Finding cheap plane tickets is not a complicated thing, unfortunately it’s not easy either. There are a few steps I try to follow every time I need to book a flight and in this article I will try to explain everything I do in order to book the cheapest airfare.
Ok let’s see just how I search and find cheap plane tickets!
1. Choosing a destination
There are two ways to go about this: I either pick a destination I want and start my search from there, OR go the other way around and choose a destination depending on what offers and deals I find.
While I was at home, busy with my 9-6 job, I used to search online every single day for the cheapest flights and flights combinations. This way I managed to find awesome deals for India, Phillippines (leaving from Dubai though) but also around Europe. I would find those deals either for myself, or for friends trying to travel and keep their budget on a leash.
Every time someone asks me how they can reach their destination without spending thousand of dollars / euros on a plane ticket, I take it as a challenge and I begin to wander around the internet for either direct flights or combinations of plane, boat, buses or train tickets that will get them there.
2. Information is pure gold
I subscribed to a lot of newsletters from airlines and I find out almost instantly when there is a new offer. Of course I have my favorite low cost companies flying from Romania, one of them is Ryanair. I also subscribed to all the other airlines flying in and out of Romania – Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Alitalia, KLM, Qatar or Tarom. So my advice is to find the companies flying from your country and subscribe to their newsletters. Great deals come straight to your email address.
3. Open up Google maps and do your research.
Constantly looking for tickets and flights, I learned that sometimes you can find awesome combinations that cost less and you get to see more than one city. In the end it’s more about the journey than the destination itself.
Example – from Bucharest, it’s very cheap to fly to Milano with Ryanair for example. Sometimes 10 euros or even less. From Milano I check what destinations are cheap and I would like to visit.
Using the map helps you find interesting routes. One I have been dreaming about for a long time is to fly to Spain and cross over the Gibraltar into Morocco instead of flying straight into Africa.
Other affordable destinations from Bucharest are Brussels and Budapest. Trains in Europe are a good way to travel, so maybe there is no cheap direct flight to your intended destination, but you can find one close or in the neighboring country or district and continue onward by train, bus or boat.
4. Where exactly do I look?
I already told you that I check the airlines websites directly, but that’s not enough. I almost always do a search using skyscanner, momondo and fly-go, but I also check out online plane ticket sellers (like expedia for example) that sometimes use their marketing budget to bring the prices down or have special deals negotiated. Not long ago I bought an Amsterdam plane ticket that was worth 100 euros with 84 euros. We were 3 girls traveling, so in the end, all 3 got a total 45 euros discount. Not bad, huh?
Pro tip – before jumping into a deal that seems almost too good to be true from one of the online agencies or sellers, try a google search in order to find out if they are reliable or not, find out what other people have to say about their experience with them.
Last, bot not least – I check airports websites and see what low cost companies operate there, and from where; I try to find what is the closest city from where I can fly. I also check how much the transfer will be just to be sure if in total it’s worth it or not.
I also check:
- Secretflying and
- ITA Matrix
- and for bonus miles I like AwardWallet.
5. Book in advance
Yes I know life is complicated and you have no idea what you’re going to do tomorrow, let alone in 6 months from now. I also know that the best time to book a flight (and actually use it) is six weeks in advance. But when I find deals like Dubai-Philippines with just 70 dollars round trip (that is an 8 hours flight), I just buy them, even if it’s six or eight months in advance. If you already have your plane tickets I am sure that most of the time you will make the trip possible. If not, you just lose a small amount of money!
6. Ask for professional help
There are a number of ways you can get the lowest prices for your airplane ticket, but because some of these ways are somehow shady and you risk having your booking canceled, they tend to remain a secret. If nothing else works, you can ask for professional help from Flightfox. A lot of people use their services and are very satisfied.
It’s not always the easiest and sometimes it can take hours to find the perfect plane ticket and it also depends on how much time you’re willing to spend doing research. I think there’s no point in giving you more specific examples, because things change, new deals appear all the time.
Just to make a short recap. Use the map and google in order to double check everything. Also you can google routes so you can find cheap plane tickets. Use airlines websites to search for offers and check airports websites also to find the low cost carriers flying to your destination.
Do not forget that there is no such thing as THE place where you can find cheap plane tickets. I get this question very often – where can I find cheap plane tickets? There is no such thing. But if you have a little patience, if you are also flexible and if you take time to do some research, I’m sure you will find a not so expensive way.
Do you have other tips and tricks on how to find cheap plane tickets? I would love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.
Travel & love, love to travel!
This article was first published on our other travel blog – www.lipa-lipa.ro