Travel for Lazybums: How to buy your Flight

Last week in the #TravelforLazybums we covered the very first step to start planning your travel, now that you already know where you want to go to, it’s time to start taking some real actions, and spending some real money as well.

Let’s talk about your ticket! The garantee of your next adventure! There are many tips to get cheaper flights, but in general what you really need is flexibility.

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How to choose your destination.
Buying your Flight and Travel Insurance
Picking the Perfect Accomodation
And Now, What to Pack?

How to buy your Flight

Flexibility

First rule of the Cheap Flight Club: Don’t be a picky cat.
If you are too specific about date, hour, airport, your chances of getting a cheap flight will drop just like your hopes.

So don’t try to play hard with air companies, we never win. Be very flexible instead. Just look for the cheapest months to travel, some sites have this option, like Skyscanner, in others you need to look day by day until you find a good deal. Most of the time you wont have many option of hours to flight, some routes there is only one flight a day, and the best hours are obviously more expensive, so be prepared and don’t bother yourself in looking for hours to flight, just pick one that is cheap, the important is to arrive at your destinations.

Some cities have more than one airport, and some are cheaper than others, another tip is, maybe you want to go to one city, but there is another city nearby where flights are even cheaper than the city you were planning to go to, so why not changed cities instead? You can take a bus or a train to the city you want to visit later! Specially in Europe it is so ease to move around and go from one city/county to the other, so you can also check flights to nearby countries if they don’t happen to be cheaper than to the country you plan to go, in a positive case you get the Bonus of visiting another country besides the one you had in mind.

Bear in mind: almost anything is valid if it comes to saving money. Just don’t bother yourself, it is all part of the adventure.

Season

Summer days can be great, the weather is warm, the gardens are beautiful, the trees are green, the light looks perfect. Yeah I understand, but just like you think like this, everybody else also think the same way, not only that, air companies and hotels also think like that too! What a coincidence! But while you picture a nice vacation, they picture their bank account numbers.

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There are high seasons and low seasons and in most places the summer is considered their high season, so here we face that law of supply and demand. It is the period of the year where everybody wants to travel so it is comprehensive that air company and hotels will raise their prices.

Autumn and winter are the cheapest seasons to travel. But of course, depending on where you are planning to go, winter can be a kind of bad decision for many reasons, first it will be too cold and you should be prepared to freeze a little bit, and by little bit I mean, bring your gloves to make sure you will have all your fingers still when you go back home. Specially if you get a snow season it can mess your plans a little. Autumns too can be pretty cold but at least the weather will be a better than on winters and it will be more chill to walk around.

Holidays and weekends

Just like summers, when everybody decides to travel, holidays and weekends too are days that everybody take advantage of to travel. So again the law of suppy and demand, the prices of air fare and hotels will be more expensive than during the rest of the week. So a tip when you are looking for cheap flights online is to avoid looking for flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and here we can consider Mondays as well because as Sundays, many people will be coming back from their trips.

Try to get flights in the middle of the week in non commercial hours.

Low Cost Airline

There are several low cost airline working around the world. From travels inside Europe specially, I recommend taking them. Trains can be very expensive sometimes and for real, the cheapest way to travel country to country is by plane. Companies like Raynair offer flights for €10 depending on the route and day.

There are low cost airlines that also cover bigger routes like for example Royal Air Maroc who offers flights from America to Europe and North Africa for a relativetely cheaper price.

Where to get tickets online

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a Flight search engineer. It finds the best deals and re-directs you to the site where he found it. In my opinion,this is the most organized site to find cheap flights. When filling the informations, instead of informing the dates, you can choose “Cheapest Month” so the site directs you exactly to the best offers available in the year.

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 Decolar

If you choose the option “Didn’t decide my dates yet” the site directs you to the best deals they have during the year. But pay attention on the number of days for each offer as they differ from one another. Although it doesn’t seem to be such a popular site worldwide, I have got pretty good flight deals on it. Besides flights, you can also book hotels, tours and rent cars.

Expedia

This is another site where you can centralize your travel bookings, from flights to hotels and rental cars, in makes easier to organize your travel and in some cases, helps you to save some money as well. They have good flight deals all the time.

 

Travel Insurance

So you bought your flight ticket, but then what? Well, in an international travel, it is necessary to buy a Travel Insurance. “Is it obligatory?” you will ask me, yeah little padwan, it is. “But what is it?” well, basically it covers your dispenses if something not cool happens to you, and “not cool” can mean many things, from a tuk-tuk running you over in the indian traffic to your luggage full of donuts going missing.

Different Insurances covers different dispenses, but in general Travel Insurances cover your dispenses in case you hurt yourself, lose you luggages and other travel related dramas.

Perhaps you will look at me like: puuff, I don’t need it, I’m going to Thailand next month and I totally know how to ride an elephant, yolo.

Well, maybe you are really an elephant master but taking precautions are never too much. I know cases of people who were asked for their Travel Insurance paper at the airport’s immigration. Plus it is so cheap that there is no reason to take risks!

For Travel Insurance I recommend World Nomad. The interface of their website is really simple compared to others, you just need to inform the country you are travelling to, your own country, and the dates of your trip and it gives you the quote.

Yaaaaayyy so you already know you destination and already bought your ticket, now you need to start looking for accomodation! That’s what we gonna be covering next week, so don’t forget to subscribe to make sure you won’t miss it!

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21 Comments

  • As a long-term budget travel you have some very good and valid points to this post. I particularity agree with being flexible. To get a decent price and a decent airline you cannot be picky; however over the years I’ve found booking on certain days at certain times IE on Tuesdays and early flights tend to be cheapest. But you do have to really shop around and not just go off one compare site. My next post covers how I find my flights and it’s very similar to this method – Genuinely this was a good read 😀 😀

  • Great tips – I would also suggest to check often and to sign up with the airlines or search groups for notification if flights become available for set dates. I am looking to book a flight to Madrid for next April, and get the updated prices each week – once it gets close to my price range, I will book. Let other search engines do the work for me! Also, be flexible for last minute deals… if one’s schedule permits. Thanks for sharing

  • Enjoyed reading your post. I know almost everyone want to travel in little warm weather while I’m opposite and I like to travel in colder condition ~ leaving christmas & new year prices are rocket high then.

  • Great tips! We travel a lot, and know a lot about booking flights, but I did not know about SkyScanner. Thanks for that! Totally agree with the need to be flexible for cheap flights, and lots of great points in this article!

  • Depending on how much money can be saved I think it is worth some inconvenience. We often take flights that are off times and off days to save a lot. We are used to sleeping on planes and in the airports – ha ha.

  • I have tried Expedia. It really offers good deals for travel within the country. However for international travel I am not so sure. Nonetheless you are a valuable resource in your niche ,one that is worth tapping into

  • Yes, these are great tips, except that, at least in my case, flexibility is not an option! I can only travel during certain times of the year as I have a full-time job. I can only travel in December and unfortunately is a busy season! So for me, it’s like a lottery. I’ve found that buying directly at the airline sometimes (only sometimes) gives me a better price, and I’m not picky about airports 😀 as long as I have a visa I’ll take as many stops as possible to make the trip as affordable as possible.

  • Yay! Thank you for putting together this guide! Will be traveling internationally early next year and getting a ticket can be overwhelming, at least for me. Will bookmark this for reference! Oh and love the seasonal hack for buying cheaper tickets 🙂

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