so the prices will be lower.
While there is no specific day of the week that generates the cheapest flights, the price can fluctuate depending on when you are going to be traveling. It will always be more expensive to travel on the weekends than during the week because more people are free and therefore the demand for seats increases.
Similarly, flying after a major vacation can be cheaper than traveling during peak times, especially if you choose a very early or very late flight. People want to be comfortable and enjoy their holidays, so there is less demand for flights which require them to get up early.
Airlines work based on supply and demand, which is why you will find that flight prices increase when there is a major event taking place. Unless you are going to a festival or major event, try to avoid these times when traveling as it will be more expensive to fly.
3. Aim To Be Flexible With Your Destination
Flexibility is the key to finding cheap flights as it allows you to consider a whole range of options instead of being stuck in one box.
Much like being flexible with your timing, being flexible with your desired destination can also be a way to find cheap flights. For example, considering less-popular areas within the country you want to visit may result in cheaper flights.
Likewise, consider a flight that takes you close enough to the area you want to be if alternative transport is available. Depending on the time of year, it may be cheaper to get a flight to a less central area and then travel by bus inwards instead.
It is best to be flexible with both your time and destination if you want to get the best savings on flights, but if this is not possible, then aim to be flexible with your destination at least.
There are airline search engines that have been designed to make it easy to search for flights to areas all over the world. You no longer have to spend time searching city by city, day by day, as it can be generated for you.
Flight sites like Skyscanner and Google Flights have explore tools that allow you to do a search based on your local airport. This will show all of the flights that are taking off from this airport, giving you a map of the world to consider.
With this map in front of you, it will be easier to brainstorm ideas for your trip and consider your options carefully without having to do too much work yourself. The map will show all major and minor airports, allowing you to decide whether you need to land in a central location or whether you can go elsewhere and travel by another method for your final lap.
Chances are, you will find a complete selection of destinations that you had not even considered before when using tools like this, and they may be cheaper than where you originally planned to go.
4. Don’t Ignore Budget Carriers
Budget airlines have come a long way over the years, yet many people still disregard them because of a misunderstanding.
Only a decade or so ago, you would have limited options for the airline you could fly with. This is especially the case for international flights, which were usually only carried by expensive airline names.
Now, there are hundreds of different airlines out there, and because the market is vast, there is great competition for who can offer the best prices. A lot of budget airlines will offer both medium and long haul flights along with domestic travel because they know there is a demand for these.
Air travel is more popular, which means there needs to be more options for travelers, and you could be missing out on some cheap flights by only considering the major players in the field.
You can find budget airlines based on your current location and search the destinations they have on offer. There are comparison sites that can do most of the work here for you, but compare the prices between airlines to see which offers the best deal to make sure you have found the cheapest flights out there.
5. Consider Breaking Up The Journey
When it comes to travel of any kind, most of us are concerned with how quickly we can get to our desired destination. But being unshakable in our desires to get there at a set time is expensive, as you could be missing out on cheaper flights that are not direct.
This is why being flexible is one of the most important things when it comes to looking for cheap flights, as it allows you to look into alternatives.
Instead of flying direct to your desired destination, you could break up the journey and look into connecting flights which may make the total cost considerably cheaper.
For example, traveling to a location in Europe from the United States is usually cheaper if you take a stop in the UK first. Connecting flights to locations like Paris or Amsterdam can be purchased for little more than $100 and will only take a few hours from your pit stop in Europe. You could even opt for an additional stay if it works out to be cheaper this way, giving you more travel experience for less than you initially thought.
To work out whether breaking up your flights is worth it, you will first need to work out how much a direct flight costs from your starting location.
Once you have figured this out, use one of the flight websites we have mentioned to see which other airports are nearby and offer connecting flights to your intended destination. If it is possible to break up the journey, this may be the best way to get cheap flights.
The key to finding cheap flights is to remain flexible in your search. When you are flexible in your time frame and destination, you are opening up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to flights, and this is how you will find the cheapest ones out there.
Allow yourself to consider more possibilities than one set timeframe or one clear destination. It may be cheaper for you to fly using connecting flights instead of directly, which will add to the travel time but could help you save a lot of money.
Likewise, consider flying in off-peak times for the most savings. When there is more demand for flights, such as during holiday seasons, the prices will increase. If this can be avoided, you should aim to be flexible so more money can be spent enjoying yourself instead of getting to your location.
Air travel has made the world smaller, but there is still an incredible range of locations for you to explore. Remaining flexible in your desires will allow you to find cheap flights and may contribute to you having the best vacation ever.
More about our TFVG Author
Caitlin is one of The Family Vacation Guide's long standing contributors. She enjoys taking vacation to busy, vibrant cities and has stretched her traveling legs out towards Europe in recent months, enjoying new experiences in Barcelona in Spain, and Nice in France.