There's nothing like the feeling of taking off. Hearing the engines roaring, seeing the clouds below floating, and the uproar and cheer as you realize your next getaway is closer than ever. Sometimes, all that vacation fun can be bogged down by the hassle of enduring the booking process.
Booking flights can stir up mixed emotions. It's an exciting yet somewhat overwhelming process, especially if you're worrying about all those high price tags and hidden fees. Scavenging sites for top deals can be time-consuming and only sometimes fruitful for a budget traveler.
Alas, there's no need to fear! Whether you're dabbling as to when to book a flight, what flight booking sites to use, or wondering what information you'll need, I've got your back. Here's a deep dive into everything you need to know about flight booking in 2023. Let's hit the heights!
Tips for Booking
Whether you're a first-timer or a frequent flier, booking flights can get a little complicated. Here's a basic breakdown to set your journey off to a smooth start!
Get Your Travel Dates Organized
Before you get stuck in the flight booking process, you'll need a rough idea of the dates. Finalizing these will automatically help you to narrow down your options.
If you can, be flexible with your dates! You can use Google flights to try and pinpoint the exact dates that are cheapest around the time you want to travel.
Use Flight Search Sites
When comparing flights, you'll probably notice that there are plenty of options on the market. Travelers' favorites include Skyscanner, Kayak, Google Flights, Expedia, and Momondo. I'll dive deeper into this later on.
Start Planning Early Early
Flight booking is best when it's done in advance, especially for budget-weary travelers. As a general rule of thumb, the longer you wait, the higher the price. If you haven't got all the money you need right away, options like Airfordable can help you out. More on this handy travel helper later on in this post…
No, I'm not talking about being a gymnast. I'm talking about flexible dates and times! As I mentioned above, the more open you are to changing it up, the more your wallet will thank you later.
One of the best times to book a flight is during the week, not the weekend. Prices are usually best in the early mornings and late evenings.
Compare, Compare, Compare!
No matter how flashy a deal might look on a flight booking site, it's always best to compare. Consider various airlines, too, as well as third-party websites.
Don't Miss the Hidden Fees
That's right. Just like everything nowadays, there's always something written in the fine print. Sure, you might be scoring a dirt-cheap flight to a destination, but have you considered where the airport is located and what the additional transfer costs are? Don't forget about luggage fees, seat booking, and the like.
Go for a Budget Airline
If you're a backpacker or budget visitor, going on a budget should be at the top of your list. Booking flights is not always that affordable, so make sure you search for low-cost airlines.
Sign Up for Alerts and Rewards Programs
When booking flights, you may not always find what you're after straight away. That's why signing up for price alerts could be a great option to save money. If you're a frequent traveler, you could also score deals on flights simply by signing up for rewards programs too.
What Information Do You Need When Booking A Flight?
If you're wondering what kind of information you'll need, here are all the essentials. You'll need all the flight specifics, including the desired destination and dates. Yes, you need to decide whether you're going on a foodie tour of Rome or a girl's beach holiday to Hawaii!
Plus, your passenger details. You'll be required to fill in your full name, ID/Passport number, contact number, email, and residential address of all of the passengers from whom you're booking. After all the details are done, you'll then proceed to payment, so keep your banking info and cards handy.
Alternatives For Budget Travelers: Airfordable
When booking flights, it's important to purchase them well in advance. If you're saving for the trip of a lifetime, I understand that you might not have all the funds at the click of a finger. I mean, hey, who does? That's where Airfordable comes in.
A real game-changer for budget-conscious travelers, Airfordable allows you to pay for flights in installments. Naturally, making it an ideal option if you don't have all the money you need right away. With a flexible range of payment options and schedules, you can choose from up to 4 installments in total.
If you're planning a few trips at once, this is where Airfordable makes the biggest difference. You can score up to 5 flight bookings at a time, meaning you don't have to miss out on a thing! Get the full inside scoop in Pilot's Airfordable review.
Top-Rated Flight Booking Sites
When it comes to comparing flights, there are a whole lot of options. Here are my top picks for 2023!
If you're getting whisked away in the wealth of options on offer, make it plain and simple with Expedia. You can combine flight bookings, accommodations, cruises, all-inclusive packages, and more at this one-stop shop.
Although you may not find the most affordable flight bookings on offer, Expedia can be a great place to start. Read about all the benefits and disadvantages in this insider's Expedia review.
3. Scott's Cheap Flights
If you're looking at booking fights, Scott's Cheap Flights is an ideal option to consider. This platform notifies travelers of deals and discounts, it's also free to sign up. The free version is an ideal option for budget travelers, but the premium paid subscription is also relatively affordable.
If you're a frequent flier that's interested in saving money, it's an investment that could pay off. Additionally, there's an elite membership available that helps you scope out business and first-class flights.
Interested? Discover more in our comprehensive Scott's Flights review. If you're looking for similar alternatives when booking flights for your next getaway, also try the Dollar Flight Club and Jack's Flight Club.
Coined as a budget traveler's favorite, Kiwi.com claims to outsmart the flight system. When booking flights, Kiwi.com makes it easy to compare destinations within a search radius. With a multi-city feature, you can also look at flights with various stops.
Hosting all the major airlines, its downfall is that it doesn't necessarily include all local airlines. Flight changes and luggage add-ons also have to go through Kiwi.com, which might not always be the most convenient.
For everything you need to know about the pros and cons of booking flights, save this in-depth Kiwi.com review.
If you're on the hunt for the best flight booking sites, Momondo sits at the top of the ranks. Thanks to its simple search engine, you can search for deals and dates easily. Plus, it's 100% free! With so much information at your disposal, you can get inspired for your next trip abroad.
For backpackers or budget travelers, it's important to note one thing about Momondo. While you can find affordable flight booking options, they're fairly mid-range and are not always the most wallet-friendly options.
Want To Find Cheap Flights?
Calling all budget-conscious travelers! Don't be scared of the eye-catching prices pinned on travel websites. Flight booking doesn't have to be expensive, especially if you've got a few hacks up your sleeve.
If you want to find out more insider tips and tricks, save this comprehensive guide on how to find cheap flights for later. You can save yourself time, unwanted stress, and a fair few dollars too! Talk about a deal!
Planning Is Key
When diving into the process, booking flights can become overwhelming. If you apply these top-rated tips to planning your next getaway, I can assure that you'll be grateful. Once you start booking your flights, it's kind of hard to stop!
Flight booking is made simple when you get organized early. Get flexible with your schedule and compare various options. Signing up for deals and rewards programs can help put less of a dent in your wallet too!
Book Flights With Ease!
Booking flights with these tried-and-tested tips couldn't be easier. Now that you've nailed the process, it's time to get stuck into the fun stuff. Start planning your trip with Pilot and begin the countdown today!