Being an expat and a part of a huge international community, you befriend people from some of the world’s most incredible places. One of the perks is that you are usually invited to visit them in their home country someday, which is what happened to me.
A sweet couple from Chile I instantly clicked with, Felipe and Viviana, suggested I come visit them there. I could stay with them, they could be my guides and show me their beautiful country – it sounds so simple, right?
- Well, it’s not so simple for me, because getting from Denmark to Chile (and back) is extreeeemely expensive – or at least, that’s what I thought!
In this article, I will share with you all the tips and tricks for finding cheap flights. I am planning to use these tips myself, when the coronavirus crisis ends, and I finally get to go visit my dear friends in Chile.
1. Don’t listen to the myths
First things first, let’s debunk some common myths about finding cheap fares.
No, it is not smarter to look for tickets on specific days of the week. This information is so inaccurate that sometimes you will see Tuesday being mentioned as the optimal day, but sometimes you will see Wednesday. Sometimes you will see an even more inaccurate tip, telling you exactly on which day of the week you should look for flights, at what time of the day, and exactly how many weeks before your desired departure.
How silly is that?
I can absolutely guarantee you that there is no such magic trick to getting the best price; otherwise, I would have visited my friends in Chile a long time ago.
- In order to find a way to get from point A to point B for the lowest price possible, you’ll have to put in a little bit more effort.
Another myth is that if you search in a private browser (incognito mode), you will find lower prices and cheap flights. There is no proof of this working since airline price fluctuation depends on so many things (season, availability, fuel prices, etc.). However, if you will be checking the same exact route on the same exact site multiple times, it shouldn’t hurt to try it.
2. Take advantage of layovers
I guess I don’t have to tell you that the most expensive flights are direct flights. And I also don’t have to tell you that layovers are annoying. But what I can tell you is that you can use long layovers to your advantage and get cheap flights!
How and why?
You should do something that seems very counter-intuitive… Research for your layover to be as long as possible. This way, you will be able to actually get out of the airport, explore the city, and look at it as an extra city/country to explore! You can read more about the benefits of a long layover here.
… So yes, having to stay a couple of additional hours waiting in the airport still sucks, but staying a few days in fantastic destinations such as; New York, Barcelona, London, Rome, Istanbul, Delhi, or Dubai doesn’t sound so bad after all.
3. Use a VPN to search for cheap flights
Using a VPN to get better deals is something that never occurred to me before, but it makes so much sense!
By hiding your location and selecting one in a third-world country, you will oftentimes find much better prices. And this does not only work for flight tickets but also car rentals and accommodation.
However, this does not work every single time. Sometimes you will get a better deal, and sometimes it won’t change. But you should definitely try to take advantage of the fact that many websites price discriminates these days.
4. Be flexible - and it will be easier to find cheap flights!
If you are really on a quest to catch the absolute cheapest flights, you should not have one specific travel destination and travel date in mind. You have to stay flexible. That way, the whole world will open up to you, and you will find great deals super easily.
You can also use the “Anywhere” search on Momondo or Skyscanner and start discovering new options for your adventure.
As I wrote earlier, the most expensive flights are the direct ones. Instead of booking your flight from A to B, try looking at other big airports nearby or even a major international hub further away. For instance, if you’re going from Billund to Phnom Penh, search from Hamburg/Copenhagen to Bangkok/Ho Chi Minh instead, and then either catch a train or a cheap flight with Air Asia for your last leg.
A good friend of mine flew from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then caught a flight with a low-cost airline from there to Melbourne, Australia. It saved her half the price compared to booking Denmark-Melbourne.
This way can save you tons of money, too – and you’ll get to experience something on the way! That’s a win-win!
5. Book directly through the airline
The cheapest flights can often be found with an online travel agency – so why not just book with them, you might ask? Well, a lot can go wrong when traveling. And if something goes wrong, it’s much easier to get in contact with the airline instead of an agency. Trust me!
An agency might also charge you extra for added baggage, seat selection, etc., so in the end, the cheapest solution might be booking directly anyway – and it will, without a doubt, save you a lot of hassle!
For so long, I have been putting that trip to Chile off, thinking it was just mission impossible for someone on a budget, but I’ve learned that finding cheap (sometimes even dirty cheap) flight tickets is actually not that difficult.
My next trip is definitely going to be to Chile – just look how beautiful it looks!
So what now?
Use these tricks yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to Chile too with a cheap ticket.