How to find discount flights

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Finding cheap flights is easier than you think!

I am a seasoned traveller. I have visited 35 countries, some multiple times, countless cities, and have taken A LOT of flights. On my most recent trip to Europe, flying from Australia, I really tested out a lot of theories around finding discount flights without lacking comfort or  safety.

I will be relating most of my examples to that trip as it would typically be a costly flight route as it takes a minimum of two long hauled flights and is over an expensive time of the year.

Find affordable flights every single time!

Be flexible with your travel dates
Some of the most expensive times to fly are weekends and season peaks based on weather (e.g., visiting Europe over the summer) or public holidays. You can, however, find affordable discount flights over those periods if you search by the entire month, not by a specific date. I love the search option on Skyscanner, and I use this to find all my cheap international flights. Seeing an entire month’s worth of prices allows me to choose my travel based on my budget.

Be open to a long stopover
I don’t mind long stopovers if they are long enough to get a night of sleep and shower. When I recently flew to Europe on Air China, I chose a flight that had a 24-hour stopover in Shanghai in between two 10 hours plus flights. This was the perfect situation for me as it allowed me to get a transit hotel, get a good night’s sleep, and freshen up before the next international flights. Another way you can use a long stopover is by visiting the layover city and having a look around like a little pre-holiday.

Don’t always fly direct, look at an alternative route
For example, sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to Paris and take a budget airline to London than to fly direct. And this certainly was the case for me when flying to Europe over Christmas and New Year’s. I needed to get to Edinburgh. The cheapest flight route for me was to fly to Barcelona than onward to Edinburgh on a $40 Ryanair connecting flight than direct. There are many budget carriers now, so it’s worth taking advantage of the many sales and offers they have.

Be flexible with your destination
One of the features of Skyscanner that I love is the fact you can search by “Everywhere”! By simply selecting your departure destination, you will discover a variety of different destinations at different prices.

Don’t disregard budget carriers
Budget or low cost airlines now service many long-haul routes, making it possible to travel around the world on a budget. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unjustified negative reviews on a lot of them. Just remember that these airlines are budget, so as long as your expectations reflect the price, you will be fine. I mostly fly budget so that I can travel more. I recently flew Air China, which has been popping up a lot more and I loved it. Excellent value for money.

Don’t book too early
Don’t book 9 months in advance and don’t book at the very last second. I personally find between the 2 to 3 months range as the magic number for discount flights!


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