Blog Post by Oval Money guest blogger Irma Hunkeler of BlueGlass
Finding affordable flights can sometimes be rather stressful, especially if you aren’t in the habit of booking getaways often. Luckily, there are a number of money saving tips that can save you considerable amounts of money when booking online, some of which aren’t common knowledge!
1. Take advantage of Google Flights
Google Flights has recently become the go-to price comparison tool for finding the cheapest flights online, and can be used both on mobile and on desktop with considerable ease. The tool instantly collates all of the cheapest possible flights from airlines around the globe to your desired destination, as well as layover flights for when you really want to limit spending. If you are flexible on dates, then you can use the ‘Flexible Dates’ feature to find the cheapest possible flights in your desired timeframe. You can also sign up for alerts for any cancellations or new low cost flights that may arise.
2. Consider layover flights
While it’s true that direct flights are more convenient, they can sometimes be very expensive, particularly if you’ve booked last minute or it’s during a holiday season. If time isn’t of the essence for you, then layover flights are a great way to save money on your travels. Layover flights aren’t exclusively for long-haul destinations either; you can find many stopovers for short distance trips that will be sure to save you some money. Many layover flights don’t require you to wait for too long between flights, so if you have a few hours to spare, you can also spare yourself a few hundred pounds in the process!
3. Choose smaller airports
Flying from major international airports is generally more expensive than doing so from smaller, lesser known ones. If you don’t mind travelling a little further afield to a smaller airport, then you could end up saving a large chunk of money on your flights. For example, if you’re travelling to New York, why not fly to the Stewart International Airport in Orange County, which is around 60 miles away from Manhattan and plays host to a range of cheap flights throughout the year.
4. Look at multiple airports
Most of the time, people will book the same airport for their return flight, when in fact you can often find cheaper flights if you explore alternative options. If you’ve found a cheap ticket flying out from Gatwick for instance, but the return is more costly, have a look at other airports such as Heathrow, Stansted, Luton or Southend. Flight comparison sites are able to figure out the cheapest combinations for you without you having to do it manually.
5. Delete your search history
A little known fact about booking flights online is that airlines store your cookies and internet search data and use it against you. So you aren’t going crazy when you see the same flight five minutes later increase in price, you are simply a victim of aggressive marketing! Airlines realise that you are interested in booking a flight when you are repeatedly looking, so they increase the urgency by upping the ticket prices. The best way to combat this is to go incognito or to delete your entire search history before looking so that the prices stay at the same level.
6. Travel midweek
Weekend flights are by far the most expensive because this is considered precious valuable annual leave, so if you are flexible with your dates you should look at booking midweek. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the cheapest days to fly out as airlines seek to fill up their planes as much as possible when it’s off-peak.