Finding a flight that fits your bank balance can be tricky, especially if you’re working on a tight budget. While experts tell us to search online, the internet is a minefield of travel gimmicks and misleading advertising so that combing through cyberspace can be a terrifying task. If looking for air tickets has you tearing your hair out, don’t despair: I’ve put together this list of down to earth guidelines to get you off the ground without emptying your wallet …
1. Plan in Advance
Start to organise your trip well in advance. Most airlines will allow you to book tickets up to a year before takeoff and seats secured well ahead of time are a good deal cheaper than those bought within a month of the scheduled flight. In fact ticket prices rise steadily until right before the plane is due to leave, when they drop again sharply. In short, book early and save a bundle...
2. Book a Package Holiday
If you’re vacationing at a hotel, try to book your flights as part of a special package deal. This invariably saves you money and effort, and frees us some spare cash to spend on cool holiday treats! And of course the souvenir tees and snow globes and postcards and the like... can't forget those!
3. Do Some Structured Internet Research
Browse through a few reputable budget flight finders to identify any special offers available. Sometimes sites like these will find incredible special offers – be sure to snap them up quickly though, because someone else will if you're too slow on the draw!
4. Be Flexible
If you’re willing to fly at a weird time or, better still, on a holiday, you’ll pay considerably less for your ticket. It might sound depressing to travel on New Year’s Eve, but trust me ladies, in the long run, your wallet will thank you.
5. Avoid Weekends
Schedule flights so that you depart and land in the middle of the week and not between Friday and Sunday. Weekends are the most expensive times to fly, so girls on budget: make plans to party it up at your holiday destination!
6. Check out the Perks of Joining a Flight Club
A lot of airlines have in-house loyalty programmes and travellers can pay a small fee in order to join. Often, members will be offered special prices and great flight deals which definitely make that initial cash outlay worth while. They can also often guarantee flights when no-one else can, which is another worthwhile reason to join.
7. Spontaneity [Warning: Not for the Faint Hearted!]
Flight prices, as we’ve seen, often drop at the very last minute, right before takeoff. If you like to live on the wild side, this could work for you, but girls, I have to say, I wouldn’t recommend it! Who knows where you might end up, right?
Do you have any great tips to share? How do you get the best flight deals around? Let us in on your travel secrets ladies; we’d love to hear them!
Top Photo Credit: Jeff Keen