Quick Tips for buying cheap air tickets

Are you planning for the next holiday or family vacation to some unknown city or to a far off country?  Have you started on the process of sorting out the details and planning the entire vacation, day by day ?The first thing to do once you have identified the destination and zeroed in on the dates of travel is to buy the air tickets. This comes first, once the basic length of the tour and the itinerary has been finalized. Find below a few things to keep in mind while you buy an air-ticket of your choice. Buying cheap air tickets needs some detail planning and one can use the tips suggested below in this post of  www.footprintsforever.com  .

Book a return ticket to the biggest city.

The first step in planning for a travel itinerary is to identify thedestination that you would be travelling to. Are you travelling to a single main location and planning to laze off for a few days to get the stress out of your system ?
Or is your latest travel-plan comprised of  multiple spots and sites in order to see more things while you travel ?
Does it include any big city or mostly small offbeat towns? Once this is decided, the next step is to buy air tickets if it includes flying to the destination.

Here you can find some “Tips for international Travel“. You can have a look before you start planning for your family vacation.

My suggestion is always to have a return flight into busy city if that falls in your route. Now even if this means that you might need to take an internal flight, or a rail trip back or even a road trip from the farthest spot back to your initial city where you landed, do that. So for example if you are planning to visit the Machu Pichu and the Inka trail, do not buy an international ticket to Cuzco. Instead booka return flight from Lima and then look at planning the distance between Cuzco and Lima. I hope you get my point. The reason is that most airlines will offer very competitive fares for bigger cities where competition is fierce. Such will not be the case for smaller cities.
Book your air tickets early and book wisely.

Clear your browser’s cookies.

Secondly, before booking a ticket online , clear your browsers cache and cookies. Cookies are inobtrusive harmless text files which are used by different websites to enhance our browsing experience. These are the ones who recognizes you back on a web-page when you revisit. These are also ones which sends back to the website the information that you have been searching for tickets to Zurich for the last 3 days. What happens is that the airlines then jack up the price and offer you a not so cheaper option where there might be one.

Aeroplane in flight : Tips for buying cheap air tickets
Aeroplane in flight : Tips for buying cheap air tickets

The other option is to use an In Private” Browsing or to surf annonymously. These would also do the same trick as the cookie and history clearing option would do for other browsers. Here is a LINK which help you to clear the Browser Cache.

Do comparative checks:

Though buying air tickets i snow easy and can be completed with a few clicks of the mouse, buying cheap air tickets is not. It usually means hours pouring over multiple air ticket comparative shopping sites, multiple days and with multiple options. I would always advice to check the prices in those websites which offer comparative prices and more options. Once you select a price, I suggest going back to the airlines home page and to check the price. In most cases you will find  a slight difference, the airlines price being higher.

Multi city travel.

In case of multi-city travel , do remember that the tickets are computed as one-way travel tickets for each leg of the destination. In all probability the prices are sure to shoot up . My advice would be to avoid this unless it is  absolutely necessary.
The sites offering comparative flight tickets also depend on the geography you are travelling to. While Skyscanner  may be  a good option to find flight into US, cleartrip is a very good option to fly around in the midleast where makemytrip is a good option to fly from or to India. Each of them has its own forte over its geographies, being integrated with more airlines with better route management.The sites that I would recommend for searching for cheap options while travelling to US, Canada and Europe are :

Buy connecting flights.

While cheap flights may not always be the best travelling option, they are certainly an option to consider. Usually the cheapest flights would make you endure very long waiting periods if there is a stopover. On the other hand, connecting flights are ususally cheaper than direct flights. But a lon overhaul adds a very imperative agony element to the itinerary. So , you need to balance out at which travel option would be right for you. What i consider to be the perfect transit break would be about 2 hours. This is the right time to allow you some stretching time , or freshning time between flights. Anything longer than 4 hours becomes a pain.
Airfare alerts at certain sites can also sometimes give you a surprise deal. This sometimes happen out of software glitches on a huge combinations of flights, date, class of travel, timings, airport taxes and demand timings. With hundreds of variables, sometimes a few deals are thrown out for grabs. If you are lucky, your route mauy be one of them.

When to Buy

Book early, book wisely. The best period of booking an air-ticket would be around 90 days in advance. Tis is because , in the last 90 days of travel, all the airlines have use an alogarithm for processing rates and tickets. As tickets gets filled, as the days start counting less, the prices goes for a computation and starts to increase. Though there are a  lot of variables in this, it is usually seen that till the 90th day of travel, prices tend to stay flat. Thus your best bet would be to buy air tickets on or before the 90th day.

Again another important factor is to know when to buy. You may have been surfing for tickets last 5 days but have not been able to click the Buy button yet. You basically need to know what are the expected prices in the next few days. Some websites, including Kayak would give you this extra information and predict a tentative fare rise or drop in fare. It also provides you with a graph of historical fares. This makes your decision making process easier.

In case of air prices dropping after you have bought a ticket, you can try and contact the airlines for a refund on your tickets. Yapta.com can be used for tracking the latest prices for a for refund tracking

Be flexible in your travel dates :

Try and be flexible while selecting your dates. The more flexible you are the more chances that you will get a better deal from the flight operators. Most of the sites would let you compare tickets prices for the day ahead and the day behind. Take a look and then try to fit it in your scheme of things. If you can, you take a better deal.

There is a secret of booking air tickets and planning the date of travel. It is found that , Tuesday and sometimes Wednesdays are the cheapest flights to most locations around the world. So start theitinerary either on a Tuesday or on a Wednesdayif possible. Again Monday and Tuesdays are the right days of the week to search for tickets.

Fly out times

The other point to remember while buying cheap air tickets is the time of travel. Unless it is absolutely impossible, try to fly out at odd hours. By saying odd hours I would mean timings such as after 11 pm and before 7 am. These are the times where flights costs less. All flights which operate between 9 am and 6 pm are premium flights within a day. The reason is most people love to travel within this window which does not disrupt their  sleep. For us, budget travel lovers, this is an opportunity to grab tickets cheap. Thus a little extra ffort on day one would save you around 150 USD a head. Well that for  a family of four gets you about 600 USD. Good enough to help you with two more days to travel. Isn’t it ?

Terms and conditions

Be very careful while reading out the fine print in the “Terms and conditions” while you are purchasing the flight tickets during international travel. Each airline and each airfare price bracket are classified into different categories , and each category has its own advantages and restrictions. The cheaper you buy a tickets the less are your options are for a free cancellation, refund or rescheduling. Thus before you ultimately commit with the Buy button, it is always advisable to check what terms and conditions the arlines is throwing out at you. Does it allow any refund, does it allow you to change dates /itineraries.