If you live anywhere in Europe, you are lucky. There are plenty of cheap flights to a variety of destinations right at your fingertips. I’ve found tickets for less than $8 before. It’s now caused an addiction that I cannot quit. Looking up cheap flights is fun, regardless of whether I book or not. I like to dream of traveling non-stop, going from one country to the next for the price of a cheap pub meal. But if you don’t book your flight correctly, those cheap flights can add up. There are many factors that can take an inexpensive ticket and turn it into a normal or even expensive purchase. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll be fine. If you don’t, read this.
Pricing for flights changes drastically depending on what time of day you’re searching, how many times you’ve searched on the website, and how booked the flight is. To get the best pricing, book around five weeks in advance. There’s been hundreds of studies on this, and they’ve all come to the conclusion that booking a flight on Tuesday around 3 pm is prime time for cheapness.
Along with the time of day nonsense, price changes depending on what time of day you want to leave. If you’re on a budget, you need to be flexible with your time. Usually the super early or late night flights are you best bet.
Luggage is also a huge factor with flight pricing. If you can get by with a carry-on, do it. If not, make sure you book your luggage BEFORE you get to the airport. The additional fees to check your bag at the airport is astronomical, and honestly, downright despicable. But the airlines make big bucks allowing you to check-in baggage last minute, so don’t be that person. Book your bags online and you will save heaps.
A lot of discounted flights do not have a cancellation policy. Usually, if you miss your flight or want to change the date, you can’t. Check before you book your flight to see if either of these two factors are included in the price.
Certain destinations are more expensive than their neighbors. For instance, if you’re going to England, check for flights to Manchester as well as London. Sometimes the differences are drastic. You can always take the train or bus to get to London and those tickets can be pretty cheap too. Just make sure you check nearby airports before booking, in case the other has a great deal going on.
If you are going to multiple destinations, it might be cheaper to book a one-way. This gives you the freedom to book your return flight from any airport and you incur any fees if you needed to change your return flight. One-way tickets can also be ridiculously cheap.