When it comes to traveling to Asia, nothing is more important than buying your ticket. But what do you need to know before you part with your cash?
In this guide we will give you a list of all the general rules that will help you find the best tickets at the lowest cost.
1. Buy your ticket at the right time
It sounds obvious but most people think that buying your plane ticket as early as possible will get you the lowest fare. Often this is not true as airlines open a new flight at the highest price before lowering it to start filling up seats. There has been a lot of research on this but generally between 20 and 120 days before departure is the best time to buy a ticket for the lowest rate.
2. Fly out on weekdays
Generally Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to fly if you can. Flying at the weekend is generally more expensive and flights mid-week are usually cheaper. If your schedule allows it then this can be a great way to save some money.
3. Start your search in an incognito browser
This just means search in a browser that automatically resets your cookies when you open it. In Safari it is called ‘Private Browsing’ and in Chrome ‘New Incognito Browser’. Many travelers will tell you stories of ticket prices going up after having previously checked them without using an incognito browser. There may not be any scientific evidence to prove this but if you want to be safe then it is a good idea to use an incognito browser.
4. Use the right flight search engines
5. Don’t forget extra fees
When you’re travelling in Asia, there’s a big chance that you’ll be flying with Air Asia or another budget airline. They often have a lot of additional fees as they are an ultimate low cost carrier. So be prepared for this and implement these costs into your calculations when comparing them with other airlines. Once you add on the price of food and baggage allowances it may be cheaper to go with a regular airline.
6. Choose airports carefully
If you’re in a city that has both an international and a domestic airport (such as Bangkok or Mumbai), often your best pick is to go with the domestic airport if it also offers the flight you need. Sometimes you can also fly to a hub like Kuala Lumpur where flights are often very cheap and then transit from there. Finally, going to another smaller airport just outside of a major city (such as Clark in the Philippines rather than Manila) can also save you money.
7. Combine different flights yourself
This is a tricky one but you can use it to your advantage. Often if you search for the cheapest way to get from A to B you’ll get multiple flights with a lot of stops. You can easily find these flights yourself as well and often by booking those yourself you can save a lot of money. You just got to make sure that you keep at least 3 hours transfer time between flights, so if one of your flights gets delayed, you’ll often be able to get the appropriate compensation if you miss your next flight due to that delay.
8. Set price alarms
When you’re using any of the three search engines named in this article, you’re able to set price alarms. Whenever the price is dropping or rising, you’ll get a notification. As a rule of thumb you should know that the prices usually drop about three months before the date of departure. After this point they will often continue to drop until at some point they’ll start to rise again, mostly 4-6 weeks before departure. If you’ve got the luxury to wait for this sweetspot to appear, you can take full advantage of setting price alarms and buying at the right time.