Tips for Cheap Plane Tickets

Friday, June 24, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Since Chris and I rarely pay for lodging while traveling, the bulk of our costs usually come from transportation.  Today is my travel day!  Since I will be spending the next 24 hours going from airport to airport, let's look at some tips and tricks I have to getting cheap plane tickets!

Morocco Donkey by River
Flying: maybe a bit faster than taking a mule in Morocco...

1. Fly Hub to Hub: When flying long distances, try to fly hub to hub and then take local transportation or a smaller airline to the closest location.  Hub to hub tickets can be found for rock bottom prices if you look--I once paid $450 round trip for Seattle, USA to London in the summer. 

2. Use a Rate Tracker: I try to watch the plane prices for at least several weeks to get an idea of how they fluctuate and I LOVE taking advantage of rate trackers, where you can see graphs of the average and minimum airfares for a certain trip over the most recent months.  Most discount airline websites have a rate tracker function, even though you may have to search for it. 

3. Find the best website for the ticket you want to buy: I usually find the best overall deals, especially for the long-haul flights, at Kayak, but not all airlines show up on the flight search websites such as Kayak, Expedia or Orbit.  For smaller, local budget airlines, such as EasyJet and RyanAir for flights in Europe, I check out their own websites.  I also watch the promotions--especially with the smaller airlines, you can sometimes get great deals.  Chris once bought a ticket from Switzerland to Turkey for $20 USD and with big promotions you can often find tickets for sale only for the cost of tax (often around $10).

4. Compare different types of transportation: When traveling shorter distances, always compare plane prices to train/bus/car.  Sometimes planes will be unexpectedly cheaper (it is cheaper to fly from London to Toulouse, France, than to take a train), and sometimes you will have to weigh the benefits of quick plane travel to cheap alternative transportation (what I saw in Thailand).
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