I believe we are lucky that these days, traveling no longer means breaking the bank. The airlines have gotten so competitive that the fares are at that level where almost all people can afford. In the spirit of utilizing every hard-earned cent, below are some tips I hope you find useful on how to save a little cash here and there when you’re planning a trip or actually on your little (or big) getaway.
1. Book your tickets early. That may not come as a shock to you but having said that, wait for seat sales at the same time. It can backfire when you book early during non-sale periods. Know the occurrence of these seat sales too (i.e. PAL’s midnight madness sale almost every weekend). Compare airline rates and list them down together with the flight schedules (I use MS Excel ). Know when is the peak time for the target destination as well because if you travel during those times, chances are hotel accommodations would be pricey. For some more tips on seat sale bookings, please refer here.
Read the rest of this entry »
I am not exactly the most knowledgeable person for this as there are people I have read about who booked way more (cheap) flights than I have but I would like to share some tips from experience.
- Plan way ahead of time. And I mean WAY ahead, even if there has not been an announcement of a sale yet. If you and your friends have been wanting to go and have agreed to a destination, make sure you have an idea on when they will be free to travel so when the sale comes, and this might happen again during the wee hours of the night, you are ready to just hit “book now”. Do not forget to agree on a price cap as well.
- Know your companions’ details. Whomever you are tagging along with you, make sure you know at least their full names and birth dates (passport name, for international travel). These will be required by the internet system for booking.
- Register with Cebu Pacific (or any airline you are availing those cheap tickets from). This makes it easier when inputting passenger details because often, their system will store the details and will automatically input them to the fields needed to be filled out. Speed is important during seat sales because not unless they have charged you, your booking is not confirmed. Registering should save you some time.
- In searching for the cheapest fares, look for the dates you prefer most first. Who knows those dates might still be available? If not and it happens that your travel is flexible, make sure to check Sunday-Wednesday departures and Wednesday-Saturday arrivals. You are bound to find cheap fares during those times.
- While booking, pay very close attention to details. The dates and time of your travel in particular are very important. Know how many days you want to spend in the destination you are targeting and assess the flight schedule. Consider the travel time, travel schedule and time differences. I know how it feels, adrenalin pumping and heart beating fast, these might get in the way of your logical thinking. But learn to calm down and focus, you wouldn’t want to spend an entire week in a city meant to be visited for a few days just because you overlooked the dates, right?
- When booking dirt cheap flights, there is no room for error (or little room). Make sure you type in the correct names (check the spelling) and birth dates as these may cost you some money (read: even more expensive than what you have to pay originally) to alter after finalizing your booking.
- Weigh your options. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you should take them. If it means you having to leave your responsibilities for x amount of days and you are coming back to a whirlwind of e-mails or you won’t be able to get paid because of skipping work or filing a vacation leave, then think about if it’s actually worth it.
- Know that these tickets are often non-[insert everything possible travel booking actions here]. Hehe. They are usually non-rebookable, non-refundable, non-transferable, non-reroutable, etc. So make sure that you are all set before confirming your payment.
Of course fast and reliable internet connection is a big plus, especially if the site becomes congested. A lot of this also has something to do with luck, if you have in fact have gotten to the website before anyone else did. Then you have more possibility to book your preferred schedule at your preferred fare.
I hope I provided you with little tips that will help you in your future bookings. Do you have questions or perhaps more suggestions? Please let me know!
For the meantime, I’m crossing my fingers as I feel a sale coming up this Sunday (Independence Day). Hehe. Here’s to more future travels!
I am no stranger to booking cheap fares online. It is actually one of the things that sends my heart beating as fast as if I am doing cardio. It is crazy it can be classified as an addiction.
This senselessness of mine began early 2010. At that time, zero fares have already been made famous by Cebu Pacific and as I would read stories about it online, I was thinking these people have got to be kidding. Airfares couldn’t be that cheap.
I was wrong. By chance, I was able to catch the Cebu Pacific Php 1 sale in the middle of its run. I couldn’t believe that I was able to book Manila-Cebu-Manila at Php 100 per person. The catch though was that my flight was a Monday night until Wednesday night, which was not particularly ideal especially to those whose jobs fall on a Monday-Friday routine. The travel period was scheduled a year after and yet it was the only schedule I saw that had Php 1 as the fare price. I guess it is what you pay for in exchange of the dirt cheap prices.
Read the rest of this entry »