Planning a trip for 2020 and keen to save some cash? There are all kinds of myths about how you can get cheap flights. Rumours abound that Tuesday is the cheapest day to book – not true – while others say you should always clear your cookies before you book, because the bots are increasing the prices (also not true). If you want some real tips that could actually save you some pennies, read our advice on how to get cheap flights for 2020.
Book in January
When all the festive cheer has melted away, airlines slash their prices. Big names like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flog their flights at knockdown prices in the January sales, making the first month of the year the best time to book your 2020 flights. You’ll see sales here, there and everywhere – keep on top of them all by signing up to our weekly emails, packed with deals and offers.
Book on a Sunday
You might’ve heard that Tuesday is the cheapest day to book flights – and you’re not entirely wrong. It certainly used to be. Back in the day, airlines loaded their fare reservations online on Monday, which meant the public could access all those cheap tickets on Tuesday. Nowadays, though, flight prices are updated daily – sometimes hourly – so the Tuesday rule no longer applies. Instead, Sunday is usually the cheapest day to book.
Compare different airports
Your nearest airport isn’t always the cheapest, and the biggest airports aren’t always the best. When you’re searching for cheap flights, it pays to look at different airports. Instead of focussing solely on London Gatwick, check the flights from London Heathrow and London Stansted too. Or, if you’re travelling from northern England, compare flights from Manchester Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport and Doncaster Sheffield Airport – they’re all within an hour of each other. It’s also worth thinking about the airport itself. You might want to consider which UK airports are the most family-friendly, for instance, or which airports are the best for accessibility.
Flying at a popular time, like Friday evening or Saturday lunchtime, is always going to be pricey. When you’re looking for cheap flights, make sure you compare different flying days and times to track down the best deal. Getting up at 5am on a Thursday might not sound very appealing, but it will definitely save you money.
Time it right
If you’re not really into planning ahead, don’t worry. January is the best time to book in advance, but last-minute flyers can still snap up cheap flights later in the year – it all depends on the timing. Every country is different, so it’s important to do your research. If you want last-minute flights to the USA, for example, you’ll often see decent late deals about five weeks before departure. But on flights to Australia – something most people plan months in advance – unsold seat prices plummet two weeks beforehand. It’s a risky strategy but, if you can hold your nerve, you could land an absolute bargain.