Choosing your flight is a HUGE step when planning your dream trip, but with my advice I can make this process simple and stress free.
I've created a simple guide you can follow on your next search.
These are the steps I take every time I need to book any kind of flight!
#1 SET UP PRIVATE BROWSING ON YOUR COMPUTER
If you're using your computer to search for flight deals, learn how to change the settings to Private Browsing. This allows you to look freely without leaving a trail other travel sites could find. If they know which flight you're checking up on, they could increase their prices.
#2 HEAD TO SKYSCANNER
This is my favourite flight comparison site and where you should turn to first before anywhere else. You will be shown the cheapest deals quickly, given the choice from countless airlines including all budget airlines. This makes it perfect when looking for any kind of flight ---- short, long, International or Domestic. I find this the easiest site to navigate and I use it before and during all of my trips.
#3 TRY CHANGING DATES, LOCATION, ROUTES
Basically you have to be flexible. You need to make sure you've researched all of your options, this will save you money. Experiment by looking up flights on different days and at various times. Try flying to a different destination first to make your route more cost effective or fly to a neighbouring country if it's cheaper and enter your desired location by another mode of transport. Split up your route by having an overnight stay or fly from a different city within your country of origin. Any one of these changes could reduce the price dramatically.
#4 SET PRICE ALERT
This is easily done on Skyscanner. Once you have found the flight right for you then simply set an alert to it. This means, the site will contact you when the price increases or decreases. It will save you time and handy to do if you want to keep an eye on the flight for a while.
#5 GO ONTO THE AIRLINES ACTUAL SITE
When you have found the flight you're looking for on a comparison site, check the airlines website to look up the price of the flight on there. I like to do this because if the flight is the same price or there's hardly any difference, I prefer to book directly through them than a travel website. I usually sign up as a member in the hope of getting an upgrade at the airport!
#6 CHECK FLIGHTS AGAIN OVER THE PERIOD OF
A WEEK OR two
I like to wait for a week or two before booking a long haul flight. During this time I repeat my searches of different destinations and dates just in case anything dramatically changes. Make sure to look up prices midweek (Tuesdays, Wednesdays) because from my experience, these days produce the cheapest flight deals.
#7 BEFORE FINALISING YOUR BOOKING, DOUBLE CHECK THE IMPORTANT BITS
Recheck (more than once) your luggage allowance, personal details and dates thoroughly! Mistakes are so easily made when completing your booking and guidelines can be missed. Don't let something so little cost you a fortune when you reach the airport!
Whatever flight you choose, there are things to think about before booking.
There are some general rules I always follow and would like to share.
When you've saved enough money for your long haul flight - BOOK IT!
Don't wait months with just a date in mind! I never wait around because time runs away with us, know your dates for sure and be organised. This will force you to Save Money, Plan the Rest of your Trip and Board the Plane. It's a lot harder to back out of plans once a flight has been booked.
Domestic / Short flights should be researched and price checked beforehand but most of the time booked last minute.
There's no point booking every flight you will be taking during your trip before you actually start it because all that does is limit you. Plans change so quickly on the road! It's better to travel without a schedule and to be completely free.
If your trip is going to be more than 4 months, book a one way ticket.
Again don't limit yourself. You could end up in a completely different place at the end of your trip than originally planned or you may even choose not to return home.
If your trip is going to be 2 months or less, book a return ticket.