Even though a few people have asked me if my father was Rockefeller, I keep on joking that I’m very cheap in many many ways. I don’t like overpaying especially when I know how to get something cheaper. And I’m very serious about it. Especially when it comes to travelling. I keep on insisting that you don’t need to rob a bank to go travel. You just need to book smart! My experience is mostly European and is based on the local low costs, but my tricks also work on further distances. Ready? Here’s my ticket booking routine!
I always start searching on Skyscanner. There are a lot of ticket searching systems, including the ones with bundle hotel deals (like Expedia where you also can look for just tickets), but I stick to Sky Scanner: I’m used to it, it’s very easy to use. It also has my very favourite feature of clicking ‘Everywhere’ in the destination box when you don’t know where you would like to go. I have seen quite a few places where I never really planned to visit because of this one: the system will show you the cheapest options first. When I see £20 return tickets I usually think ‘ok, let’s go!’.
This works better for spontaneous trips. What would I do if I have a concrete destination?
I will still start with Skyscanner, as always. Then the system might offer you to go to the airline website or to buy the ticket from one of the booking sites. Sometimes the prices vary a lot: the same ticket can be cheaper on the airline website, or you might save a few bucks if you choose to buy with a partner site. Each case varies. I always check all the options. If Skyscanner shows me that a certain airline is flying on this route, I will usually go directly to the official website and have a look at the offers there.
If the system keeps on showing me connecting flights, I quite often get creative. Here’s an example. Last year I was planning a trip from Berlin to Asia. Somewhere, I wasn’t sure. I thought that I’d fly to Bangkok and then decide where to go. Bangkok is one of the cheapest destinations from any airport and it’s easy to get pretty much anywhere from there. So, when I was asking the system to show me tickets for Berlin-Bangkok-Berlin, it would suggest a few routes with various stop-overs (all somewhere in the middle east, depending on the airline) and roughly €550 return. Which is alright, but I was sure I could find a better solution. And I did. Instead of flying from Berlin, I first got the tickets to Serbia (to see my mum) and then would fly to Bangkok from Belgrade. The trip included a few more flights, but allowed me to visit my family and save money on the tickets: the route Berlin-Nis-Belgrade-Doha-Bangkok-Doha-Belgrade-Nis-Berlin was €390 return.
I also always look if there are train- or easy bus-connections at my destination(s). Some creativity in planning a trip can actually make it more fun and save you some cash:) If you haven’t read about my adventurous trip from Berlin to Copenhagen, follow this link!
Fly to nearby cities, use other transport, make your own routes and I promise that you will create your very own search routine. If you are scared of stop-overs, don’t be! Make the best out of them, look for longer connections and go explore the new place (I saw Tallinn just because I had a few connecting flights there).
To enhance your chances to get a really cheap flight, try to book during the daytime (the majority of people will book after work, companies know that and the prices go up in the evening). In my experience, the cheapest flights are on Tuesdays.
Sometimes I might spend a day or two just looking at the options. I always manage to find the best one, I’m really good ;) That said, if you are looking for someone to teach you to construct your own trips, I’m your girl! Please contact me to learn more! <3
xx, love, Liza