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Ways to find cheap flights

Here are some top tips for saving on air travel.

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Planning your next big trip? If you’re a frequent traveller, you’ll know all too well that the flights can put the biggest dent in your travel budget. However, cheap flights aren’t out of your reach – you just need to know a few clever tips and tricks in order to bag a great deal. Here’s how to get started.

1. Buy tickets early

While some things can be discounted at the last minute, flights aren’t usually one of them – especially if you want to travel in or close to peak season. For this reason, you’re more likely to save if you buy your tickets well in advance. There are some great global travel search and comparison sites online that allow you to track the price for a specific route and can help you work out how expensive the same flight is from week to week. 

2. Avoid peak holiday times

This is a tricky one for many people as holidays may be governed by seeing family at Christmas or attending a friend’s summer wedding. You may also have to take leave during school holidays as that’s the only time you can get away with your whole family. However, because peak travel times mean much higher prices, try and go when it’s quiet. 

3. Be flexible with flight departures

It makes sense to set off on holiday on a Friday night or over the weekend, right? But popular departure times may end up costing you hundreds more. It’s worth planning your trip around week day departures if you can and plugging in different days and times to see what the deals are. Even tweaking your departure to a night flight instead of morning could net you some big savings. 

4. Sign up for the right newsletters

Airline newsletters often advertise specials to their subscribers – you just need to be quick and jump on the deals when they do come through. 

5. Be savvy about budget flights

The seats may look appealingly cheap, but you’ll notice as you click through the purchasing process that there are quite a few tempting perks on offer (think extra leg room, meals, travel insurance etc). Sign up for any of these and you’ll find your once-cheap ticket price starts blowing out fast. Also, just be aware that some cheap flight sites will add on extras as default so if this is the case, you’ll have to manually opt out of those you don’t want.

6. Delete cookies on your browser

As you browse the internet, sites may save ‘cookies’ onto your machine which hold specific search data. It can’t hurt to clear your cookies and your cache while searching for cheap flights, to make sure you are getting the most current prices and information.

7. Use points

If you’re a member of a frequent flyer program that is linked to your credit card, you may find you’ve racked up a significant amount of points that you can redeem against your next ticket. Some airlines allow you to do a ‘points and pay’ arrangement where you use a slider to select how many points you want to use in order to reduce the cash price of the ticket. This can be a very handy way to get a cheaper flight and because your points may have a shelf life, you’re better off using them!

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. We do not recommend any third party products or services and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information only and we do not endorse their content.

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