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We know this one isn’t always possible, but the difference a day or two can make on flight prices can be pretty hefty. This can be due to a particular airline operating on certain days of the week, demand, the flight time and various other factors.
Kayak has a +3 days flexibility option. Below is an example for a one-way flight from London to Athens. Flying on the Monday costs £13 and flying just a day later costs over double!
Flying Friday–Sunday is typically more expensive, and weekdays are generally less. If you can be flexible, it’s worth checking various dates to see if you can save some cash.
Our Pirates pretty much spend every single day on flight comparison websites, to find you the best flight deals. One thing we can tell you from this is that flight prices change fast and often.
Just yesterday, I found New York flights which had dropped from £260 to £237 on the same date within 24 hours.
On desktop, perform a flight search and then toggle on 'Track prices' on the left sidebar. You'll also see Kayak's prediction on whether now is a good time to book them.
On mobile, perform a flight search and click the bell at the top of the screen.
On desktop, search for your flights and on the results page click on 'Get price alerts' in the top left corner.
On mobile, on the flights results page, click on the bell at the bottom of the page or find the banner that says 'Like these flights' and turn on price alerts.
You'll need to be logged in to set up price alerts.
If you're really on the hunt for cheap flights, it pays to be flexible with the destination too. You can use Kayak explore to see a world overview of the cheapest flights from your departure airport, once you click the destination you'll be shown which dates are the cheapest to travel on too.
You can either look at any date, a particular month or exact dates. This is a good option if you can't be flexible on dates but are open to try a new destination.
Click on the globe icon on the left sidebar.
Then you can scroll around the globe and pick a destination!
Tour operators like TUI and Jet2 charter their own planes and buy hotel rooms in bulk, meaning they can offer package deals including luggage and transfers for a great-value price. It's worth pricing up the extras if you're looking to book flights separate, as the inclusion of a package deal may make it work out cheaper.
🏴☠️ If you're a spontaneous traveller, check out last-minute packages, as they're often heavily discounted.
Airlines want your bums on their seats, the plane is going regardless. So if the seats aren't filled by a few weeks before departure, you'll often find some massively reduced rates.
We've recently found flights to Barbados in January for £300 return with TUI which is around £200 cheaper than other airlines, and later dates with TUI are over £600.
If you're looking for a long-haul flight, you might find the direct (or even indirect) prices to be mega expensive.
One of our favourite Pirate tips is to check out the cheapest indirect route and see where the layover is. Instead of booking this route, check if it's cheaper to book return flights to the layover destination and return flights from there to your final destination. You can leave a day or two in between too, which means no long airport stopover and getting to explore two places in one!
Airlines seem to be offering less and less as part of their standard economy tickets these days, even the likes of British Airways. A checked bag can easily add on £100+ to a return journey. It certainly pays to pack light, especially if you're only going on a short trip. There are great 'personal item' approved bags available on Amazon that fit a surprising amount. You can also read the rest of our packing hacks to save you money on luggage.
🏴☠️ Pirate tip: while on this topic, it's always worth checking what the airline includes as standard. Unlike Ryanair and other budget airlines, Jet2 flights still include a hand luggage case. Make sure to factor this cost in mind before booking flights.
OK, this is more shameless plug for HolidayPirates than it is a tip. But monitoring the market for the best flight deals takes time, a lot of it. And deals can sell out very quickly.
At HolidayPirates, it’s our job to find great deals – we’re literally paid to do it. So while you may still want to look for flight deals yourselves, following our social channels, downloading our app and receiving our deal alerts on WhatsApp make a lot of sense.
No, we don't mean leave somebody at home, although this would save a significant amount 😅. If you're looking at booking flights for a few people, it's worth checking the price on one or two people first, as airlines sometimes have limited availability at the lowest price. It means making separate bookings, but it can save some cash in my experience.
It's always tempting to book the cheapest possible flight available, but these are often at unsociable hours like 6am or midnight, when getting to the airport can be trickier. Consider how you will get to and from the airport at both sides, if public transport isn't running, and you have to factor in taxi or transfer costs then it may be more cost-efficient to take a different flight that costs slightly more.