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If you are an avid international traveller, then chances are you are very well aware of how expensive flights can get! For some travellers, especially those on a budget, flights can take up a significant portion of their budget.

Being able to snag the cheapest deals on flights, enables an international adventure to be more within reach and also gives you more cash to spend having great experiences on the adventure itself!

Based on our years of experience of travelling and booking international flights here are our 12 top hacks for getting the cheapest flights!

1. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates and Times

 Airfare prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year, day of the week, and even time of day. Flying mid-week or at off-peak times can often be cheaper. Flights are generally cheaper on weekdays (especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and during inconvenient hours of the day. Avoid flying school holidays, peak season destinations, during holiday periods like Christmas, New Year's, Easter and Thanksgiving (although you might find cheap deals on Christmas day itself!). Also, flying on Friday & Sunday nights to get the best deals. Basically, catch a flight when no one else wants to. It is simple supply and demand!

2. Use Incognito Mode or a VPN 

Some websites track your visits and might increase prices based on your search history or the location of your IP address. Use incognito or a VPN set to different locations and compare prices to see if there is any difference. 

3. Use Flight Comparison Websites and Apps

 Don’t rely on a single flight search engine. Use multiple sites to compare prices as some may have exclusive deals or offer different prices. These tools allow you to search for flights from different airlines and travel agents in one place, making it easy to compare prices and find the cheapest option. Some websites will be allocated a number of seats at a certain price and once those sell out then the price will go up, this is why it is worth checking multiple sources.

Some popular flight comparison websites and apps include Google FlightsKayakSkyscannerMomondo, and Hopper. If you can book directly through the airline this is the safest option but if the flight through a third party like is much cheaper then it may be worth it! 

Side note: When using comparison tools for flights always check whether there are any transfers that you need to do yourself - you run the risk of missing your connecting flight and having to pay yourself to get to your final destination. It is a risk that may or may not be worth it. If you do decide to do a self-transfer make sure the layover is at least 3-4 hours as you will need to collect your bags and recheck in again. You also want to factor in time for possible delays. If your first flight is cancelled then you will lose your following flight(s).

4. Check what a travel agent can offer you

Although brick-and-mortar travel agencies are becoming less relevant now, they can still give you access to some better deals that maybe aren’t available if you book yourself. This is because they have a backstage pass to the airline's booking systems! If you have a complicated itinerary with lots of flights around the world, an agent may be able to get you a better deal. If you are a student or under 25, there are agencies like STA Travel that give you a discount!

5. Book in Advance (or Sometimes Last Minute)

 Booking too late or too early can be costly. Aim to book 1 to 3 months in advance for domestic flights and 2 to 8 months for international flights. 

However, there can also be deals for last-minute bookings if a flight isn’t full, so it's always worth checking. But if you leave it too late you do run the risk of having to pay for extremely expensive tickets.

6. Set Fare Alerts

Use flight comparison websites and apps, such as Skyscanner, to set price alerts for specific days and flight routes. This means you will receive an email or notification when the price of the flight you want goes up or down. This can help you jump on a deal or give you an indicator of whether the price is going to keep going up and you should buy now. Hopper is a great app that actually will predict whether the price will go up or down and give you advice on whether you should book now or wait! 

 7. Consider Budget Airlines 

Most of us have some horror stories of when things went wrong on a budget airline. However, if they can successfully get you from A to B at a fraction of a full-service airline, then it may be worth it if you really want to save money on flights. 

While they may offer less comfort, subpar customer service and a greater risk of delays and cancellations, budget airlines can significantly lower the cost of your trip. Just be mindful of additional fees for baggage and seat selection. We would be wary of booking a ticket with a self-transfer with budget airlines for the reasons listed above.

8. Be Flexible with Your Destination 

If you have a flexible itinerary, use tools like “Everywhere” search on sites like Skyscanner to find the cheapest destinations from your departure city.

9. Check for Hidden Fees 

Low-cost flights can sometimes come with hidden fees for bags, seats, and even boarding passes. Some airlines even charge extra for carry-on bags now. Factor these into the total cost, especially when they are exorbitant (we’re looking at you Ryan and Wizz Air!). 

Booking through third parties on websites like Skyscanner - may look a lot cheaper but may not be once you factor in additional fees like luggage as usually the third-party websites charge significantly more for luggage than booking through the airline (that is how they make their money!).

10. Pack Light and Avoid Checked Bags

As we have already mentioned checked bags can add a significant cost to your flight. If possible, try to pack light and avoid checking a bag. Just make sure your carry-on meets the airline's requirements as there is nothing more painful or expensive than having to pay to check a bag at the airport.

11. Consider Alternative Airports in Big Cities 

Flying in and out of nearby airports rather than major hubs can sometimes be cheaper, especially in places like London. Be sure to consider the cost and time of additional ground transportation when making your decisions.

12. Use Travel Rewards Credit Cards 

If you travel frequently, consider getting a travel rewards credit card that offers points or miles for your purchases. You can then redeem these points or miles for free or discounted flights. 

American Express is a great option for this as well as reward programs such as the airlines who are part of the Star Alliance Network. Whenever you book a flight, always join the airline's rewards program so you can collect points for future trips!

By incorporating these money-saving strategies, you'll have a better chance of finding and booking flights that fit your budget so you can travel more!