Travel Hacks

5 Steps To Book A Budget-Friendly Flight

Rebecca Formoso
January 16, 2024

1. Flexibility and availability

This is the first thing you need to know before anything else—if you have flexibility or not. It may be cheaper to buy a flight on a weekday rather than a weekend, and/or it might be easier to fly in a day earlier or fly out a day late. Figure this part out and once this has been established, then it’s time to start doing some research.


2. Check out the websites and apps

The websites I use are Skyscanner, Google flights, Kayak, and an app called Hopper. Don’t be afraid to check out other search engines too because there are a lot out there that may help. Skyscanner, Google flights, and Kayak can be used to find the appropriate airline depending on your budget, while Hopper tells you when to purchase the ticket. It might tell you to wait a week, or to book right now. You have to remember that not all the airlines, especially budget airlines will be found in these search engines. It’s also a good idea to do some research to find out which budget airlines are available in that certain destination. Once you figure that out, you can go directly to that website and check prices so you can be sure you have all the information needed to compare the options available to you.

3. Fly elsewhere

What happens when you've done step 1 and step 2 and still don’t have something that’s within your budget? Easy. Look into flying to a different destination. For example, if your destination is to Dublin and the prices are too expensive, look into flying to London instead. Sometimes it might be cheaper to fly into London than directly to Dublin. From London, take a budget airline to Dublin. There are so many budget airlines in Europe that you might be able to use. Google flights is an excellent resource for this. They have this option where you put down the airport you’ll be flying out of, and from there you can view the world map without putting any destination. In this map, you will see the different prices to the different locations given your dates.

4. Special deals

Take advantage of any points or miles you have. Sometimes it might be a better idea to pay a little more now so that you can pay less on your next flight. It might also be best to invest in one airline to fly to certain destinations so that you may accumulate more points and benefit from it in the long run. In addition to this, visiting a destination during the off season might also be beneficial.

5. Other things to keep in mind

Search prices as an individual and not as a group. Trust me, sometimes it makes a difference. Also, try to book a round-trip flight as opposed to a one way flight. One way flights are certainly pricier. In fact, sometimes it can be cheaper to book a round-trip flight even if you have no intention of taking that return flight. Depending on the airline and the date, it can be more budget friendly. Lastly, if you want to maximize exploring, book a flight with a longer stopover. There are certain airports around the world that offer tours from the airport of your stopover. They can be free if you book it in advance. For example, some airports in Singapore and South Korea have deals ranging from 5 hour to 24 hour tours in the city. If you sign up, you have the opportunity to explore a new city in a matter of hours and they pick you up and drop you back in the airport. How fun is that!

Rebecca Formoso
Rebecca is a U30X trip leader in Europe and Asia. She grew up in the Philippines and has been living in Spain since 2012. She loves to play sports, take pictures, and go on new adventures.


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