This original article was first published on Skyscanner.
Tired of spending so much time searching for the best deals online? What if yesterday’s deal is the cheapest price I’ll find? What if I buy today and the price drops tomorrow? Get ready to say goodbye to Fly Anxiety because Skyscanner is here to introduce you to seven super secrets of the world’s savviest budget travellers. Ditch your inefficient shotgun approach to cheap tickets and find out how to score the best prices on low cost flights from Singapore for your next vacation.
Secret #1: Use credit and get them points!
Most of us have bills to pay and money to spend in our daily lives. With the right credit cards, we can accumulate points and miles that we can later use towards travel – meaning that your morning Frappuccino habit could put you well on the way towards your next vacation. While many think that these rewards programs aren’t worth the hassle due to the fees and costs, with a little research you can find one that doesn’t come with an annual fee, and some places will even waive that annual fee if you call them up and ask! These little payments do indeed add up in a big way.
Secret #2: Email overdose
Inbox Zero is the latest craze, but in fact some of the cheapest deals can be found in one of the innumerable newsletters every airline is trying to sign you up for, so don’t be so quick to delete them. These newsletters are a prime source of amazing airline deals, and most people just send them straight to the bin, so you could find yourself some pretty sweet bargains in one. For a weekend getaway, Tuesday is the day to check extra carefully, because most airlines will know by then if their flights will be full or not. In case they haven’t sold out, those extra seats will be going at a very nice price and you’ll have first dibs on them.
Secret #3: Get a refundable ticket
If you absolutely can’t wait to get that ticket, one option to try is buying a refundable ticket. Some airlines will issue full refunds on a ticket provided the cancellation happens at least 24 hours before the departure time, which means if a better deal does come along, you can snatch it up without losing anything on the initial purchase. Of course, check carefully for any cancellation fees you may have inadvertently agreed to, because these can wipe out any savings you might have gained with the cheaper ticket. If you’re too busy to constantly monitor deals online, you could always sign up for Skyscanner’s Price Alerts, enabling you to monitor these price changes without missing out on any of the responsibilities that come with real life. Give it a try!
Secret #4: Wait till the weekend to book
“Thank God It’s Friday” has taken on a new meaning for budget-conscious travel fiends, because it turns out the cheapest tickets are sold on weekends, not weekdays. This is because leisure travellers are apt to book their flights on the weekends rather than weekdays, and airlines know to roll out the best deals when they are at home. So, for your next weekend getaway, do your purchasing on a Saturday or Sunday to get those bargain basement prices!
Secret #5: Don’t limit yourself
If you are more interested in the journey than the destination, you have a higher chance of getting there at a great price. Flexibility gives you a lot more low-price options. Instead of selecting a specific airport to fly in and out of, try Skyscanner’s Everywhere feature, which will help you find the cheapest time to fly anywhere in the world, in southeast Asia or beyond. It’s the perfect option for when you know you got to get away, but don’t really care where. Type, click, pack and go. It’s that simple.
Secret #6: Don’t buy round trip!
Common sense and experience both tell us to avoid looking at one way tickets when searching for the cheapest flights, but in some cases, buying two one-ways can actually work out better for you. If you can find a cheap flight into Narita, and then a cheap flight out of Haneda, well, one is just a short(ish) train trip from the other! Check out all the options before settling on one.
Secret #7: Seven weeks ahead is the magic number
Our data wizards and algorithm guys have been working hard to find the optimal booking time for you, and the numbers definitively say that seven weeks in advance is the platonic ideal booking date for the best price on your next short-haul flight. In the past, it was a matter of waiting until the last minute to book, but these days, a little planning ahead is required, which is bad news for the spontaneous free spirits out there, but good news for the planners. These days, there are just too many budget carriers and big-spending business fliers willing to fork out huge sums of company cash for their tickets, so these last minute deals are harder and harder to find. Bottom line: stop procrastinating!
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