With spring in full bloom, it’s natural for our thoughts to start to turn to planning our summer vacation. Unfortunately, our desires can often outweigh the practicalities of our bank accounts, so it’s not uncommon for people to overspend on their budget in an attempt to find the perfect flight or hotel when dreaming of a travel holiday worthy of any overworked employee.
To help make sure you don’t get into any debt that you can’t afford to pay off, we’ve come up with three simple ways you can still enjoy an adventure of a lifetime without going into the red:
Search For Your Flights In Incognito Mode
Although airlines have pleaded their innocence on the issue, there’s a long standing belief amongst those that work in the travel industry that the price of flights is determined by a number of times a certain route is searched for.
Say, for example, you are looking for flights for your next holiday. You might find the perfect route but aren’t 100% happy with the price. The chances are that you’ll repeatedly search for the same flight over the next couple of days in the hope of the price dropping.
[pullquote]The problem is, these ‘repeat searches’ are a red flag to the airlines and travel agents that you’re desperate to book a specific flight, and therefore they feel that they can increase the price of the ticket.[/pullquote]
It’s believed that airlines and travel websites work based on the idea that by seeing the price go up, the consumer is much more likely to book the flight there and then to avoid any further increases.
Websites can track your internet search history via your ‘cookies’, a sort of cyber crumb trail that details what you search for and what sites you visit when you’re online.
Thankfully, there is an easy way to get around the issue – by searching for your flights in incognito mode. Every web browser, whether you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera, has this function. It simply informs your browser not to record any websites that you’re visiting, as well as telling it not to use or download any cookies. Think of it as browsing the internet on a diet.
If you have already made the mistake of searching for flights using your normal browsing mode, don’t worry. By deleting your cookies and internet search history, you’ll effectively be viewed as a ‘new customer’ and the prices that you see should adjust accordingly.
Book Long Haul Flights Four Months In Advance
There’s much debate about when is best to book your flight in terms of finding the cheapest price. Some swear by the motto “the earlier the better” as airlines often charge their lowest rates when the route first comes onto the market.
Others, however, believe that to be able to take advantage of discounts and seasonal offers, you need to be willing to wait until a lot closer to your desired departure date.
Skyscanner, the largest online flight comparison site, have crunched together the numbers and found that the optimum time for finding the best price is seven weeks before your departure for short haul flights and 18 weeks for a long haul flight.
Don’t Discount Travel Agents
There is a common misconception that it’s cheaper to book your flights online than it’s to do so through a travel agent. The reality is that it depends entirely on circumstances.
Travel agents often have access to undercut rates that aren’t available to members of the public, and thanks to their links to hotels and tour operators, they can often offer extremely competitive rates on package deals.
Our best advice is to do your research beforehand. Make sure you know what is the cheapest flight currently available and simply ask your travel agent if they can beat it.
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