When it comes to booking flight tickets, we always assume the sooner the better. The sooner I book my tickets, the better deals I will get. A friend once told me that the best day to buy a plane ticket is 42 days before your intended departure. Another theory that exists for quite a while is that the best day to book a flight is on Tuesday. However, The New York Times confirmed that no day is “the best day”. But, no worries! I have listed some great tricks for you to get those killer deals:
Use low-cost airlines
For European travelers, cheaper airlines are RyanAir, EasyJet or GermanWings. Wikipedia also has a list on low-cost airlines for each continent. These airlines have really good deals even near departure dates. However, tickets do get sold out quickly, so be there as fast as you can! Additionally, you usually have to pay extra for checked-in baggage, so keep those costs in mind.
Use third-party websites
In many cases, it is actually cheaper to book flights through third-party websites such as CheapTickets, Skyscanner, Hipmunk or Govolo. I have used both CheapTickets and Govolo multiple times without any problems and they always had the best deals. However, you have to bear in mind that cancellation is often difficult or not possible. For instance, I once booked a flight on Govolo with the wrong return date and was not able to get it changed. Therefore, make sure that you check your dates multiple times. Furthermore, third-party websites often do not have a customer service phone line (e.g. Govolo), so getting in contact with them when there are issues is not always that easy.
Pick the right departure day
Even though it may not matter which day you book, it certainly matters which day you are planning to fly. Flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays are usually not as expensive as flights on the weekends (especially Friday and Sunday), since they are lower in demand. Thus, the departure date is definitely something that you should take into consideration when booking a trip.
Clear your browser cookies
Another trick that is very helpful is to clear your cookies or browse in private whenever you intend on buying a flight ticket. That way the airline cannot (secretly) raise the costs. Independent Traveler confirms that your browser history can lead to higher airfares:
If you are researching an upcoming trip and have checked airfares on the route frequently in recent days or weeks, the airlines and booking engines “know” you really want these fares, and “guess” that you might be willing to pay a bit more for them.
Clearing your cookies, using a different browser or browsing in private will help you avoid this problem!
I hope these tricks will help you to get cheap(er) tickets in the future. If any of you use tricks that are not mentioned here, feel free to comment them below. The best way to learn is from each other’s experiences! 🙂 To get inspired to book your next trip, read my article on why you should travel the world. Bon voyage!