Each year, bloggers and travel magazines offer new and improved tips for finding the cheap fares and low-cost holidays. In most cases, these tips are rehashed from previous years, and there is little in the way of “cutting edge ideas.” The truth is that there has not been that much room to maneuver in the travel hacking sphere over the past few years. However, there are a few resources that are still reliable.
The aggregate sites are still your best bet, but don’t stop there
Aggregate sites like Kayak and Skyscanner still provide the best starting point. These sites are built on a comparison engine, which can sort tickets by price, number of layovers, airlines and total trip duration. They will get you in the ballpark of a cheap ticket, but they won’t hold your hand all the way to the lowest fare.
Once you zero in on a few fares, take it a step further and do some extra research. This means going to the airline website and occasionally making phone calls. In other words, see what happens when you cut out the middle man. You may find that the fares are the same price, but you could hit the jackpot and find something significantly lower. This does mean putting in some extra work, perhaps 45 minutes worth. It all depends how much you want to save and how much you value your time.
Take advantage of package holidays
For some people, package holidays are not appealing. They sound like restrictive, cheap experiences. Before you pass judgment, look at some review sites and see what actual travelers have to say about the package holidays they’ve been on. You will find that some of them are highly regarded.
What’s more, package holidays often have the best deals of all. Lots of websites like Monster.Travel offer discount holidays, and many of the packages are comprehensive. In other words, they cover both airfare and accommodation, and prices are often shockingly low.
Take advantage of airline mistakes
Most people don’t realize that airlines regularly make mistakes on their fares. If you catch one, and buy it, it’s not like the airline can revoke the fare. The tricky part is finding one of these mistakes. The best way to find one is to search for a variety of destinations. In other words, if you are flexible with where you are going, then you have a greater chance of catching one of these fare mistakes.
Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments below.