Flights can easily eat up a massive part of your travel budget especially when children hit the age of 2 and you are now paying for a seat for them. Whether you are looking for a long haul destination or something closer to home, finding cheap flight deals can make or break the holiday.
If the flights are too expensive chances are you will put off that destination for a long time; I used to be victim to this. HOWEVER I am going to share with you my fail proof tips for always finding the cheapest flights to most destinations!
Be flexible with your dates
Airline ticket prices can vary depending on the day of the week and time of year that you travel. School and national holidays such as Christmas are always going to be higher, If you can travel outside of these times you will find cheaper flights. If you are stuck to school holidays then look for flights departing midweek as more people favour travelling on a weekend and also be flexible with timings; early morning and late night flights also tend to be cheaper.
Be flexible with your destination
Flight search engines such as skyscanner offer the option to search all flights to anywhere in the world. If you are unable to be too flexible with your dates then using this function will allow you to see where is affordable for your specific days. This is something I use a lot and it means we get to travel to places we may not have thought of visiting without it and Is also the reason we get to travel so much.
Use Budget Airlines
It used to be the case that if you were travelling across continents you would fly with the bigger airlines; Emirates, BA and so on. Nowadays a lot of budget airlines have moved into providing long haul flights, take Norwegian airlines for example, they fly to most of America as well as Asia for as little as £150-£250 each way. Yes they may not be as luxurious and you normally have to pay for all the extras like checked baggage, but they offer you much more affordable travel options.
Book Early... but not too early
It is a a major myth that prices get cheaper when you book last minute, you may get deal yes but chances are that you will be paying more than another person on the flight that booked 6-8 weeks ago. Flights come out for bookings normally 11 months before that flight is due to depart, these first few tickets immediately will be higher prices they then steady out to an average, but after around 4/5 months as the booking classes move along airlines will either reduce or increase their prices depending on demand for that flight.
Opt for Stopovers
Flying to long haul destinations directly can come at a price, they are quicker and less hassle. If you are more savvy though you can save a fortune by booking flights separately and having a stop over, some airlines offer this anyway for very long flights normally stopping in their hub city (Etihad - Abu Dhabi, Emirates - Dubai etc.) I prefer these as it gives you a chance to stretch your legs, use the facilities without being in a tiny airplane toilet and grab a proper meal. You can also look at building your flights yourself for example when we flew from Dubai to Germany we found a cheaper route by flying Dubai - Russia with a budget airline and then Moscow - Frankfurt again with a budget airline, this saves us a couple ££.
Special Offers and Sales
Sign up for airline newsletters, they will normally put out special offer emails to their customers with really great prices available for a certain amount of days or hours. I had one today from Emirates for 10% off 90 of their destinations which you may not have just stumbled across from searching. Another great sign up is 'Jacks Flight Club' I just use the free membership but they offer weekly destination deal emails where they basically do all the searching for you to save a load of money on flights.