How to fly for cheap – Getting the cheapest fare

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Having lived in islands all my life, studied tourism extensively, and a lover of frugality, I have learnt a thing or two on how to travel by air and get the best deal. Here are some tips that I have discovered over the years on how to save on travel fares.




Be Flexible:

Okay, here I am not referring to yoga or body positions (although you would appreciate some yoga practice before sitting down on the narrow and cramped seats of low cost airlines), but, be flexible in two other ways:

  1. The destination you want to visit.
  2. The dates you want to choose.

The Destination

If you’re open in the choice of destination, you are more likely to find a cheap fare. To get a quick idea of where the cheapest flights go to from your closest airport/s, use SkyScanner. The great thing about this website is that it gives the user the option to select your closest airport/s and see all the routes available, including their flight prices. This is easily done by writing ‘Everywhere’ in the ‘To’ option:

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The results should look something like this:

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SkyScanner also gives you the option to look for all the flights in a particular month, or even the whole year. This is incredibly useful if you want to save money, and you are able to be flexible in:

The Travelling Date

As soon as you are set with the destination choice, you should start considering the when you want to travel. For this, you can either continue using SkyScanner, or, and this is my personal preference, make use of Google Flights. I prefer using Google Flights for the simple fact that it is generally more accurate, user friendly, and faster to use. Here is an example of when I wanted to choose a flight from Malta to Rome:

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Not only do you get all the prices listed cleanly and quickly, Google also colours the cheapest fares in green.

Compromise: 

Do you really need a 15kg luggage to slow you down during your trip? Most people manage to travel around the world for months with just a backpack, surely you can survive a few days:

Learn to travel using only a hand luggage

Why do I love hand luggages? They’re free to take, easy to carry, and adequate for any trip duration. And the best part? I do not risk losing any of my items on the way there.

My personal recommendation is to buy a backpack, it will not only save you a couple of kgs from your hand luggage limit, but it will also be useful when walking on cobblestones or going up/down the stairs. I personally own an Osprey Farpoint 40, but there are also cheaper alternatives.

Similarly, avoid booking a seat reservation….at the end of the day, your flight will only be a couple of hours long. No seat will ever justify paying a bit more for it.

And most of all, do not pay for priority queuing. Just because you will be among the first persons to board the plane,  doesn’t mean you will leave before anyone else!

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Be prepared: 

Be aware of airline fees before you use their flight. For example, Ryanair will charge you €45 if you check-in in airports. Just do it online before the flight, and not only will you be doing it for free, but it is also more convenient and efficient.

Be aware of how much your hand luggage should weigh, and how big it can be. Avoid paying hefty fees by simply measuring your bag before taking it on board. You can also buy this cheap and portable luggage scale to have an idea how much your luggage weighs before you board.

 

That’s all for now! Happy travels 🙂 




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