Everyone wants travel to be easy and the best it can be for a good price.
After a confusing summer of travel and news that demand for travel will be high in 2023, here’s how you can really make your travel dollars stretch a little further:
- When you are logged into your browser, if you search for the same flights over and over again, the cost of those flights will increase. Search for flights in stealth mode using a private navigation window and that won’t happen.
- If you are flexible about specific dates and times, you will find cheaper flights. In general, midweek flights on Wednesdays are cheaper than those leaving at other times — Expedia recently announced that they are up to 15% cheaper. For Thanksgiving, Expedia says you can save 5% if you travel on the Sunday, Monday or Tuesday before and not the Wednesday. Before Christmas, travel before the 23rd can save up to 15%.
- If you set fare alerts you’re looking to get an instant notification when prices drop and you’ll be able to book them quickly—use sites like Sitescanner or NextVacay.
- look for fifth freedom flight, which can usually save you money and often takes place on a better plane with better benefits than your money would otherwise afford. A fifth freedom flight is where an airline transports passengers to places that are not in their country of origin. For example, Emirates runs from JFK New York to Milan and from Newark to Athens, before continuing to Dubai in both cases, where the airline is based. With other airlines operating the first two routes, Emirates’ US to Europe segment is very competitive, plus Emirates is ranked as one of the world’s best airlines which means the service, food and aircraft could be better too.
- Search for individual fares even if you are traveling as a couple or group. If you search for four tickets, the algorithms will ignore one or two cheaper tickets and just find four at the same price. Make sure to link separate bookings with the airline so they know you’re traveling together, either through the airline operator or your own travel agent.
- Check for another way Hidden City flight, where your destination may be just part of a longer flight and therefore cheaper. For example, if you’re going to Paris, you could buy a ticket for a trip from Amsterdam to Milan, via Paris, and out in Paris—Skiplagged is known for finding these kinds of flights. Beware though, you cannot check baggage and most airlines frown upon this behavior.
- be flexible with destinations. For trips to Paris, consider looking for airfare to another EU capital and taking a plane or train onward.
- Always choosing early morning flight if there is a choice—these are always subject to the least possible delays as they are least likely to be derailed by another flight traveling earlier or staffing/airport issues.
- If possible, it is always best to do so continue and do not check luggage on the train. This will be cheaper, won’t get lost and will give you less waiting time at the airport for onward travel. If you need to, use a service that transports your luggage to your destination independent of the airline – there are several.
- Book with a company that has a 24/7 cancellation policy to allow for changes in plans. Expedia is one such company (and even better, anything booked on Friday will be able to be canceled until Monday). Qatar Airways holds flights for 72 hours on its booking system as well, allowing time to put other plans in motion.
- Use a travel card which helps with the cost of tickets. Some have a great welcome bonus and you can collect points before you book using miles.
- When spending money on holiday it is usually very expensive to buy currency at the airport and never withdraw cash on a credit card abroad. It is easier and more economical to use your credit card abroad for almost everything and use a minimum amount of cash. This also means you won’t be left with a lot of currency at the end of your trip that you can’t use for a long time (or ever again, in the case of closed currencies like Sri Lanka, Cuba, Morocco and India, unless you come again).
- When paying with your credit card, always select local currency and never the conversion back to your home currency, which is sometimes done for you – the pre-converted exchange rate almost always costs more.