Save money: How to find cheap flights
Looking for cheap airline tickets can save you hundreds of euros if you use the right platforms and know a few basic things. Here are twelve tips for your next trip.
Table of Contents
- Tips for cheap flights to Thailand and Southeast Asia
- Use the right flight search engine!
- Watch for fees!
- Book your flight early rather than late!
- Avoid holidays and holidays!
- Be flexible with the flight dates!
- Be flexible in the choice of the airport!
- Book return flight instead of twice one-way!
- Book a fork instead of twice one-way!
- Find out about cheap airlines on site!
- Think about what you really need!
- Become a bargain hunter!
- Get your money back!
- Supplement: Find the cheapest parking!
- Conclusion for cheap airline tickets
Since I started with Fascination Southeast Asia in May 2013, flying has been one of my main topics. I sat for days in front of the screen to get an overview of all the regional airlines and their connections. In the process, many guides have been created to help you keep track. These are questions like:
- Which airlines can book the cheapest domestic flights in Thailand , Myanmar , Malaysia , Cambodia or Vietnam ?
- Which airports are close to tourist destinations?
- And how do you best get from there to the Southeast Asian neighboring countries?
But you can not only save money on regional connections. Especially on the long haul the differences are considerable. So I met on my last trip to Thailand a couple from Hamburg, who had paid nearly 200, - Euro more for the flight with almost the same travel dates. Per person understood. And even for my mother, I was able to save another 80 euros on her last trip to Sri Lanka - even though the travel agency had told her that the price could not be topped.
Tips for cheap flights to Thailand and Southeast Asia
Below I have summarized my experiences, which I have collected in the last twelve years as a frequent flyer, in 12 tips:
Most of my flights booked so far have been found through the Skyscanner portal. There not only the offers of the airlines are compared, but also the prices of other travel portals queried (eg Opodo, eBooker, flight shop). The difference to many others: Skyscanner does not sell the tickets themselves, but always forwarded to the seller (airline or portal) and does not charge any fees. It has been a long time since I found a ticket somewhere else that was a) cheaper and b) could actually be bought. The only alternative that I also use more often is Momondo .
If a price at airline and travel portal is the same, I would always book through the airline. This makes it easier for problems (transfer / cancellation) usually.
There are still many dubious providers in the market of flight search engines. The supposed bargain may not be that cheap any more, if you have to pay huge, horrendous sums to pay with a credit card or take your luggage with you.
If you have planning security, you should also book early. The closer the travel date comes, the more expensive the flights usually become. And last-minute is more for gamers and is only rarely worthwhile on long-haul flights to Southeast Asia. About two months before departure is considered one of the best times on the long haul.
For dates at the beginning and the end of the high season, it is better to book even earlier. However, keep in mind that travel plans and personal situations may change. If you define your itinerary eight months in advance, you are bound to the flight and can only cancel or rebook for a fee.
The Southeast Asian budget airlines have right bargains for early bookers in the program. Since there are domestic flights already from 20, - Euro.
Especially in winter, many Europeans are attracted to Southeast Asia. At the beginning of the winter holidays, the flights are therefore really expensive. The same applies to a return flight on the first or second weekend of January. It is also more expensive in the autumn and summer holidays.
If you can only travel during the holidays because of your job situation or the compulsory school attendance of your children, you should take care of your flight tickets early on and also pay attention to the following tips.
Incidentally, the flights are also more expensive around holidays and extended weekends. In addition, inform yourself about traditional holidays in the countries you want to visit. Quite a few tourists in the past had to take note with surprise that all around Chinese New Year, Songkran or the Vietnamese Tet festival suddenly all hotels, buses and trains were fully booked, and there were only expensive flights.
Even without holidays and holidays, you should not forcefully commit to certain days when choosing your travel date. A day sooner or later can quickly make a difference of well over 100, - Euro. This is also because there are very popular flying days, for example Friday and Sunday. One reason for this is that many employers want their employees to take holidays on a weekly basis. Therefore, try to arrange an individual solution for your vacation. Questions cost nothing, a flight on a Sunday but usually much more. If possible: Check the fares before submitting your vacation request.
Just a few years ago, it was difficult to compare different dates with each other, because you had to ask again and again a new query. Today, it's easy on sites like Skyscanner . For example, you can click "whole month" or "whole year" when you arrive. Then you will get a bar chart as a result and see immediately, on which days the flights are the cheapest.
What applies to the appointments, of course, also applies to the choice of airports. For example, you can enter "Germany" as the departure point for Skyscanner and "Bangkok" as the destination. Then you choose which airports are eligible and compare the prices without having to reenter everything.
With regard to the destination airport, it does not hurt to take a look at the map. For example, if you want to travel to Krabi , a flight from Europe to Phuket followed by a bus trip may be cheaper than a flight to Bangkok with the following domestic flight.
Also note that there is a very cheap and well-developed network of regional air services in Southeast Asia. The hubs are beside Bangkok also Kuala Lumpur and Singapore . Accordingly, it is sometimes worthwhile to check also connections in these two capitals and if necessary fly from there with a cheap airline to the actual destination.
Overall: Set time, effort and costs in a reasonable ratio. Is it worth it to save 50 euros for a flight from Frankfurt instead of Munich, but to spend hours traveling by train? And then the stress, when the train is late or you are stuck in a traffic jam?
Years ago I booked a return flight from Dusseldorf to India at a very early stage for 400, - Euro. A little later it turned out that I decided to travel to Thailand afterwards, and not to return to Germany. I called the airline and asked what it would do to me to cancel the return flight. The answer: almost nothing. Then it would be a one-way flight and it would cost a similar amount by now.
In general, one-way flights are much more expensive compared to booking a return trip at the same time. Therefore, combine both if you have no other plans.
It will be interesting if you want to fly back from another airport. For example, because you want to start your holiday in Bangkok and end up in Singapore. Or you made the 1,600 kilometers from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City as a travel route.
Here comes the flight search engine Momondo in game. There you can directly select the option "Gabelflug" on the homepage and for example "Berlin - Bangkok" as well as "Singapore - Berlin" in an offer. In addition, there is the possibility to add more stops (here in the review I explain how it works).
In general, a fork-lift flight is always more expensive than a classic round-trip flight, but you may save a lot of money and valuable time on site if you do not have to return to your arrival airport.
Update: As of June 2015, Skyscanner also offers the search for fork flights.
Whether Cebu Air Pacific in the Philippines, Air Asia from Malaysia or Tiger Air from Singapore, the list of regional airlines is long and the network well developed. Significantly cheaper than in Europe you can book flights here, partly pushed from 20, - Euro.
Not all flight search engines have all airlines in the program. Therefore, I started to gather everything worth knowing about the individual countries:
- Domestic flights Thailand
- Flights from Thailand to neighboring countries
- Domestic flights Vietnam
- Flights from Vietnam to neighboring countries
- Domestic flights Cambodia and flights to neighboring countries
- Domestic flights Malaysia
- Domestic flights Myanmar
There you will not only find out which airlines are available in the countries and which route there are, but also which tourist destinations are close to the airport.
At the end of a booking process, you are often advised to take out travel cancellation insurance. But is it really worth it? I flew so many times and never had to miss a flight due to illness. And if it happens in the future, it's still cheaper for me now than if I had always booked these expensive additional packages all these years.
Also, be wary of bonus miles programs from airlines. Clear free flights sound tempting. But think about how many miles you need and what you will actually get in the end. With a cheaper flight you can save now and immediately. If you choose a slightly more expensive option because of the miles, you should have checked whether this is really worthwhile for you.
Airlines have always great deals in the program, but limited in time and in limited quantities. In order not to miss these specials, you can follow the airlines, for example, on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to their newsletter.
In addition, there are plenty of websites that do this search for you, from myDealZ to the holiday pirates. Other offers like Exbir are looking for bargains and error fares. These are connections that are due to a miscalculation of the airline for a very short time dirt cheap in the program.
For example, you can subscribe to such bargain sites with a feed reader such as Feedly and conveniently check once a day for a cool deal.
In the case of massive delays, you have a right to compensation or reimbursement not only for the train, but also for airlines. However, it is difficult to enforce this claim. For some years, there have been commercial providers helping you to deal with the airline. They collect a commission on compensation. The advantage: No legal fees are incurred for you.
You may need to drive to the airport in your car because it is too far to get to a taxi and it's a hassle to reach by public transport. If you or you can not be friends, you will need a parking space to park your own car for the duration of your trip. Near the airport there is usually no or hardly any free parking that is safe and where there is no risk of your car being towed. When choosing a paid offer, you can save money by choosing the right parking garage, because the prices of different providers vary considerably. Meanwhile, there are comparison portals for parking at the airport , where you can check the costs in advance. Currently, this offer is already available for the airports in Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich and Amsterdam.
Conclusion for cheap airline tickets
With the right knowledge, you can save a lot of money when booking a flight. The price differences for the tickets are sometimes several hundred euros. However, you should not make any science out of it. If you follow all the tips mentioned here and maybe try out two of your own ideas, then that's enough. Although you can still test ten more search engines and a handful of airlines, hoping to save somewhere 10 euros, but also consider the time that costs you all this.
What are your tips on air tickets?