A dream trip to the other end of the world does not have to come at great expense. In the times of low-cost airlines and apps for booking cheap accommodation with a bit of persistence, you can plan an exciting trip that will not consume all your savings.
Where to find and when to start hunting for occasions?
Cheap flying has never been so easy. Thanks to dedicated tools, we can keep up to date with the directions and offers we are interested in. What's the catch? Usually, we have to adapt to the deadline and make quick decisions, which the in case of a full-time job can be difficult. Very often, the trip also takes place overnight.
Prepare the right tools
To find an attractive offer of airlines or even a price error, you don't have to follow dedicated services and thematic websites all day long. A set of adequately prepared applications is enough.
The most important ones include PushApp and Fly4Free. Both apps are available for Android and iOS devices. This set offers essential tools, thanks to which we can receive notifications about attractive offers and price errors. We can also adjust them to be informed only about the directions we are most interested in.
How do we even know if the price of a flight on a given destination is currently favourable and promotion actually provides an excellent opportunity to buy? In such a situation, all types of price comparison engines can be helpful. The most popular ones include Skyscanner, Kayak or Google Flights. The last of these tools even allow you to display a chart of historical prices on a selected journey. Thanks to that, we can easily check if the occasion is really profitable.
Google Flights is perfect for searching long-distance flights. For shorter distances, it also works well, but you should also check alternatives such as Azair.eu, which is an extensive search engine for low-cost airlines.
When seeking special airline offers, it is also recommended subscribing to the newsletters of well-known airlines. Very often they inform about promotions, e.g., newly opened destinations. If we do not want our email inbox to be filled with such content, then you can set up an additional one, designed exclusively for this purpose.
When is the best time to buy a ticket?
Flight ticket prices are different from other means of transport. First of all, they can change dynamically depending on the level of interest in a given route, the number of people browsing through offers or even the frequency with which a given destination is searched in the browser.
The analysis of many components shows that it is not profitable to buy air tickets on Sunday evening. Indeed, it is exactly then that many people have a lot of free time and browse the airlines' offers. Companies can take advantage of such a situation by temporarily increasing the prices of popular flights. Statistically, the best chances of finding an air ticket price occasion are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The season is also significant. Looking for a cheap holiday in the middle of the season, for example, to one of the Mediterranean islands, may turn out to be not such a good idea. This is due to the fact that during the holiday season the traffic on these routes is increased and the airlines have no problem with selling out all the seats on the plane, even if they slightly increase their prices.
Considerably lower prices can be found in the off-season, in autumn or winter. In this case, however, one should take into account that in many places (especially in Europe), the air temperature may not be too high. Nevertheless, in the second hemisphere, spring or summer is just beginning. Such common dates as holidays should also be avoided. The New Year's Eve expedition will cost us slightly more than usual as well.
The cost of the flight may also be influenced by the time of day. Night flights are usually a bit cheaper than those made at noon. This is due to a simple fact — some people do not like to travel during sleep hours.
What else can air ticket prices depend on? Transport companies may use special algorithms that analyse, for example, the number of searches for a given route in the browser. The more often we check prices, the more likely they are to be raised. Sometimes they can be even half as high! How to avoid this? If you want to hunt for a great opportunity, it is worth clearing your browser's data or even making a backup booking from a device and Internet connection that you have not used before to search for an offer.
The general rule is also that the closer to departure, the higher the ticket prices are. Last-minute shopping is, therefore, not always a profitable option unless the connection was not very popular and there were a lot of seats left on the plane.
If you want to save money, consider looking for flights even a few months earlier. You can get a lower price, although at the same time you “freeze” some of your money by paying for the ticket in advance.
Beware of connecting flights
The offer is sophisticated, and the price seems very attractive — what next? Before making a purchase, it is worth checking the whole connection carefully. Very often, lower costs are associated with the need to change flights at one or even several airports.
In this case, you should check if you have enough time to get to the second plane. You should take into account possible flight delays. The absolute minimum needed to change planes smoothly should be 2 hours.
There is another catch with changing flights. Before buying a lifetime offer, it is absolutely essential to check if the arrival and departure are from the same airport. In extreme circumstances, you will have to reach the airport on the other side of the city. Then even a few hours can be very tense.
Analyse the extra fees
When buying a plane ticket, especially from a so-called low-cost carrier, the type of luggage is also crucial. Usually, at the lowest price, we can only bring on board hand luggage with very limited dimensions. Each additional centimetre or kilogram may cost us a lot, so be sure to analyse the airline's offer in advance and adjust your plans accordingly.
The situation may get even more complicated when you fly to your destination, e.g., on board planes of two different carriers. In this case, you should consider the baggage restrictions of this airline, which has more strict requirements.
An additional fee applies not only to registered luggage, carried in the cargo hold but also to any unusual items. Persons transporting e.g., a surfboard or skis have to take into account the extra expenses. Detailed information related to the transport of undersized items is available, among others, on airline websites.
Book cheap accommodation
An essential part of every trip, even the weekend one is accommodation. Before booking a flight, please make sure to check the prices of hotels or guest houses on the spot. In extreme cases, it may turn out that what we have saved on a cheaper flight, but we will pay for accommodation.
To book the accommodation, you can also use price comparison engines, where your requirements and necessary infrastructure can be determined. Start your research with services such as Booking or Airbnb, which operate virtually all over the world.
When organizing a trip on your own, you must not forget about transport. One of the options is to rent a car directly at the airport. Such a solution makes it easier to move around the area and encourages sightseeing. If you plan a weekend trip to one of the popular cities, public transport is a much better option. Information about it can be found on various tourist forums.
The preparations for departure don't stop there. All necessary documents must be checked. Travelling within the European Union is made easier — just an ID card. Outside the EU, you will need, among other things, a valid passport and sometimes also a tourist visa.
Finances cannot be put off for the last minute, either. Prepare the money in advance and exchange it at Conotoxia.com, saving on attractive exchange rates and no hidden fees. It will be more advantageous than the exchange at the airport or directly on the spot. In places popular with tourists, currency rates are usually much higher.