1. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT AT LEAST THREE MONTHS AHEAD
New normal or not, it remains the case that if you want a cheap (or cheaper) air ticket, you have to plan early as prices can fluctuate very quickly nearer to the take-off date.
“As a general rule of thumb, planning around three to six months in advance would be a safe bet. This will allow travelers to secure the best deals and plan ahead,” said Ms Sarah Wan, the Singapore general manager of online travel booking platform Klook.
People are already doing so, she added, noting that Klook’s users have been planning their trips at least two months in advance, a “slight increase in terms of booking window” than before the pandemic.
2. AVOID PEAK PERIODS
The other rule of thumb is to steer clear of peak seasons, such as school holidays and festive seasons, so as to avoid a surge in prices and limited availability of good flight deals, said lifestyle app Traveloka’s president Caesar Indra.
Expedia, which partnered the Airlines Reporting Corporation for a 2022 travel booking guide, reckoned that huge savings can also be reaped if travelers choose the “right month” to travel.
And the most ideal month to travel is apparently August, when travelers can save almost 40 per cent on international flights, it said.
3. BOOK YOUR FLIGHT ON A WEEKEND
The day also matters when it comes to stretching your dollar.
Sunday is the cheapest day to make flight bookings, according to Expedia, as tickets are close to 20 per cent cheaper than Friday – the most expensive day.
4. START YOUR HOLIDAY ON A THURSDAY
Meanwhile, Thursdays are the best day to start one’s holiday.
Doing so can help you to save up to 25 per cent, compared to the most expensive day that is Monday, according to Expedia’s travel booking guide.
5. EXPLORE ALTERNATIVES
Be creative and find other ways to get to a destination, such as by flying into a neighbouring city and following up with a domestic flight or train, suggested Ms Wan.
6. PROMOTIONS, LOYALTY PROGRAMMES
It never hurts to do more research, especially on ongoing promotions. Travel booking platforms like Traveloka hold sales with exclusive deals on flights, accommodations and even holiday activities.
It may also be worth tapping loyalty programs offered by the likes of Expedia for member prices and exclusive perks.
And don’t forget to make use of credit card rewards or airline miles that have been left unused for the past two years, advised Ms Wan.
Meanwhile, opt for flexible travel options to accommodate unforeseen changes and purchase travel insurance as a safety net.
“This way, it helps you maximise your travel budget while keeping you covered from unexpected expenses,” said Expedia’s Asia head of public relations Lavinia Rajaram.