When booking a getaway, be it for business or pleasure, you so often hear that you have to book as far in advance as possible in order to find yourself the best deal. But what happens if time is against you and you suddenly find yourself wanting or needing to book last minute flights?
First thing’s first, don’t worry. There are still many ways in which you can save money on last-minute flights and here are just a few of them.
Don’t just go to the website of the first airline you think of and book tickets direct with them. Instead, use a flight scanner to scour the internet and find the booking site that’s selling the flights in question at the cheapest fare. It does all the hard work for you.
Set up alerts
If you’ve checked the flight comparison website and the flight prices are still a little high for your liking, you can set up daily price alerts for your search criteria and you’ll get emails alerting you when the price has dropped or increased. You can then figure out the best time to book.
It’s best to shop for flights in the middle of the week. More people are booking flights at the weekend, so airlines tend to hike their prices up to get more money. They often reduce them again in the week when demand isn’t so high.
Consider a different airport
Be open to not necessarily booking flights from the airport that’s closest to you. Flights may be cheaper from elsewhere and you might find yourself a better deal, even when adding petrol and parking costs into the equation.
Don’t fly out and back to the same airport
If you can figure out the logistics, such as using public transport or getting someone to pick you up and drop you off, you might be able to save money by flying out of one airport and flying back to another.
Be flexible with your days
If your travel isn’t too date dependent, try being flexible with your days when you search for flights. Flying at the weekend is often more expensive, so maybe fly home on a Tuesday instead of a Monday, or out on a Thursday instead of a Friday.
Don’t be picky with flight times
We all like our sleep or landing home at a reasonable time or arriving at an hour that allows us to make the most of our time away. But often, the cheapest flights are the ones at the most unsociable hours. If you’re looking to keep the cost down, you’re just going to have to deal with a painfully early start or a late finish.
Buy two tickets
Rather than looking for a return ticket, try searching for two one-way trips instead. You might be surprised at how much money that can save. If you’re using a flight scanner website to find you the best deals, they often have this option in the search results, saving you the hassle of researching yourself.
It’s all well and good finding the flights you want at the price you want but then come the baggage charges. Checking luggage into the plane’s hold or taking an extra carry-on bag can make your overall costs skyrocket. So, where possible, pack as light as you can and just take one small hand luggage bag with you, especially if it’s a short trip.
Skip the in-flight extras
As well as paying for extra baggage, it can often be tempting to pay for all the added extras available to you as well. If it’s a short flight or you’re travelling on your perhaps, skip the choose your seat option. You probably don’t need that in-flight meal either and you definitely don’t need priority boarding when the plane waits for everyone anyway.
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