Five tips for saving money on your next flight abroad


According to the latest Flight Price Index by Kiwi.com, the average cost per 100km of air travel in South Africa is R94.

In short, flight tickets are rather pricey – and this is true regardless of whether you’re travelling local or abroad.  

Should you
allow this cost to convince you to re-think your travel plans entirely?
Certainly not! It’s simply a matter of finding the best possible deal out there
and taking full advantage of it.

To help you
pinch those pennies so that you can enjoy exploring your chosen destination to
the max and spend money on making memories instead of on travel-related expenses,
here are seven tips for saving money on your next flight abroad.

Book Early

You may have been told that you can
get the lowest possible airfare by booking on a Tuesday, or perhaps at a
specific time of day.

“The truth is that the only fool-proof way in which to lock in the lowest flight ticket price is to book as early as possible,” says Sue Garrett, GM of Product and Marketing at Flight Centre.

This is due to the fact that most
airlines work according to a system of demand-based pricing.

“The first seats are available at the lowest-possible fare and as the plane fills up, especially if it does so quickly, the ticket prices are sure to become incrementally higher,” explains Garrett.

If you’re planning a trip during the
busy season and in December, in particular, we recommend you start thinking
about booking your flights as early as May if you want to secure a good deal.

Be Flexible

It’s a
well-known fact that it’s cheaper to fly on certain days of the week. “I’ve
found that I’m able to get a much more affordable airfare if I choose to fly in
the middle of the week or on a Saturday,” says Shawn Coppin, a Creative
Director and frequent traveller from Linden, Johannesburg. “Sometimes ticket
prices can be more than double if you opt to fly on a Friday or a Sunday.

Fly Off-Peak Hours

Nobody wants to
have to get up at 2am to make it to the airport in time for a 6am flight, but
the truth is that doing so could save you quite a bit of money. Flights that
are due to take off during off-peak hours (before 7am and after 8pm) are often
much cheaper than the ‘more convenient’ ones available.

Start or Join a Travel Stokvel

Never heard
of it? A Stokvel is basically a group savings account made up of a number of
members who are all saving towards a common goal and who contribute a certain
amount to the shared account on a monthly basis.

“It’s a great
way to save up some money for flight tickets without having to incur debt,”
comments Lance Nkwe, Business Leader of Emerging Markets at The Flight Centre
Travel Group. Lots of prospective travellers are finding it simple and
convenient to create their own Flight Centre Stokvel.

“Anyone can do it. There’s no credit check involved and no difficult approval processes to follow when looking to access the funds. All that it takes is R500 to get started.”

Travel Anywhere

While it’s
certainly important to be flexible about when you travel, it’s also great if you can be flexible about where you travel. You can be sure that
there’s an incredible flight ticket special to some exciting new destination
around the world running at any given time. The question is, how do you go
about finding that special?

Browse online
and on social media, keep an eye on specials on a travel agency website and be
ready to book when you find a great deal that piques your interest.

At the end of
the day, you will come to find that even if you do have to scrape them
together, travel really is worth every penny. Hopefully, by putting the
aforementioned tips to good use, you’ll be able to do more with the funds
available to you and enrich your mind and soul with memories from faraway
places that are sure to last a lifetime.  

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