You have little time, but still want to see as much as possible? Then you should know how to find cheap flights. Sometimes it is simply necessary to bridge short distances by plane due to lack of time. So that you do not necessarily become poor and Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair, not much richer, we have put together our best tips for cheap flights in this flight guide.
Tip 1: Use flight search websites
There are some flight search engines. These search the websites of the airlines or flight brokers and determine the best price. However, the prices are not always up to date. You should therefore also click on and check carefully whether the flights really still cost so much. Sometimes the prices are a few hours old. You should also check whether the prices on the websites of the airlines themselves are not cheaper.
We use the following search engines:
Tip 2: Book early to find cheap flights
Many people occasionally still have in mind that last minute would always be cheaper. But from our normal everyday situations we can confirm: Booking later is almost always more expensive. Especially if you are not so flexible with the travel dates or the destinations, it will always be rather expensive with time.
Tip 3: Check deal sites
Every now and then there are really good offers for cheap flights. On airfare sites you can find plenty of offers. They may even serve as travel inspiration for you. Many of our friends have booked such trips and that’s why they first came up with destinations. We also tend to do this sometimes, but we actually have rather fixed plans.
Here are our favorites for cheap deals:
Tip 4: Be flexible about the flight dates
There is often a big difference in the prices of flights between individual days. Especially on holidays, but also on Friday and Sunday the flights are usually more expensive. In our experience, Saturday and Tuesday, Thursday and sometimes Wednesday are the cheapest days. Especially if you are traveling to Eastern Europe, you will notice that many providers only fly on certain days and you have to fly there on Thursday and back on Tuesday anyway.
Also departures at convenient times (early evening or morning) are usually more expensive. You can often fly cheaply during the week and at night, and especially outside peak travel times. However, you must keep in mind that many flights depart from small airports. If you depend on local or long-distance traffic to get to the airport, there may not be a train in the morning. By car, of course, you are more flexible.
Tip 5: Be flexible with locations – But beware of further costs and onward travel options!
Often you are advised in the tips for the flight search to include the other airports. For Warsaw, this means Modlin instead of Okęcie, for Krasnodar it is worth looking for flights to Rostov-on-Don. Sometimes even further detours are worthy.
However, you should definitely pay attention to the additional costs. In order to get from the airport to the actual destination, you have to travel either by bus or train. On the one hand, this causes higher costs, and on the other hand, it is often not even possible to book a ticket beforehand from abroad or to obtain comprehensive information about the various onward travel options.
Tip 6: Set price alert
Some flight search engines, for example Skyscanner, offer the possibility to set price alerts. You should use this option if you do not want to decide right away. Sometimes prices drop when airlines don’t get rid of their tickets. But keep in mind that it still tends to be cheaper to book early.
Tip 7: Avoid holidays
If you fly to another country, you should always keep an eye on the local holidays. In Poland, for example, many things are closed on high Christian holidays and when several holidays coincide at the beginning of May, many things are fully booked. In general, it is advisable to travel outside the season and not during school vacations. At these times it is usually easier to get a vacation.
Tip 8: Open jaw flights are often cheaper
Open jaw flights have different arrival and departure points. That means, you fly from A to B, but from C back to A. In the same way, it can also be worth varying the original departure airport. That is, it may be cheaper to fly from A to B, but from B to C back. With many flight search engines you can specify a radius search for the departure points.
Tip 9: Check outbound and return flight separately
The outbound and return flights should also sometimes simply be checked separately. Flight search engines such as Skyscanner also take care of this independently. But also check the websites of the airlines. You should not care about the airlines if you want to save money.
Tip 10: Have airfares cross-checked
There are now providers like Flightfox on the Internet. Flightfox checks whether they can find a cheaper flight for you. You just tell them when you want to go where. Flightfox charges a fee for this service. But if you just found a very high price for your long-haul flight and think it has to be cheaper, just ask. The guys and gals there are looking for flights all day. We are sure they can find something for you. Besides, the service is free of charge if they couldn’t scout out a cheaper flight than the one you found.
Tip 11: Watch out for local airlines
In many countries there are still airlines that you may never have heard of. You can usually only get tickets for them at local travel agencies. In Russia, we have flown with airlines for less than the price of a train ticket. Ok, the plane was not exactly modern, but often they are anyway. Sometimes the home countries of the flight search engines have also imposed sanctions against your travel country. That’s why Skyscanner or Kayak are sometimes not allowed to do business with the airlines there. Check backpacker or frequent flyer forums for more information.
Tip 12: Low-cost airline or airline
There are now many low-cost airlines. The price pressure among the companies is often great, so you can make really good flight bargains. But you should also take a look at the normal airlines. On some routes, they fly for only a few euros more. But sometimes you get to a better located airport and can check in luggage without extra fees. This can be worth it, especially if you want to buy something in the destination country.
Many services are also included with classic airlines that low-cost airlines charge extra for, for example, baggage or check-in at the airport. If you add everything up and travel with one or even two suitcases, the normal airline often performs better. In addition, food and drinks are often served during the flight, which have to be paid for additionally with low-cost airlines and are often of poor quality.
Tip 13: Avoid additional costs
As just explained, this means the other way around that you should avoid additional fees.
- Check the most favorable payment method (direct debit is usually best, credit cards often cost additional fees, with prepayment there is sometimes even a bonus).
- Take only hand luggage.
- Check where the airport is located and if you can get to your destination from there by public transport.
- Check the airlines’ booking pages to see if there are any checkmarks for additional costs that you don’t want. Travel cancellation insurance is a popular option. No one really needs them.
Tip 14: See if club offers are available
Some low-cost airlines offer special programs that reduce flight costs or include additional services such as free baggage allowance or earlier check-in. One example is Wizzair, where such an offer (usually limited to one year) is often worth the price alraedy at the second or third flight. So if you travel more often, this can be very useful.
Tip 15: Book the best ticket for you
Normally, it is best to book a ticket without extras. However, if you have to be flexible because your employer requires it, you should check whether you take a Flex Ticket so that you can change your booking easily. Otherwise, in case of unforeseen problems, your money is often gone.
Tip 16: Earn miles and use other bonus programs
Many airlines offer bonus programs. If you always fly with certain airlines for business or pleasure, you should take part in the airlines’ bonus programs. This will give you free flights or other bonuses, which often pays off. Note however also here that I have to calculate possible fees. Not all programs are free, but sometimes they offer very convenient benefits, such as access to lounges, etc.
Tip 17: Sign up for newsletters
Almost all airlines offer newsletters in which they inform about special offers. There is not always something useful, but it is usually particularly worthwhile when the airlines introduce new routes and want to promote them or when some routes are not running so well. Then you often get great flights for under 20 euros.
Your tips for cheap flights
What are your best tips for cheap flights? Let us know and feel free to write us a comment!