Aug 01, 2018 How to Book cheap flights
This year we took 60 flights around the world. We experienced a lot of airports and a lot of airlines. There are a few tricks that people claim help you save money when you travel. Truth is you are going to save more money on where you stay then where you fly. Flights pretty much are what they are. However, we do have a few tips of our own that helped us saves as much as we could. I’ll walk you through where to look for flights, the secret of multi ticket stops, and some of our favorite airlines and tips we have discovered.
My 3 Top Tips
- The best way to get the cheapest ticket price is to be FLEXIBLE on your time and dates. We are able to keep our flight costs low because time, flexibility, and destination where not fixed.
- You get your deals when you go on popular routes because so many airlines service these areas. As a rule of thumb you can’t find cheap flights to small airports. Small airports will always be expensive. An example is flying from Siem Riep, Cambodia to Chaing Mai, Thailand. Even though they are very close geographically and short flight times you have to fly from a small airport to a small airport making the ticket price seem unusually high.But whenever you aren’t flying into a major city like Bangkok flights are always more.
- With major airlines and on long trips sometimes it is cheaper to buy a round trip instead of a one-way ticket. When flying from the states over to Europe we had an instance where it was cheaper to buy the round trip ticket even though we would not be returning on that same leg.
Where to Start
Travel search engines are the only way to go. We start most of our flight searches on Kayak and Google flights.
The more rigid your plan the more money you will have to pay because there will be cheaper deals depending on the day of the month.
We always do flexible dates- meaning you can put a plus or minus on the days you want to travel. We normally give ourselves a 3 day plus/minus cushion. This allows us to see what the price variance is. For example on Kayak they have a calendar that will highlight cheaper days in green. Sometimes this is a week later than what you may have originally planned but it saves you money.
Multi Stop Ticket
Flight length and how many stops are important to us because of our children. The cheaper options normally have long layovers or multiple stops. Which is something we try to avoid with our crew. However there is a way to turn a layover into another destination stop all on one ticket.
If you are interested in cross-country travel, planning a tour or going to a few places this is a great way to save on flights. We often bought tickets that had a few days up to a week layover in a place on our way to our original destination. A prime example is when we wanted to go from Malta to Marrakesh, Morocco. The cheapest flights had a layover in Madrid, Spain for 3 hours. We had flexibility on our dates and times so I changed the dates of my search and changed the booking to a ‘multi stop ticket’. I look for the same airline that offered the cheap flight and instead of a 3 hour layover I put in a 6 day layover. All 3 destinations are now on one ticket. Now we are bale to see another destination with out having to spend extra money on flights.
We have friends that do the 12 hour layover and try and see the city. Maybe by yourself you can do that but with kids this is not a good idea.
Budget airlines can be a good option but know that with these airlines you are gong to be cutting essentials. Before you buy a ticket on a budget airline make sure you read the luggage and food (yes food) policies and note that you will almost always have to take a bus to and from the airplane. There will always be heavy fees for checked luggage, unless you fit their carry on criteria. Luggage fees are so high on airlines like Ryan Air that you can often fly on a better airline for the same price because you get to check your bag for free. Other Economical Choices like WOW air do not allow you to bring your own food or water on board. You have to purchase everything from them and when you are flying from Singapore to Australia (like we did) for 5 hours this can add up.
Budget airlines we flew:
Kid Friendly Airlines
These airlines get honorable mention for taking such great care of our kids. They all provided great inflight games, packages, and little extras.