Planning a trip is not always the easiest thing to do especially if it’s international and if you are on a budget. Finding a flight on the days you desire and at a decent price requires knowledge of what would be considered “decent” for your destination -which takes into account several factors. Needless to say, timing is everything when it comes to booking a flight.
Picking the Right Date
First of all you need to know how flexible -if at all- the days of your trip are. If you can choose whichever dates you want to fly always read up on your destination’s off-season, where you will not only get a better deal for your flight but also on your hotel.
If the dates you travel are set in stone -say because of a wedding or due to your job schedule- then there is little room for maneuvering. However, keep in mind that you have to strategize your ticket purchase. Research what people say about the average cost for flights to your destination from your place of origin. Understand the ballpark price that you are striving for -this way you avoid overpaying and also avoid missing out on a great deal because you were holding off for a price that’s unrealistic.
Buying Your Ticket
You have to know how to use the internet to your advantage. Once you know the dates for your trip or have an idea of them and once you’ve already done some research on other’s experiences with prices you should look into how much flights are currently going for. Still, do not purchase too far in advance but still give yourself enough room to look into the numbers. The best times to purchase flight tickets are said to be 2-3 months in advance. Many also claim that flying during weekdays will also save you some money.
Have some go-to websites that will help you compare prices and are easy to navigate -they should be ones that you can check up on every day if you really want to be savvy about your purchase. Kayak is one of the major travel sites that will help you compare costs with other sites and various airlines -it can also help with your hotel arrangements and car rental if needed. Another popular site is adioso.com. Adioso will clearly list for you the “best, cheapest and fastest” flights -in that order.
There are claims that the day of the week and time of day you make the booking of your flight will also make a difference. This is not necessarily true. The deal is that airlines want to have their flights completely sold in order to make a profit. They shell out a certain number of seats at a certain price in order to get bookings -when the prices reach their lowest or how fast they go is never really identifiable. This is why you should have a price that you are shooting for in mind. If you keep up with the airlines and their prices consistently and you have a reasonable price you are willing to spend and enough leeway time for the purchase then you are well prepared and will know when’s the best moment to make your purchase. Being prepared is key because your target may show up for a few hours in the middle of the night -you never know.
All in all, examine the details. Know where and when you will travel. Give yourself time to do research from other travelers. Have a decent goal price range in mind. Choose sites where you will consistently track airline prices to actually make your booking -and actively keep an eye out. Most importantly, do not over agonize over flights and their price, travel is an experience that will be worth a lot in memories -besides there are plenty of other stuff you will have to plan for the trip.