If you like the idea of flying to the USA for as little as £139 or jetting to a European city for the same price as a bottle of sunscreen, then it pays to plan ahead when booking holiday flights.
With plenty of inexpensive flight deals to be had, here CashLady looks at the best tips and tricks for making sky high savings, including booking clever connections and avoiding peak travel times.
Saving money on your holiday flights
Being flexible about when you fly, where you fly from, or where you fly to, will help you snare inexpensive air fares and potentially save hundreds of pounds on your holiday flights.
When you travel
If your holiday dates aren’t fixed then online comparison websites, such as Skyscanner, are helpful because they show the varying flight prices across a whole month by day, enabling you to select the cheapest ones.
The key to snapping up inexpensive flights is avoiding peak travel periods when airlines price their fares according to the high levels of demand. The first days of the school holidays, Christmas and New Year and the summer months are all likely to be more expensive.
Instead, consider flying at times when other people are less inclined to, such as early in the morning, during the middle of the week and on Saturday evenings.
Peak season for most European city destinations is August and so flights are cheaper in the spring and autumn when the crowds are lighter and you may find better prices on accommodation too.
Where you fly from
Your local airport doesn’t necessarily offer the cheapest holiday flights and so it is worth doing your research and comparing flights from other nearby airports. The flight savings may be well worth the extra travel costs.
If you are in Glasgow, then search for flights from Edinburgh, or if you are in London then compare all the London airports not just your local ones.
Where you fly through
Being creative about connecting flights could also shave £100s off your holiday air fares.
For example, instead of flying directly to the USA, try looking at a budget flight to a main European airport, such as Amsterdam and then an onward flight from there.
Identify connecting flights easily using Google Flights by entering your destination and looking at prices to nearby airports. Then compare the difference in price with a direct flight and decide if it is worth the hassle and extra time spent travelling for the connection.
Where you go
If you are flexible about your holiday destination then the world is your oyster, particularly with budget airlines, such as Norwegian Air and WOW Air taking to the skies to long-haul destinations.
Again, Google Flights is helpful for identifying the cheapest flights, allowing you to enter dates and a departure point and then showing you various prices for flying to destinations near and far.
Using your student discount for cheap flights
If you are a student then don’t forget to take advantage of your student discount for inexpensive flights from travel agencies such as STA Travel and Flight Centre.
Booking your flights early
It’s a myth that booking on certain days of the week will secure you cheap flights, although it is important to think about how far in advance you buy your ticket.
If you plan to fly during a busy period then it’s advised to book around three months in advance. Otherwise, don’t book too early but don’t wait too long either, as the prices rise rapidly the closer that you get to departure.
Generally, the best time to buy your tickets is six to eight weeks before your flight.
Buying your flights and hotels through an online travel agent
If you are planning to stay in a hotel once you reach your destination then instead of purchasing your hotel accommodation and flight separately, you may benefit from booking both at the same time through an online flight broker.
Websites such as Expedia, who also own Ebookers allow you to book flights, hotels and car hire, often giving a discount if you combine them. Plus, you get ATOL protection for combination bookings.
Purchase cheap flights in the sales
Most airlines sell cut price tickets at various times of the year so sign up to their mailing lists to ensure that you don’t miss out.
EasyJet is set to release cheap seats next month, for flights from March until June 2018. While Ryanair has just launched an Autumn sale, offering up 25% off over 250 routes.