Tips on how to save on flight costs
Tips from KAYAK.co.uk
Avoid high-demand times
Flying during high-demand times like the school holidays means that prices to any destination popular with families (for example, Lanzarote, or Florida) will be significantly more expensive – sometimes more than double.
If you need to go during the school holidays, we generally find that prices towards the end are much cheaper than at the start. So, for the summer holidays, consider going at the end of August rather than the end of July.
It’s the same deal around bank holidays and Christmas – for the latter, we have seen flights costs increase by as much as 600%. So, avoid if you can.
Fly on the right day of the week
Flying out and returning midweek can be up to 68% cheaper on short haul and up to 34% cheaper for longer haul. Given that for a week’s break, you’d need to book the same amount of time off work either way, this can be a big money saver.
It is a similar story for shorter breaks. Travelling either side of a weekend – e.g. out on a Friday and back on Sunday or Monday will generally be a lot more expensive than at other times of the week.
If you can – be flexible on your destination
If you are more concerned with going on a certain ‘type’ of holiday, rather than visiting a specific destination, being flexible can help you get a great deal.
For example, if you just want a week on a sunny beach, consider three of four destinations which fit your criteria, compare the costs, and you could save a huge amount of money for a very similar break. Likewise, consider lesser known destinations for city breaks where flight and hotel costs will generally be cheaper.
If you have a set budget, KAYAK Explore can provide great inspiration – simply add your departure airport, dates you want to travel, and budget. It then shows, on a map, all the places you can go for your money.
Use Price Alerts
Rather than constantly checking the price of flights, KAYAK allows you to set up Price Alerts that notify you as soon as the price for a flight drops. Prices for tickets for the same flight change all the time depending on how well the seats are selling. Getting an automatic alert when the price drops puts you at the front of the queue to take advantage when this happens.
Book at the right time
Another way to take advantage of the changes in prices for the same flight – which can be up to 60%. Price Forecast from KAYAK is a small box in the top left hand of the screen which advises users if the current price is likely to go up or down.
There are also some general rules of thumb which can be useful for travellers to bear in mind. For example, when it comes to short haul, avoid booking more than six months in advance as prices will nearly always come down.
When it comes to long haul prices, eleven months ahead of the flight is usually the most expensive time to book. Seven to ten months offers a nice sweet spot for travellers, where they will tend to get a decent price. Beyond that, travellers could be lucky or unlucky depending on how well the flight has sold.
Be open to stopovers
It may seem like a lot of hassle, but an extra couple of hours on a journey could save you hundreds, especially for places which have few direct flights to the UK. For example, flight prices from places such as Nashville to the UK can be very pricey, so an internal flight to New York, and then back to the UK, could be a lot cheaper. In some cases, it could be enough to pay for a hotel room in New York for a night or two, meaning you can extend your break for no extra cost – and see another city.