Smart Travel :: 7 Ways to Save on International Flights


image via katespade

Whether you’re planning your destination wedding or your honeymoon, or traveling to attend a friend’s wedding, let’s face it, flying isn’t cheap. But there are ways around it. Here are 7 tips that will save you money on international flights, compiled by

1. Travel Midweek

International travel deals are entirely based on availability and since most people travel over the weekend (Friday & Saturday); you will find the cheapest international airfare deals if you travel midweek, usually departing and returning on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

2. Spend Saturday Night

Business travelers fly home on the weekend, so most discounted international airfare deals require a Saturday night stay.  So be prepared to spend Saturday at your destination.

3. Don’t book too Early or Too Late

When it comes to cheap international airfares, you have to follow the Goldilocks rule: Don’t book too early or too late. We all know that an international ticket booked with less than 3 days notice will be very expensive, but it will also be pricy if you book too far in advance. Most airlines start competing for passengers around three to four months before departure; this is known as the “Goldilocks Zone”.  Search for your international airfare about three to five months out and you will be in the best position to hit the international airfare deal jackpot.

4. Fly Trough the Side Door

If your desired destination is sold out or too expensive, try flying out of a secondary international airport (Boston vs JFK or San Francisco vs Los Angeles). The same works with your destination airports; If London is sold out or too expensive, try Brussels, Amsterdam or even Stuttgart. You can use the savings to book a low cost inter Europe flight to London or you can jump on the Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels.

5. Fly Seasonally

Most budget travelers never fly during high season. They take advantage of the lower airfares and decent weather during the ‘shoulder season’.  Europe’s fall shoulder season starts around September 15th and extends until the middle of November. It’s spring shoulder season starts in mid February and extends until the end of April. For the cheapest deals to New Zealand and Australia, fly in mid August, their fall and winters are quite mild and still allow you to enjoy the many outdoor adventures available Down Under. For Asia, fly from late September through November to get the lowest airfare deals. South America’s low season is anytime it’s not Christmas, New Year’s, Carnival or a school holiday.

6. Use the Multiple Flights Function

Vayama has a ‘multiple flights’ function on it’s ‘find a flight’ box. It’s a good idea to use it because it may be cheaper to fly into one city and return from another (for example; New York to London, returning from Amsterdam).  Play around with different combinations and save.

7. Add a Stopover and Save

Direct flights (those with one stop) are also cheaper than nonstop flights, particularly when you fly long haul. For example the fares for a New York to Johannesburg flight will be cheaper on airlines that add a stopover (usually in Europe, Africa or the Middle East) versus the nonstop option from New York. The same applies to long haul flights to Asia. One stop in Seoul or Taipei could shave hundreds of dollars off an India trip when compared to nonstop flights.

So there you have it. Now you can travel smart and still have money to get yourself some souvenirs.