At least weekly I get a call or message from a family member, friend or even a friend of a friend asking how I get such cheap flights. For example, I’m flying Melbourne-Hawaii this May for $300 return (average is around $1200).
Unfortunately deals like that are pretty rare – otherwise we’d all be saying Aloha – but there are some steps that you can take to make sure you are getting the best price for your flights.
So for the sake of not having to repeat myself for the rest of the year – here is my method for cheap flights – I’ll call it ‘The Jenny Method‘ (not sure it’ll catch on….).
1. I always start by checking www.skyscanner.net. You can use this site from anywhere in the world and it brings up the best deals from all the different airlines.
When you’ve searched for your chosen dates, look for the button that says ‘Flexible?’ to see how much you can save by flying a few days earlier or later; it also gives options for other airports nearby.
2. I want to reiterate the importance of checking dates around your preferred time (when possible). Sometimes just flying a day earlier or later can save you hundreds of dollars.
3. If your flight has two or more sectors, check the price of each sector to work out if it’s cheaper to buy the flights separately. I find that this is a particularly good option when flying somewhere like Europe or Asia, as internal flights are very cheap.
For example, if you want to fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand it usually works out cheaper to fly direct to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur and then buy a cheap internal flight through Air Asia or Tiger Airways.
Get creative and play around with flight options.
4. Check the individual airlines websites for prices (generally they’re the same, but occassionally you’ll find a cheaper deal)
5. Don’t dismiss your travel agent. We all know they charge a commission and are trained to get as much money out of you as possible, but if you play the game right you can get the cheapest flights out there.
Flight Centre, which is a common sight in most major cities, offers a price-beat guarantee (in Australia it’s $50), which means you can take any quoted price, including online, into them and they will beat that price by $50. If they can’t – you get a voucher. So it’s a win-win situation really 🙂
And there you have it – it’s simple really! The key is to do your research before buying – always shop around so you won’t kick yourself when you find a cheaper price a week later 🙂