Everyone wants a bargain but in order to get them, you’ve got to be smart about it. So here are a few hints and tips on how you can go about hunting those deals down!
1. Go incognito on your search browser
Every time I book a train or flight I always turn on ‘privacy mode’, also known as ‘private browsing’ or ‘incognito mode’. This is a privacy feature in most web browsers to disable browsing history and the web cache. This allows you to browse the web without local data or cookies being stored which can otherwise be retrieved by websites which can subsequently increase the cost of whatever it is you’re interested in the next time you take a look. So you’re not going crazy for questioning when prices shoot up even minutes after your first search. You see there are two main types of cookie: session cookies and persistent cookies. The former are merely designed to store your preferences for the duration of your search but are deleted once you shut down the browser. Whereas the latter, last longer from days to months but almost always have an expiration date on which they are deleted also. Therefore, always ensure you’re in private mode to prevent prices inflating throughout your searches.
Not sure how to enable private browsing?
Google Chrome or Safari: Command + Shift + N Control + Shift + N
Mozilla Firefox or IE: Command + Shift + P Control + Shift + P
Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click ‘Safari’ in the menu bar, and select ‘Private Browsing’.
2. Book early
The earlier you can book, the better. Unfortunately, times have changed and waiting for last minute cheap flights isn’t a thing anymore and in fact, it might cost you a fortune. Many studies suggest that the best time to book your flights is six or seven weeks in advance but if you can book even further in advance that’s always going to be better.
3. Always use flight comparison websites
Shopping around is a MUST. You’re bound to be ripped off otherwise. I always use the following sites first to find the best airline, times, and routes and then go direct to the airline to book:
4. Fly into regional airports
Flying into large airports can be costly and it is worth checking if any regional airports can offer cheaper alternatives. Usually, there’ll be good transport links between them and the nearest city via coach or train which although less direct, will likely still bring your costs down. As a general rule it’s cheaper to fly short-haul this way, but for long-haul flights, it is typically cheaper to fly directly to large airports.
5. Hand luggage only
Now, this one completely depends on how long you intend your trip to be…but if you can manage it on a budget airline, don’t pay more for baggage. It’s possible to pack light even for a week away. Check out our blog on Packing Hacks for tips on how to save space.
6. Be flexible with dates
Another reason to book in advance is so that you can be more flexible with your dates and choose the cheaper flight options. When you book so far in advance you can check the whole month or even the whole year and be able to identify when is the cheapest.
7. Use a travel agent
If you’ve found flights which you’re considering to book, quickly check that a travel agent can’t match or beat it. Travel agencies have special undercut rates that could save you more money depending on availability. It’s always worth a shot!
8. If you’ve found what you need, don’t wait to book!
It’s rare for airline tickets to get any cheaper as your departure date approaches. As tickets sell, the remaining ones will increase in cost so don’t wait around and get yours booked!
With these tips, you’ll hopefully save some cash like Mr. Krabs here 😏
Check out our blog on Packing Hacks for tips on how to save space.