Travelling can be pricey and flying is often the most expensive part, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve flown to Sweden for £7 and even managed to get me and the mini adventurer to Australia and back again in peak time for just over a grand, so here are my top 10 tips to bag a cheap flight.
1. Use Skyscanner.
My absolute top tip is to use Skyscanner. I love it and it’s without a doubt my most visited website. I’m constantly using it to find cheap flights by searching UK to Everywhere, tracking flights and comparing different airlines. Read my full review of how to use it to bag a bargain HERE.
2. Sign up to Jacks Flight Club
When it comes to hunting for brilliant flight deals, let Jack do the hard work for you. Simply sign up to the free membership and get great deals emailed to you every week. But to get the best deals I would give the premium membership a go. It costs £35 a year but with amazing deals, like UK to Japan for under £200, and flight pricing errors flying (no pun intended) into your inbox as and when they come up you hear of some incredible deals. Perfect for those people who love a bargain but aren’t particularly hunting for a specific destination.
3. Flying long haul? Stop short.
When I was looking at flights to NZ last year the very cheapest I could find was £1,700 for the both of us, and that was with the lesser rated airlines. However I found flights to Australia via America with Virgin for £1,100 return. With return flights between Aus and NZ coming up at less than £130, that’s a good few hundred pounds saved. Because I was waiting to find out where a rugby final would be held in NZ so I could get flights to the right city/island I wasn’t actually able to book until 4 days before we left (nothing like leaving it until the last minute!) I ended up paying more than that but even so saved myself over £100. Plus we got to stop off in Australia overnight on the way back, explore Sydney and have dinner with our family who we hadn’t seen in years, priceless!
4. Fly into one country, fly out of another!
The way many of the budget airlines catch you out with cheap flights is to advertise it’s only £10 one way, however they sting you for £100 for the pleasure of coming back again, so how about coming back from a different city or even country! Now I’m not suggesting you travel 100’s of miles after a week on the beach just to save some cash but this tip does work if you’re wanting to do a little travelling while you’re away. Last year we flew to Nice, adventured our way through Monaco and flew back from Italy, a great holiday where we saw 3 countries, and saved money on the price of a return flight.
5. Be flexible
Not always possible admittedly but where possible be flexible in your flight dates, by leaving a day before you planned, or shifting your trip back a few days can save you megabucks. Flight checkers like Skyscanner or google flights allow you to check the days around your planned dates for cheaper flights.
6. Don’t just use the big names!
I totally get wanting to fly with a name you are familiar with but by looking at other options you really can save yourself some cash. A flight one way with Virgin would have cost me £300 for us both, the same route using Latam over £150 cheaper! I researched them, read they had good reviews so went for it. I must admit as I hadn’t heard of them before I was a little nervous but it was really good, and the service was better than I’ve had on some of the big names. The plane was barely in the sky before they had come around with an activity pack for Luka and they served his food before anyone else’s on the plane. Same goes with budget airlines, for short haul they are totally fine, just make sure you read the fine print so you don’t get stung on anything.
7. Same goes for Airports!
Yes there may be better shops and facilities at Heathrow than Stanstead but by flying in and out of the airports slightly further out from your destination you will invariably save money, which can then be spent in duty free 😉
8. Try two single tickets
This isn’t often too effective especially on long haul flights admittedly but it’s definitely worth having a go to see if you can bag a bargain by buying two single tickets rather than a return. I saved a couple of hundred pounds buying flights between Australia and New Zealand with two different airlines rather than a return with one of them.
9. Search from another country.
Another top tip for saving some money on long haul flights is to look from another country. You get some amazing deals between some countries like Ireland and the USA and with flights available between the UK and Ireland for less than £20 return if you can get them to line up right you can really save yourself a pretty penny.
10. Search Incognito
Checking back every day to see the prices of flights you have your eyes on and notice they keep creeping up? This could be because your getting closer to departure day or it could just be because of those pesky cookies (not the nice kind!). Many sights say they don’t track cookies but I’ve noticed cheaper flight prices myself when I search incognito so better to be safe than sorry, engage private mode before you look.