Planning a trip? Yay! Travel is a rewarding and enriching experience. But the more you pay for your flights, the less money you have for accommodation and sightseeing. Here are some top tips to help you find the cheapest flights around:

Book early

For some reason, many people assume that they should wait closer to their departure date before booking flights. But this is just plain wrong. Airlines typically begin releasing flights between 10 and 12 months in advance. Each airline has a number of different booking classes and price points. For example, a domestic flight could be $100 in booking class J, and $125 in booking class K. As soon as all the J booking classes are sold out, you’re stuck paying more in the next booking class.

If you already know when you’re planning to travel, don’t hesitate. If you want cheap air tickets, book as early as you can.


Be flexible

This is one of my top tips. I recently booked flights home for Christmas. I was hoping to leave on the 20th or 21st, but it was more than $1000 cheaper to fly on the 18th- even when I included a stopover in Hong Kong. Whenever you search for flights, be sure to keep your options open. Look at a variety of dates in the month you’re hoping to travel, or use the flight website’s “flexible dates” feature.

Often, the cheapest flights are the ones with long layovers. You can use this to your advantage by booking a hotel or hostel and getting some sleep. If you have a whole day, you can even go and explore a new city on the way. You’ll also often find that there are big differences between the airports or cities you fly into. If you can save hundreds of dollars, it’s often worth using a different airport- depending on the public transport situation at the other end.

Another good idea? Use Rome2Rio to see if there are alternate ways to get to your planned destination. In Europe, it can sometimes even be cheaper to fly into a country bordering your destination and then take a train to the city you’re planning to visit.

Compare your flights

I never use just one website when I’m looking for flights. Often, I’ll use Tripadvisor to get a good idea of the price range I’m looking at. Then I’ll use a variety of different websites to see where I can find the best deal. Not all websites will list every available airline, which is why it makes sense to shop around. Finally, I’ll also check the airline’s website to see if I can find it even cheaper.


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