How to book the cheapest flights every time you travel

Posted by
Helen Booth
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The way that most of us typically book flights means we often end up paying a premium ticket price. The trick is to plan your travel ‘backwards’, say experts.

From selecting the best plane seat for top-notch service, to paying in local currency, there are lots of little-known tricks for improving your travelling experience.

However, the tips that appeal to us the most are those that help us to save money – especially since the average amount that we each spend on our annual holiday has increased by over £200 in the past year.

The latest hack for slashing the cost of travel? Try booking your next holiday ‘backwards’.

According to travel experts, flexibility is key

According to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, most travellers approach holidays with the following to-do list: they pick where they want to go, they pick the dates for their trip, and, finally, they look up available flights for that destination on those dates.

“Typically this results in high prices,” writes Keyes. “Instead, if getting a cheap flight is your priority, flip that approach: (1) see what prices are available via Google Flights, Momondo, etc. to various places are around the world; (2) decide which of the cheap destinations appeal to you; and (3) select the dates you like that have the cheap fares available.”

This flexible approach, coined searching ‘backwards’ by UK Business Insider, could save you hundreds of pounds on your next plane ticket.

Joel Brandon-Bravo, general manager at Travelzoo, also endorses this laidback approach.

He tells “The more flexibility you have on where you go, and when, the better. If you can travel in off-peak periods (which basically translates as outside of school holidays), that’s a good start.

“Generally speaking, although there are variations, flight prices are at their lowest about six weeks before departure.”

“Steer clear of destinations which are already in high demand”

There are other factors to bear in mind, too.

“Savings can also be made if you travel midweek instead of weekends (Tuesdays are generally the cheapest day), and either late at night or early in the morning,” says Travelzoo’s Brandon-Bravo.

“Do your research, and steer clear of destinations which are already in high demand. Think Montenegro instead of the more in-demand Croatia, Toronto instead of an East Coast US city, or Ras Al Khaimah instead of Dubai.”

Finally, if you follow your favourite airlines, tour operators or travel agents on social media, and subscribe to their email newsletters and newsflash alerts, you’ll be one of the first to know when sales are launched or new routes and destinations are added with introductory offers.

So, there you have it – all the money-saving tips you need to nab a travel bargain in 2018. Who knows where you might end up?

Images: Gary Lopater / Matthew Smith / Suhyeon Choi