If you’re like me, then it probably takes you forever to book a flight (i.e. mock-booking every other day to get the best deal). I don’t remember exactly when I stopped using traditional travel agencies but these days, I depend entirely on the net when buying plane tickets.Which is apparently a good thing because a recent study shows that using online tools actually have many advantages.
The study, commissioned by online travel agency Travelstart, reveals that some traditional travel agencies are overcharging for international flights and that flight prices for the same dates vary widely between agencies. (See the infographic below.)
So if you’re thinking of getting rid of the middle man to save money, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Remember that time I saved Php28,000 on airfare? Well, I was only able to do that by booking 6 months in advance! Of course it’s also possible to snag cheap tickets 1-2 months before your flight. They key is to book way before the peak of the travel season.
Subscribe to budget airline newsletters or social networking sites.
This way, you will get updated on the latest sales. That’s how I learned about Cebu Pacific’s Piso sale which saved me 28K.
When booking, be flexible with your travel dates. Sometimes, you’ll find a huge price difference between dates that are just a day or two apart.
Avoid travelling on weekends.
As most people travel on weekends, prices tend to be higher. Try to book flights within weekdays if your schedule allows it. Not only will you save on the tickets, you will also avoid the weekend crowd.
There are so many price comparison sites or ‘screenscrapers’ out there to help you shop the best deal. Check out Bravofly cheap airfares or airfares in other similar sites. These sites scan the web for low-cost flights, helping you decide which one is best for your budget. There are also websites that predict fare prices and will immediately alert you when the price of the flight you’ve been eyeing has gone up or down. Of course, when you feel at a loss or overwhelmed by all the information you will surely get, visit a forum where seasoned travellers will be more than happy to answer your travel questions.
To end, here’s a cute instructional video from Howcast. Enjoy!