New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day don’t just welcome a new calendar year, these are also auspicious days to celebrate and travel. While many people celebrate this day by having private and public parties, others fly to different destinations.
However, when looking up flights, you may notice that fares are surprisingly expensive. Given that New Year’s is celebrated in every part of the planet, airline companies often increase their airfares. Also, most people will not be bothered about this, but for those that are, there are, of course, solutions to finding the cheapest deals on fares.
In this travel guide, we’ll share a few tips with you on how to find the cheapest New Year’s flights.
Tips for Finding the Cheapest Flights on New Year’s Travel
Here are some tips for finding the cheapest domestic and international flights on New Year’s occasion.
1- Time Your Flight Reservation
Timing and careful planning are essential when traveling. There is no harm in booking your flight reservations a few months in advance. This is much better than hoping to catch a last-minute flight at the airport, which again, depends on the availability.
Since New Year’s occasion means large crowds of people traveling from one place to another, airports are very busy, too. So, you may have fewer chances of getting a last-minute flight. But, you can be sure if you’ve booked your flight reservations months in advance.
2- Choose Less Popular Destinations
Another important thing to consider when searching for a flight to travel to on New Year’s occasion is the destination you want to quickly fly to.
Choosing a less popular destination for your travel will significantly depend on the availability of flights serving that route. Also, traveling to cities, whether domestic or international, where people are less likely to visit during the given time means you will have greater chances of finding cheaper airfares and/or great deals.
3- Flexibility is the Key
An important thing to keep in mind when making your New Year’s travel decision is to avoid having any particular or fixed dates. Instead, prefer having your travel dates as much flexible as possible. A benefit of having flexible travel dates is that you could get confirmed tickets, availability of route and destination, and perhaps, cheaper deals on airfares as well.
Most of the time, even if there is a last-minute flight available for the same date, the route, and destination is not. This further makes the traveler frustrated and he/she has to spend more time finding a flight that they can board in order to get to their destination.
4- Look for Budget Airlines
Budget airlines sometimes, fly to alternative airports that are not the usual main or hub airports like in major cities. These airline carriers take this approach in order to cut down on their expenses. Such airports also have ground transportation services, such as taxis and car rentals available for passengers to travel further.
This can also be seen as an advantage if you are trying to get a cheap flight to your intended destination. When you compare a budget airline with other full-service commercial airline carriers, these low-cost carriers are, in fact, much cheaper. The reason is budget airlines sacrifice a lot on comfort, luxury, and a few in-flight services or facilities. So, even if you find a budget airline for cheaper airfare, you may have to do with less comfort and services.
5- Flight Search Engines & OTAs are Sometimes Your Best Bet
Finding cheap flights, especially on your airline carrier’s website may not always prove fruitful. Therefore, another way is to look for all possible options using flight search engines and online travel agents (OTAs). Various travel agents and flight search engines, such as CheapOair, Expedia, Google Flights, Kayak, Priceline, Skyscanner, etc. often offer low-priced flights, while some also include bundled packages. The bundled packages can include hotels, cruises, and rental cars. This means you don’t have to book or purchase these separately.
If you go the extra step of looking for cheap flights on one or more travel sites or flight search engines, you will thus, ensure getting the best deal out there. In addition, many OTAs and flight search engines also allow you to set price alerts for certain flights or destinations, which is a great way to keep track of changes in airfares.
However, bear in mind that when you book directly through an airline carrier’s website, and in the event, that your flight gets canceled, you will still have an easier time dealing with the airline. Also, you may be fortunate to get rebooked on another flight that is scheduled for your destination. But, this is not the case if you had booked your flight through a flight search engine.
6- Prefer to Book Flight Tickets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, &Thursdays
Most people are not aware of the fact that booking flight tickets on certain days are much cheaper. Various analyses have shown that booking flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, are usually the cheapest compared to other days of the week.
Usually, one of the reasons why booking your flight tickets is cheaper on these days is that these days of the week are seen as less busy days. This gives travelers the opportunity to get cheaper airfares for both short and long-haul trips.
When you are looking for airfares on an airline carrier’s website, and particularly, these days, also do a little search on a few travel websites as well. Chances are, you may stumble upon some deals that you just can’t let go of.
7- Opt-In for a Stopover in Your Flight Trip
Give a second thought to yourself before booking an international flight for your trip. Non-stop flights are usually more expensive than flights that are booked with one or more layovers and/or stopovers. A layover is basically a short gap or leg in your flight’s route before boarding another flight to your final destination airport/city. A stopover, on the other hand, is a longer gap, usually a day or more, then continue your journey with either the same airliner or another carrier to your final destination airport/city.
When booking either a one-way or round-trip flight to your favorite destination city, it is a good idea to also include a stopover in your itinerary. This travel hack is quite the same as hitting two birds with one stone. Not only you will get cheaper airfares for your travel, but you can also save money as well.
There is a benefit in including a layover or stopover in your itinerary. When you add a stopover to your trip, you also have the opportunity to spend a day or two in that city. You can then board your scheduled flight that is en route to your final destination city. In other words, you are traveling and exploring two cities in one trip, which again, is a smart way to save money on your travel.
8- Frequent Flyers Can Use Miles
If you are a frequent flyer, you can make great use of your accumulated reward points or miles to find and book budget flights.
Many airline carriers offer loyalty or reward programs to customers that allow them to redeem these miles or points for various purposes, including the purchase of certain products and/or services. These reward programs can also be used with partner airlines, also called alliance members of an airline carrier.
If you are not a frequent flyer, you can sign up with an airline’s travel rewards program and make the most of it for your future travels. In addition, you can also earn reward points without flying. This means you can opt for a credit card sign-up bonus, shop online, participate in surveys, and grab special offers from the airline’s partners.
Also, keep in mind that while airports will be swarming with busy crowds, it’s a good idea to arrive at the airport an hour early. This is to ease the check-in, security, and boarding process. You don’t want to keep waiting in long queues and exhaust yourself even before boarding your plane.