You want to fly within Europe for around 20€ but you don’t know how? Read this post to find out how I do it.
Many of my friends and family have asked me how I always find those cheap flight tickets. There’s no trick that suddenly lets you fly around almost for free. You have to invest some time to research and maybe adjust your schedule a bit.
Invest time to look for flights
Airlines update their prices on a regular basis. It takes five to ten minutes per day to check the offers. You may check 10 times and there’s nothing suitable but then the 11th time you find that one flight that suits your schedule.
Don’t be too focused on a certain destination
If you only look for one specific destination your chance of finding a cheap deal is way lower. Be open for any destination that is offered at that time. Every destination has something to explore, no matter where or how small it is. Maybe you even discover a destination you wouldn’t have thought about before which turns out to be a beautiful place.
Be flexible in terms of time
Flights are usually more expensive during holidays and weekends. If you can, try to fly on weekdays and in an off-season period. I personally like travelling in off-season periods a lot because the sights are not crowded and accommodations are often cheaper.
Sometimes tickets are the cheapest a few days before the flight. Once I checked flights on a Thursday evening and I found 9€ tickets to Mallorca for two days later. Spontaneously, my friend and I booked them and it was an amazing trip.
Also, it’s usually cheaper to fly at an inconvenient time of the day. Flights that depart early in the morning and arrive late at night are often less expensive. I flew to Barcelona for 10€ at 6:00 am. If I had taken the plane in the afternoon it would have cost me 40€.
Use the “cheapest airfare” search function
On search engines like Skyscanner you can select “Everywhere” as a destination so it will show you all the destinations ranked by price. If you’re flexible with time you can select a whole month, e.g. January, and you’ll be shown the cheapest days to fly in January.
Let’s say you’re even more flexible and not bound to a certain month. Then you can select “Cheapest month” and Skyscanner will show you a list of all the cheapest destinations ranked by price for the next few months.
You can also enter a certain destination where you want to travel to and then show the cheapest days to fly there.
Compare several websites
It’s recommended to check several search engines like Skyscanner, Kayak, Checkfelix, etc. and also the websites of the Airlines. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book with the online agencies shown in search engines. But be aware that there’s often an additional charge added just before the payment.
Check several departure airports
There might be cheaper offers from airports that are a bit further away. Just check if it pays off to have a higher cost of getting to the airport.
Always search for flights in private mode
Sometimes prices of flight tickets go up the more often you look at them. To avoid this always use the private/incognito mode of your browser
Fly without checked bags
Depending on how long you travel for you usually don’t need a checked suitcase. Flight tickets of low-cost airlines are cheap but then they charge you a lot for a checked-in bag – sometimes even more than the price of the ticket. From personal experience I noticed that airlines are often less strict about the size of your carry-on luggage if you use a backpack. I have a 40 liter backpack which is already 10 cm too big and I always fill it up so much that it gets even bigger. No one has ever said something about it. (Except for an old grumpy passenger who couldn’t find space for his bag in the overhead department.)
These are strategies I use to look for flights and it works pretty well for me. I’m aware that it’s not always possible to adjust your schedule and just buy a ticket and fly. Most of the time I see amazing offers but I can’t go. But if you keep looking persistently you might eventually find the perfect time and destination to go.
If you have any other suggestions or hacks how to find cheap flights please let me know in the comments!