If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug just like I did, I’m sure that most of the items on your credit card bill were spent on travel booking. Because why not, right?
If traveling makes you happy, then follow your passion and burn all your money on travel! Well, that’s the old me. My mentality was like before, but I’m wiser now when it comes to handling my travel budget.
Get that killer deals online coz you deserve it! Airlines usually have great deals online, all you have to do is use some tools to find the cheapest fare to your next travel destination.
Ignore the myths like booking on a Tuesday is cheaper or searching in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices. It’s all myth; there is no evidence to back it up.
To save you time, frustration, and money, here are some sneaky ways on how to book cheap flights:
1. Search for tickets as one person
Even if you’re flying with a group. Airlines often sell multiple classes at different prices. Most often than not, they always show the highest ticket price in a group.
That’s how an automated system usually works. So next time you book a flight with your friends, try booking one at a time. Even if there’s a small chance that you won’t be sitting next to each other.
2. Fly two different airlines
Most airlines sell one-way flights at reasonable prices. Just like in Cebupac, whenever they have a seat-sale, the outbound flight is always cheaper, and the return flight is more expensive.
3. Sign up for a frequent flier program
Become an elite member of the airline’s frequent-flier program (GetGo for Cebupacific, Mabuhay Miles for PAL Express and BIG for Air Asia) or use a credit card that’s tied to the airline.
Here are the best credit cards in the Philippines where you can earn air miles:
Security Bank Platinum MasterCard, UnionBank miles+ platinum credit card, PNB-PAL Mabuhay Miles Platinum MasterCard, BPI SkyMiles Platinum MasterCard, and Standard Chartered Priority Banking Visa Infinite Card.
4. Do the shoulder season travel secrets
What’s shoulder season? It is a travel period between peak and off-peak seasons. Search in Google when is the shoulder season travel for a particular place.
Let’s say for example Europe; peak season is roughly mid-June to August. Shoulder season is from April to mid-June and September to October. And the off-season is from November to March.
It’s pretty simple if you want to spend less on airfare, fly when few people are flying. If you are going to fly when everyone is flying, then you’ll pay higher airfare.
Fly in the middle of a week (Tuesday or Wednesday) because planes are not packed on these days of the week and getting to the airport is usually traffic.
5. Check low-cost airlines individually
Comparison sites like Skyscanner or Kayak don’t usually do all the work for you.
“Some low-cost airlines don’t allow their tickets to be quoted on popular comparison sites coz they don’t want to pay booking commissions,” says Rick Seaney, chief executive of Farecompare.com.
So to be sure, do your homework and check airfare costs using separate websites.
6. Book six weeks in advance
According to a study from Airlines Reporting Corporation, the best time to purchase your airfare is about six weeks before travel.
The reason: Around this time, prices drop below the average fare. Don’t forget, the 42-day approach works.
7. Look for tickets in other currencies
I learned that booking flight tickets on http://expedia.co.jp/ could be cheaper instead of booking on their direct site; https://www.expedia.com Just make sure you use a non-foreign-transaction-fee credit card to avoid paying extra.
Here’s an experiment you could try, book the same flight, airline, and same class using different currencies. I’m sure you will get a different amount. This may not always work, but it’s worth trying if USD is doing well.