8 tips to help you book cheap flights

Okay, the recession is officially over, but that doesn’t mean that we are all feeling the benefits just yet. When we’re looking to book this year’s holiday we’re still looking for the cheaper options: cheap flights, cheap accommodation, cheap car hire etc., but we don’t want to compromise on quality.

So what can you do to save money and grab a bargain flight? The following tips will help you to save money when booking flights without compromising on your comfort:

  1. Book your flights early
    The old days of bagging a last-minute bargain are long gone. Nowadays, airlines release a fixed number of cheap tickets early, then, as the seats are sold and you get closer to the departure date, the price of the flights increases. Check it out now: find a flight booking engine and check the price of a flight next week compared with a flight on the same route in three months’ time and see the difference.
  2. Be flexible in your choice of destination
    Holidaying in a less fashionable, or up and coming location, could save you money on flights as high demand for the traditionally popular resorts will be reflected in the higher price of the flights.
  3. Be flexible on dates
    If you don’t have children, try to book your flights outside of the school holidays. Demand for flights rises during the school holidays and with it the prices. You are much more likely to find cheap flights outside of the school holidays when demand slows. Just a couple of weeks either side of the school holidays can make such a difference to the price. Consider flying midweek too, as flights are often cheaper during the week.
  4. Check out the flight options online
    Do your research and compare flight prices online before booking. It’s well worth shopping around and checking various websites to see what is available and what is included in the price so you know what represents a good deal.
  5. Travel with hand luggage only
    If you are travelling with a budget airline that charges for checked-in luggage, consider travelling with hand-luggage only. This doesn’t work for everyone, me included, but many people are able to travel light and save themselves money in the process. Alternatively, a family of four can make significant savings by taking two suitcases instead of four.
  6. Check in online
    Some airlines now charge you to check-in at the airport so, if your airline is one of them, check-in online. It’s quick, easy and saves time at the airport.
  7. Compare airlines and their charges
    Just because the flights are cheaper with one airline does not mean the total cost will be cheaper. Factor in all the charges added by individual airlines to accurately compare flight prices. What may look more expensive at the start could work out to be the cheapest flight option when you add on check-in charges, luggage charges, onboard refreshments etc.
  8. Consider a package holiday
    Package holidays are becoming much more flexible, so booking your holiday accommodation and flights together could work out cheaper than booking accommodation and flights separately.