How to book the cheap flights online

Grab the best airfare deals with the help of this handy list of travel tips. Image: Kayak/ iStock

Are you feeling the travel envy from looking at your friends’ holiday Instagrams? It’s time to book your own trip soon then; these useful travel tips will help you grab the best flight deals.

If you’ve ever wondered when are the best dates and times to book your flights, check out this handy list that we had got from travel search engine Kayak.

#1 Pick the right day of the week to fly.
Mid-week flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the cheapest, compared to other days of the week. Most business travellers will prefer to fly on Mondays, which makes flights at the beginning of the week just a touch more expensive.

If you’re flying to a city nearby for a short holiday, flights on Saturdays are the next best alternative, price-wise.

#2 Flights at ‘dead times’ are cheaper.
Choose the early morning or overnight flights, to nab the best airfare prices. Time it such that you’ll arrive at your destination city in the day, to help with the jet lag; getting more exposure to natural daylight will your body clock adjust better to the time difference.

#3 Choose a less busy airport for cheaper flights.
You’ll save more by opting for flights to alternative airports nearby, like the Stansted in London instead of busier ones like the Heathrow. Lower airport fees mean that the airlines can pass the savings to you too. Plus, these airports are likely to be less crowded, which will mean shorter taxi queues and possibly cheaper car hire prices as well.

#4 Book at least 3 months in advance for the cheapest flights to South America.
A trip on a whim to South America will definitely cost you. According to Kayak, airfares can cost up a whooping 43 per cent more than usual, if you get your tickets less than one month before your departure date. The best time to book: At least three months before you fly to popular destinations like Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires.

#5 Book at least 2 months ahead for trips to New Zealand, Australia and Europe.
For flights to Europe, your air tickets should be reserved at least 10 weeks in advance — that’s about two and a half months before the departure date — before the prices start rocketing even more. Similarly, flight tickets booked at least two months in advance to Australia and New Zealand can be 18 per cent cheaper than those booked less than a month before the departure date.

#6 Airfares to New York or Bangkok will cost about same whether you’re booking them 1 month or 2 months in advance.
Barring the seasonal airfare deals, the price difference in booking your air tickets to North American and Asian destinations can be surprisingly minimal, compared to other destinations; the difference makes for only about 9 per cent, which adds to about less than $100 difference for regional flights and the ballpark of $100 to $200 for flights to the States. Which does make that impulse airfare booking even more tempting, don’t you agree?

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