How do we manage to travel so frequently? The Cheap Flights Strategy
January 14, 2020
This is the question we get asked so frequently! Within the last two years, we’ve managed to visit 12 countries, some of them even more than once. On average, we go on a trip once a month, excluding the summer months (being our peak season – when we try to earn most of the following year’s travelling budget). Having a strategy for scoring cheap flights is key to making this possible.
Yes, we set a yearly budget dedicated just for travelling! We assure you, it’s not a grand amount. We’ll talk about this specifically at a later stage, but to give you an idea, our one year’s travelling budget is just a tad more than what an average person spends on an 8-night (somewhat luxurious) holiday.
One of the most important factors not to go far beyond the budget you set, is the amount of money spent on flights. Firstly, think of Skyscanner as your ‘Google’ for searching for flights. It’s the number one search engine with live updates, as prices drop or rise (which they do practically every 2-5 minutes).
The maximum we pay for (European) flights is €60/person (that’s including return ticket & luggage), but more often than not, we manage to get them for much less!
How To Use Skyscanner And What Is The Strategy?
Strategies, we have loads! We already talked about the one-way flight method. Here we’ll explain two of these strategies one can use on Skyscanner. You have to keep in mind the following principle: In order to score super cheap flights, one needs to either have a specific country in mind to visit and flexible dates or else specific dates but open to visit a range of countries. If both dates and country to visit are flexible, well, that’s the best-case scenario for you there!
Cheap Flights Strategy 1 – Specific Country & Flexible Dates
Let’s imagine you want to see the northern lights (who doesn’t? ) and want to visit Norway. On the Skyscanner website, insert the departure and arrival airports in the fields as shown below. In the date fields, set it as “cheapest month” to see, at the moment, when it is the cheapest to go.
Then, you are presented with a calendar showing a range of prices. Note that this is just an estimation. So, you’ll get the exact price when you actually click on the dates. In this instance, flights to Norway are available for just €29 including return. Bargain!
Clicking on “show flights” will show you the exact prices at the time, with choice of airlines and flight times. As you can see, the exact price is €20/person (not €29). That’s like MUCH cheaper than going for a night out!
Cheap Flights Strategy 2 – Specific Dates & Flexible Country
Unfortunately, studies and work do not always give us the luxury of having flexible dates. Not to worry! Here is how we go about our flight planning. On the Skyscanner website, set the departure field to e.g. Malta and the arrivals field to Everywhere. Insert your desired dates in the next field, as an example we are going for the 30th November until 7th December – and search!
The following page will show you the countries available, in order from cheapest to highest in price. Again, the price shown is the total for both flights (outbound & return) and is an estimation. In this example, cheapest is to Jordan (€29), Spain (€32) and UK (€36). Keep in mind flight prices often change, therefore countries and order they’re listed may change as well.
Such strategies work as well with long-distance flights.
Skyscanner has the ability to mix and merge airlines together while creating lay-overs, in order to get the cheapest option.
Yes, sometimes this can be riskier, as you won’t be covered if let’s say e.g. your first flight is delayed, and you miss the second one.
Planning a long layover will eliminate this risk. Okay, sleeping in an airport is definitely not as comfortable, but it’s very tempting when being able to get flights to New York for €400, Egypt for €120 and India for €420 amongst many others, from EUROPE!
FIRST TIMERS on Airbnb, use the Charls’ Travels Airbnb link and get a €30 Airbnb discount off your first booking!