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Buying plane tickets is an important step when planning a trip. Especially from the point of view of the budget, the process of searching for plane tickets can be the most challenging phase in the whole organization.

It is not always easy to find the most advantageous plane tickets. Prices fluctuate very often, depending on various factors. In a short period of time, a ticket can reach from a few tens of euros to more than one hundred euros.

In this article I will give you a series of tips on how to find the best and most suitable plane tickets for your trip.

How to find cheap plane tickets

1. Look for tickets a few months in advance

Search and buy plane tickets a few months before your departure. The rule observed over time is that tickets become more expensive the closer the departure date comes. Airlines usually sell tickets up to one year in advance. So, if you decide quickly to go on vacation, you can save a lot of money on plane tickets.

Frankfurt - plane sight
Frankfurt - plane sight
2. Be patient, wait until you think you got the best price

Prices change very often, including within a day. For this, you need to be patient and periodically check the price, until you have an idea of the margin in which a price can fluctuate. But be careful to delete your cookies, if you constantly search for the same flight. Or you can wait until the day you receive certain promotional discounts on certain flight segments, including yours.

3. Be flexible with your flight dates or destination

If you have a certain flexibility when looking for certain flights, you may be surprised that a return flight whose date differs by a day, two or a week more or less than the period initially searched for has a consistent price difference.

At the same time, if you are not dependent on a certain location, there is also the option in which you can find other more advantageous offers, to other tourist destinations, for the period in which you want to travel.

4. Get inspiration from search engine sites

Search on the well-known search engines what options you have for reaching a certain destination, what would be the most convenient price and period. These sites are especially useful when it comes to more distant destinations, with at least one stopover, because they display all the flight options, from your point of departure to your destination.

Such sites are:

Another site I can recommend is https://www.flightconnections.com. You can see here to which destinations there are direct flights from the airport you are searching.

5. Buy tickets directly from the official airline websites

Even if you find your flight on one of the previously mentioned search sites, my recommendation is to always buy plane tickets directly from the airline's website.

Thus, you do not take any risk that could arise due to third-parties. And here, I am referring especially to the situation in which a flight is modified or cancelled. By purchasing directly from the official website, the airline is constrained to offer you other alternatives in case of problems with the plane. There were many complaints that this did not happen even when it came to tickets bought from third parties.

Jordan - plane sight
Jordan - plane sight
6. Delete browser cookies / Browse in Incognito mode / Change country VPN

Before looking for flight tickets, one of the secrets is to enter the websites of the airline companies with a clean web browser - either delete the browser's cookies, or enter directly from the private Incognito mode. Those cookies are tracked by the booking sites and thus the information that you are interested in a certain destination will be easy to process. Because of this, you will start to see higher prices on your device.

A more extreme solution is to try to search on VPNs from other countriesYou could be surprised to find out there are differences between the prices displayed by companies for different countries (the search would now be done from the IP of another country). There are several applications that you can use to connect to VPN servers in other countries, among which I can list CyberGhost VPN or Surfshark.

7. Look for more flight options

Sometimes the flight offers from the search sites are not enough, and you have to be a little more inventive to look for other options. What I usually do is manually search for flights from one destination to another: I check the airlines that fly to my home-town airport and try to find different combinations of flights with stopovers.

For example, there is no direct flight from Cluj-Napoca to Portugal. To get there, I had several options, which were not as comfortable as a direct flight, of course. But I compared these options: flight from Cluj-Napoca with a stopover in Germany (via Lufthansa), direct flight from Bucharest or direct flight from Budapest (Wizz Air). As a direct flight, the price of a flight from Bucharest or Budapest would have been lower than the flight with a stopover, departing from home, from Cluj-Napoca. But, adding the time and fatigue collected on the road to Bucharest or Budapest, the gas money and possibly the money for one night sleep accommodation there, in the end I concluded that the option with a stopover and a flight from home would be more price convenient, and even more comfortable.

So the low price of a ticket should not always be the most important aspect. You also have to consider accessibility, convenience and fatigue when it comes to the whole road to a destination.

8. Try to travel with the same airline, in case you have stopovers

For a flight with several flight segments, try to use only one airline, and preferably not a low cost airline. When you have such a flight, with stopovers, the airline is responsible for taking you from the point of departure to the destination. If there are unforeseen events, such as cancellation of a flight or losing your connection due to a delay, the company will take care of finding you an alternative flight or giving you compensation. It is not guaranteed that the same thing can happen with a low cost company. And if the flight segments are bought through different companies, the risk is even greater. If you lose a connection due to any delay, you are on your own, and you have no way to recover the money for the lost flights.

However, if the only possibility is to travel with several airlines, I recommend you to have longer stopovers, so as not to risk missing the planes.

9. Search for tickets at nearby airports as well

Before buying plane tickets, at least for more distant and expensive flights, check what flight options you have from nearby airports. For example, I found often better priced flights to distant destinations, with differences of even a few hundred euros, from Bucharest or Budapest, in comparison with Cluj-Napoca, our hometown.

10. Subscribe to the airline newsletters

If you want to receive promotional offers from airline companies and always be up to date with the latest news, the easiest way is to subscribe to the websites' newsletters. For example, Wizz Air often gives different promotions on flights, available only for 24 hours, so if you are interested, it is advisable to be quickly informed when such offers appear.

In addition to the newsletter, I personally opted for the Wizz Discount option from Wizz Air. I paid an amount of approximately 30 euros, and then for a year I could buy tickets at preferential prices for 2 people. Also, the price of luggage is lower with this subscription. Practically, the amount initially paid for Wizz Discount was recovered from the first trip, through the discount received.

11. Pay attention to additional costs

When you decide to buy a plane ticket, be very careful about the additional costs. Usually, when ticket prices are displayed, companies choose to display the simplest ticket price: without checked baggage, without a seat, or without a carry on luggage, depending on the rules of each airline.

For example, for low-cost companies, the simplest ticket ensures you only a small hand luggage, which can be stored under the front seat. If you want to purchase, additionally, a baggage or a carry-on bag, and possibly choose a seat inside the plane, the ticket price will increase by several tens of euros.

For a line company, such as Turkish Airlines for example, all these options are already included in the price of the purchased ticket (luggage and seat inside the plane).

12. Buy only the single ticket at the beginning

If you have to purchase luggage and seat on the plane separately, my recommendation is to postpone this moment until closer to the departure date. If the flight is cancelled, you will have to recover a smaller amount of money. In general, the prices for luggage and seats are not influenced by the time of purchase.

13. The price is higher in certain specific periods

There are certain periods in a week or year when the price of a ticket can be higher than in other periods. Over time, I have noticed that flights scheduled on weekends, near holidays or at the peak of the season are generally higher. For example, a return flight from Monday to Friday can be cheaper than a flight from Friday to Monday, even if the period is approximately the same.

If you plan to travel during holidays or national free days, you will pay more, because demand inevitably increases then. At the same time, always at the peak of the season expect much higher prices than in the off-season.

These are some of the tricks that I follow when I search for my own plane tickets, tricks that I tested and experienced myself over the years, and which I hope will help you too. Traveling doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, you just need to know when and how to travel.