Free Tips: How to Find Cheap Flights (or even Fly Free)

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I love traveling but I don’t want use all my travel budget in flights. Do You feel the same? Flights can be super expensive, even thousands but you don’t have to pay that much. Let me tell You couple secrets that help You fly as good price as possible. All these tips are totally free – and so might be your flights!

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Landing to Chicago

1. WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHT? BOOK AT RIGHT TIME!

Everyone knows that if you want to fly next Friday evening the flights will be expensive. However if you’re too early bird you have to pay extra for that too. Best time to buy your tickets is about 9-13 weeks (that means 2-3 months) before you’re going to fly. I guess reason for that is that that’s the time when people are usually searching flights but are unsure with buying – you’ll find good offers that aren’t yet sold out!

I recommend buying about 3 months (10-13) in prior if your flying on season for example I flied from Helsinki to New York during Christmas Break (the highest season) and the flight for 1st of January were little under 400EUR when I searched them 11 weeks before leaving. However my visa wasn’t yet approved then so I bought my flight ticket about 5 weeks in prior – and I paid about 650EUR for oneway ticket. That’s crazy price, however with waiting two more weeks I should have paid almost 800EUR for same flyight.

Another thing that really matters is the weekday and time when you book your flights. Buy tickets on Tuesdays (or if you cannot then on Mondays). In my comparisons Tuesday’s have been about 20% cheaper than weekends – irrespective of season and destinations. Mondays are usually about 15% cheaper than weekends but still more expensive than Tuesdays. Reason for that is that when everyone is buying flights (=weekends) it is easier to sell them with high price, when nobody wants them they have to be cheaper that at least someone decides to buy them.

2. AVOID POPULAR DAYS / SEASONS

I told you I paid huge amount of money for that flight during Christmas season. However you could fly from Helsinki to New York with 250 in less popular times like February and November. So don’t pay double that amount of money if you don’t have to (I hate the fact I had no option, think what you could have done with extra 400 in your destination)!

Moreover it’s usually cheaper to fly on Mondays to Wednesdays, you should always check if it’s so with your destination but usually you should avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays if you want to fly with low budget.

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Somewhere above United States

3. CLEAR YOUR SEARCH HISTORY

The more you search and Google flights without clearing search history the more they’ll cost you! My trick is clear it every time after searching flights. When I have found a good price I double-check the price with f. ex. my mothers computer or friends tablet or so (Just make sure you’re not using the computer of someone who searches more flights than you do 😉 ).

4. COMPARE PRICES

Always check the price from couple different sites and after finding a good price go to aircrafts own website and check their special offers (my experience is that most of the time that’s not the best price but sometimes they surprise you!). You should also set couple price alerts in different websites if there is still more than 9 weeks to your trip.

5. WHAT’S INCLUDED IN PRICE?

Always make sure if the price includes everything you need! Especially when flying in States flights might be sold without taxes or luggage included. If you find super cheap price always see what’s included (and what’s excluded). Usually you have to pay your meal if you want one but taxes and luggage might be included or excluded, sometimes there might be even couple bags included and sometimes you have to pay for every of them (for example I paid 25USD for my only bag in national flight that was under 100USD, so 30% extra price! That was still the cheapest deal but always the one that seems cheapest is just the sneakiest).

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Waiting my flight in New Jersey

6. MEMBERSHIP PROGRAMS

Do you fly a lot? Every month? Even every week? Or even couple times a week? If your not member of aircraft’s membership programs you should really think about them! They are (usually) free so even if you’re not flying very often but you like to use only couple aircrafts you can still get extra value, offers and cheap stuff with these programs.

The basic idea of membership programs is that aircraft gives you rewards of every mile you fly – and even better of every euro or dollar you spend (even without flying anywhere!) From these programs you get either miles or points you can use usually to flights, upgrades (from economy to business class) and free stuff like electronics. Free tickets and free new iPad? They can be yours!

You have just to join the program and tell their membership card’s number when you book your flights (with some aircrafts you get miles also when booking car rentals, hotels, etc.) In some cases you can get aircrafts credits by taking their credit card (like Finnair Plus MasterCard) and using it when you buy anything from food to train tickets.

7. DEAL WEBSITES

If you want to travel spontaneously when it’s cheap I recommend you to join to couple travel deal websites mailing lists. The idea of these is that when huge amount of people travels to same place (usually when it’s not a season time) the aircraft can give them all better price. In their emails there is sometimes super good deals, like from London to Madrid with 30EUR. Or week in Turkey with 150EUR. Super cheap but true!

What are your secrets to flying with a budget? Share it by leaving a comment!

14 comments

    1. Clad you liked my tips Margot! I’m mostly using Momondo and Kilroy Travels, sometimes I also check airplane companies websites to make sure do they have some special offers (usually they don’t but if they those might really good ones!) 🙂

    1. As a student money was always an issue if I wasn’t working. Finding good deals can though make traveling a bit more achievable! If you’re traveling with friends you can also share the hotel / hostel expenses and make it even more affordable. I wish you’ll get to Bali soon! 🙂

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