From my extensive journeys around the globe I have realized that it’s useful to be flexible when it comes to choosing the next holiday destination. It may open your horizons to new interesting places while at the same time you could save some money. After all, if you are like me and plan to visit the entire world, going to where the ticket is cheap sounds like a great idea.
Before organizing your next holiday you have to check the price ranges of potential destinations in order to see how well they fit your budget. The most important costs include the accommodation, food, local transport and especially the ticket to the destination.
The process of choosing the cheapest plane ticket can be long and exhausting. Since the development of the Internet most, if not all, travel options are available to a very wide public. There are two basic types of airline companies: Regular companies and Low cost Companies. While Regular ones offer better prices on long journeys, low cost airlines have no competition when it comes to regional flights. Likewise this is a brilliant post for round the world tickets.
As a general rule, its best to buy tickets directly from the airline company. It is for sure more reliable than any intermediary web, even if sometimes the price appears to be slightly more expensive. I suggest taking a look at the following websites each with a different approach:
Skyscanner became popular a few years ago since it was the first to introduce a variety of low cost carriers into its search engine. However, generally speaking it is the least reliable of all search engines, but offers a great framework to begin with. Firstly it has the wonderful option to put ‘Everywhere’ as your desired destination. That will show you the cheapest destinations from your airport, even though prices are quite approximate. The other fantastic feature is the ‘whole month’ tag where you can choose a destination and see the flight ticket prices for a whole month. Awesome!
The newest of them all, Google Flights is an interesting addition to a world of travel search platforms. It is slightly more reliable than Skyscanner, but offers a completely different scope. Unlike any other important engine, it shows you a large map with thousands of destinations. Unfortunately not every destination has a price, and even those that have, you have to be cautious. Google Flights is good to find the best place to fly to when visiting a region.
Kayak is one of the largest and most reliable travel search engines. It doesn’t feature as many low cost companies as Skyscanner, nor a travel map like Google Flights, but prices tend to be more accurate. If you have some flexibility the ‘+ 3 days’ offers a great insight into price differences. By changing dates a few times you get to see the entire month.
Searching for the cheapest plane ticket requires a lot of time. The good news is there are websites specialized in offering the best prices from all available airlines around the world. I follow three of them on a regular basis: the international TravelFree and Fly4free which offer great deals from all over Europe to any worldwide destination and the Spanish Happy Low Cost which does the same thing but mostly for flights originating in Spain.
Low Cost Carriers
When travelling around Europe or South East Asia you would most certainly find reasonable flights through low cost carriers. Several companies serve both regions, some of them offer only domestic flights, while others both domestic and international. In theory, it is possible to fly far using only low cost airlines. For instance, you can fly Barcelona – Dubai through Sofia by Wizzair and then Dubai – Mumbai with Flydubai.
You can check the list of all low cost airlines HERE.
I am not a big fan of price alerts, e-mails with so called special prices for the destination you subscribed to. Most of the time I am able to find cheaper tickets plus I don’t trust the online best dates to buy tickets. There is so much information on the Internet, but it’s not always reliable! In general traveling on working days is cheaper than on weekends, but that’s pretty much the only important rule, apart from avoiding holidays. Choosing the right destination depends on your personal interests, but it’s important to keep your eyes wide open, you never know what new destination you might discover.
Also check out these 5 simple Airport tips.
Caveat: Good for Your Wallet Doesn’t Mean Good for the Planet
While we may get a rush from booking a cheap flight, it’s important to remember that we’re not doing the planet any favors by saving ourselves some cash in our travels. The carbon footprint of international travel is already massive, and cheap airfare may just encourage us to fly even more (thereby emitting even more CO2 into the atmosphere) than we otherwise would. If you are concerned about how your air travel is contributing to global warming, consider doing the following things to curb the damage:
- Book direct flights wherever possible – The majority of a flight’s greenhouse gas emissions take place during take-off and landing. You can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your journey by opting to fly without layovers.
- Book flights on newer aircrafts wherever possible – In addition to generally being safer and more comfortable, newer planes are more fuel efficient and emit less CO2.
- Consider carbon off-setting – If you are getting such a great deal on a cheap flight anyways, why not donate a portion of the money you saved to carbon off-setting or an environmental non-profit? Depending on where you live and the organization you donate to, your contribution may even be tax deductible!