Flights make up a hefty chunk of the cost when travelling abroad. But there are a variety of ways you can secure cheaper flights. No longer are you confined to going into a travel agency or ringing up the airline. The invention of the internet has provided us with more opportunities than ever before and with the tips that will soon follow you'll be able to lower your costs and travel more! Sound good? Let's go!
Search in incognito mode
So you've decided where you want to go and you start looking at flights online. You search the same site a few times with very little time in between but suddenly that flight you say for £350 RTN is now priced at £500. You are not imagining it. The computer is telling the website that you've searched before and must really want this flight so it has upped its price. There is a solution to bypassing this though and it is incognito mode.
In Chrome, you can open a new window in incognito mode, what this does is allow you to browse in private mode so it stops the site storing cookies related to your searches. This is a neat little trick that will stop the site gauging the prices upwards.
Be flexible on dates
Having some flexibility on dates can save you a fortune. Certain days of the week are the most expensive for flights, changing to mid-week can save you £100s. Likewise, certain months are more expensive. If you're child-free try travelling outside of school holiday dates as this time of year is very pricey.
Use price comparison sites
Using comparison sites can often be a lot cheaper than booking direct with the airline. Don't limit yourself to one though, shop around. Our favourite site is skyscanner but there are so many out there.
If you're flexible on location select anywhere as the destination to secure the best prices, you may even get surprised and discover a destination that you'd never heard of. See below for the best price comparison sites.
Kayak - this is a great choice for finding flights AND accommodation. It even lets you filter by baggage options.
Skyscanner - this one is perfect for finding out when is the cheapest time to fly.
Momondo - another great choice, this one provides extensive flight info too!
Google Flights – start here to get a good overview of prices
To secure the best flight prices we'd advise booking at least three months in advance. The later you leave it the higher the prices tend to be. There is a little leeway if you're travelling within Europe but not much. For European flights, book no later than 6 weeks in advance.
Stop over on Long Haul Flights
If time is of the essence obviously going direct is the easiest option but if you want to save £100's on your flight costs stopping over can save you a lot of money. For example a direct flight from Bangkok to London can cost around £600 direct but having a stop over can slash the price to under £400. That's a pretty large saving. With the money you save you could upgrade your hotel or have some extra spending money. Try it and see.
Jack's Flight Club
Signing up for Jack's Flight Club was the best decision we ever made. This free email subscription service keeps an eye out for cost savings on flights and sends regular emails informing you of special deals, offers and when airlines drop prices. If you're flexible on dates and location this can be an easy way to save a fortune.
So there you have it, these are our foolproof ways to secure the best flight prices. What would you add to this list?