Nowadays, the world wide web allows us all access to information that once existed only for individuals. We can study and analyze information, and as a result, we can make smart and informed decisions. One of the sectors that were most affected by the internet appearance is the tourism sector.
While in the past we were dependent on travel agents, today each one of us can put together a travel package that suits is needs.
Here in this 5-step plan, I will help you to optimize your flight search and to find the best and cheapest flight as per your needs. Let’s start!
Step #1 – Choosing the desired destination towards a cheap flight
It sounds trivial to choose a destination, but we do not always choose in an informed manner.
Sometimes the choice is spontaneous, and sometimes we are just searching for a cheap flight ticket but not paying attention to other high costs such as hotel, food and beverages, shopping, etc.
My recommendation is – select several destinations that you want to visit and follow the next steps listed below, by the end of this article you will be able to compare the data of costs between all the destinations you listed and come up with a perfect calculated decision.
Step #2 – Choosing the dates and time of the departure and arrival flights.
At this step, the decision matrix will get a bit complicated. Different flight dates and hours can affect your budget significantly.
Ask yourself – Am I flexible with the dates and hours or I am aiming towards a desired date?
A weekend flight usually more expensive than a flight in the middle of the week. Most of the times a morning flight is more expensive than afternoon or night flight (depends on location). Flights during the winter will probably be cheaper than in the summer (Christmas should be excluded here – at this time period flight prices are sky high, literally!) Flight during holidays will be more expensive than anything else (Someone said Christmas?).
Step #3 – Evaluating the options
Visit every flight search engine (Kayak, Skyscanner, Momondo, Travelocity) and enter the data you listed in steps 1&2. Open a spreadsheet and write all down. It is important to record the hours of take-off and landing in the destination and the same for the return flight. Write down the final price and what this price includes or not includes. Write down also the name of the airport where the flight will land. Some cities have more than one airport.
Step #4 – Calculating cost for each option
Now that you’ve entered all the data into the spreadsheet you are ready to calculate the estimated costs for each destination option.
The costs that needed to be taken into consideration:
• Cost of arrival to airport (Car/parking/train/taxi/bus etc.)
• The total cost of the flight (flight ticket, additional baggage fee, food, etc.)
• The cost of transportation from the airport to the hotel in the desired destination (depending on the hour of the day/traffic etc.)
• Number of days and nights in the desired dates
• Cost of the hotel for the desired dates
• The cost of transportation from the hotel to the airport at the time of return
• Cost of return flight (flight ticket, additional baggage fee, food, etc.)
Step #5 – Taking a decision
Our spreadsheet is full with all the options and costs data, and we can wisely choose the preferred flight and location according to our needs.
Few notes to take into consideration:
Sometimes staying in a place for five days will be cheaper (in terms of flight) than four nights staying. Sometimes Flight tickets for airport A will be cheaper than airport B in the same city, but the transportation to the hotel will be much more expensive.
Some of the flights arriving late at night and can cause fatigue for the next traveling day while in some flights are overnight and you can sleep during the entire flight and arrive at the destination well rested and fresh.
Implement these steps, and I assure you will come up with a smart flight destination decision
Enjoy and have a safe flight!