How to find the best travel deals

Dirt-cheap. That’s what backpackers crave. When booking airline tickets some people make the mistake of using a travel agent. While agents are great, they don’t always look for the best deals and sometimes they have fees. We recommend doing it yourself, especially if you want the cheapest deal. So here are a few tips on how to find the best travel deals.

Seasonality and holidays

On-peak and off-peak seasons is some travelling terminology that you will come across when looking for tickets. On-peak basically means the times where travelling is popular, during the holidays, and this means airlines have raised their ticket prices. Off-peak is the opposite, where fewer people are travelling, so ticket prices are cheaper. Keep this in mind when you start your search.

Be flexible with your travel dates and destination. Some places are cheaper to travel to at certain times of the year.

Signing up and discounts

Join mailing lists and sign up for frequent flier programs. You will receive notification of discounted tickets, and you can also work on gaining points for a frequent flier program. If you are a student you are also entitled to student prices, best check with your university travel agent or websites such as STA Travel.

Shop around

Check out some travel search engine websites such as Kayak. These guys seem to be the most popular and have a good reputation for providing cheap prices depending on your location. Don’t forget to check the airline websites as well as they may have specials, especially during the morning! Keep checking flight prices even after you have purchased your ticket, if you find that the airline had just released cheaper tickets, return your ticket and purchase the cheaper one.

The secret of Wednesday

Research has found that if you’re flying domestically; fly on a Wednesday, because it’s cheaper. Avoid Friday and Sundays at all cost as these are the most expensive days to travel.

Overall, the most important aspects of looking for cheap flights is to check the price early and often.  With these tips you will no doubt be able to buy a cheaper ticket than that offered to you by your travel agent.

Standby

It is good to keep an open mind when looking for cheap travel deals. Standby travel can be exciting and pretty cheap. If you already have a ticket, head to the airport early with a light bag, which will give you a priority standing because of the luggage you don’t have!  You can say you are willing to be on the standby list. With a bit of luck a late arrival may be given your seat and the airline will reimburse you for your trouble. This means you will travel on a later flight, the airline may give you a meal voucher,  a seat upgrade or even air mile points. There is no harm in asking.