We all know that the key to a real, budget-friendly trip is cheap airfare. Once you snag a good deal on airfare, you will then have a fairly good idea of how much the rest of your budget will be. After all, it’s pretty easy to scour for budget accommodation, reasonably priced food and public transportation. Airfare is the pretty tricky aspect to consider when planning a trip.
Let me share with you some of my personal tips on how to find cheap airfare. I practise these very effective methods (and this is why I have lots of domestic and international trips). Do read and please let me know if you find these tips useful as well.
Purchase tickets as early as possible. Promo fares are usually offered more than 6 months (even a year prior) before the allowed travel period. You can book flights this way. However, if you still aren’t sure of your travel plans and can’t take the risk of buying airfare several months early, you can try checking 3 to 6 months in advance (for international travel) and at least 2 weeks in advance (for domestic flights). In my experience, fares are usually pretty budget-friendly at least 45 days before your intended date of travel.
Use websites like Skyscanner, Expedia, FareCompare and CheapFlights that scan many airlines and produce the various available flights based on your preferences. You can then compare fares and get the cheapest deal. I usually do this when I need to do last-minute bookings. Friendly tip: don’t forget to clear the cache of your browsers!
Use your frequent flyer miles! Availing of your miles can allow you to get real good discounts on airfare or even free flights. If you still haven’t done so, go sign up for a frequent flyer program. I’m a Mabuhay Miles (Philippine Airlines) member and I recommend this program. One of my brothers, on the other hand, is a CebGo member and has redeemed his points. He just paid Php 700 for a round trip CDO-Cebu trip! Pretty good deal. Air Asia also has a similar program where you can earn points for every booking.
I hope these tips will help you in looking for good airfare deals. These may entail extra effort and time on your part but it will all be worth it especially if you snagged cheap airfare to your dream destination.
Visit my blog Mindanaoan.com for more travel and lifestyle tips and stories.
Til next ish! Safe travels, everybody!
NOTE: This article was originally published on “Mindanaoan Meets World,” my weekly column on Mindanao’s largest newspaper. My newspaper column comes out every Friday.