A few weeks ago I went to a travel expo. I was expecting specials as radical as 50% of all flights, buy one cruise get two free and a complimentary holiday to Russia but, instead all I got was 15% off tours and flights to Thailand for R10 000!!
What made matters worse, was that most people thought that what they were being offered was a once in a life time specials. This is what inspired this post, there are tons of cheap flights to major destinations that people don’t know about. If a destination is a hub even better. The more people flying in and out of a destination the cheaper the flights will be! England being the exception, if you find flights under R6000, I recommend buying in bulk.
Checking flights everyday is some what of a hobby for the boyfriend and I. Going to New York is not in my foreseeable future for the next 2 – 3 years but, when I see a flight for R8000 I get excited. So I decided to do some research and list 13 incredible places that you can get flights to for under R6000! Not only will it open your world to travelling when you are not ok with paying R10 000 for flights to anywhere, but the moon. I will also throw in some helpful tips to always remember when buying flights!
*Italy, Rome – R4870 (This is with STA Travel for under 26’s, Rome is most definitely a hub so you should never pay more than R5500 no matter what your age is)
*Ireland, Dublin – R5521 (This flight is if you leave from Cape Town R5930 if you go from Johannesburg)
*Turkey, Istanbul – R5529 (Etihad for the win!)
*Portugal, Lisbon – R3823 (Taag requires you to get a yellow fever injection. Only if your layover is longer than 12 hours).
*Thailand, Bangkok – R5390 (If you going to Thailand I feel a R10 000 package (STA and many many other travel sights) is the best option, a no stress, fun week of soaking up the sun. Economically it is the best option, if that is not what you want out of Thailand there is a cheap flight for you).
*China, Beijing – R5560 (Who doesn’t need the the great wall of China in their life?)
*India, Mumbai – R4407 (Best time to visit is October)
*Philippines, Manila – R5606 (This flight required some digging, normally way more expensive but May on Wednesday’s seems the best time)
*Mauritius, Port Louis – R3999 (Travelstart was having this special but on every other day you can definitely get tickets for R4836)
*Tanzania, Zanzibar – R5202
*Egypt, Cairo – R5317 (Stop over in Seychelles yes please!!)
*Seychelles, Victoria – R4890 (Definitely no convincing needed on this one)
*Dubai – R5269 (Dubai is most definitely a destination that has only recently realised its great potential, and that it does not only want to be the place you stop on your way to happiness, why couldn’t Dubai be happiness? Go while it’s still cheap)
All the flights I found were based on dates through out the year, a surprising amount in May for some reason. I used CheapFlights and Google flights mainly with some help from STA Travel and what was then Student flights.
Flights change daily so I can’t guarantee that you will still find these flights but I did it more to show that in one day of searching I found all these amazing flights. Flights are a big part of travelling and if 70% of your holiday is spent on flights, it is easy to question if travelling is worth it at all. Buying flights should be a process. Below I have listed what works for me. What makes it awesome is that it can work in reverse as well, sometimes you just find a deal when you least expect it for a destination you have never considered!
- Destination is selected
- Search for the flights on at least three different sites
- Keeping searching flights for more than a week. You will have a base price by then, plus an idea of all the airlines that fly to your destination.
- Always play around with dates. Some smaller airlines will only have flights leaving on a Tuesday. Always check both flight search engines such as cheap flights and the actually website of the airline.
- Find an awesome flight below your base price for an amazing destination!
I do not believe there is one perfect recipe to guaranteeing the best flight deal. Sometimes you just get really lucky. There is though ways to increase your chances and make sure that you don’t end up being the person on the plane that paid 5 times more than everyone else. Technically you wouldn’t know but, feeling like you cheated the system really is a great feeling! A few things I always keep in the back of my mind are:
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS pay for flights with a credit card. You get free travel insurance? You know how painful it is to pay over R1000 for travel insurance knowing you could of got it for free! All banks do this, some will even phone you to arrange it!
Unfortunately more a warning than a tip. When you don’t book through the airline’s website but a flight search engine, such as Travelstart or Cheapflights. You will be charged an extra R250 credit card charge. They sneak this in at the end so always check. It will often still be cheaper than the airline itself or then will just be the same. No matter what situation always check the airline site as well. This can also be a safety check to see if the flight actually exists!
Side note to tip 2, this doesn’t apply if you paying with a credit card that is a MasterCard. MasterCard = NO credit card fee! So if you have one, ten points. If you don’t consider getting one or finding friends who have one!
I can’t say that “the best time to book flights is a Tuesday” theory is bullet proof but scheduling flights for the middle of the week will definitely be cheaper. Tuesday/Wednesday is a safe bet because coming back on a Tuesday from a long weekend is excessive and leaving on a Wednesday for a long weekend is just a little over eager. A lot of people will not have this luxury to leave in the middle of the week but if you do Tuesdays are always better than Fridays.
This is not for everyone but if a cheap flight is priority 1, don’t be afraid of flights with long stop overs, are early in the morning or late at night. If your stop over is extra long airlines will normally accommodate you. We had a stop over of 8 hours in Addis Ababa Airport and Ethiopian airlines checked us into an awesome hotel and gave us two free meals! Emirates will give you a transit visa to Dubai if you have a long stop over (Only if you didn’ book a long stay over on purpose. Your flight needs to be the only one available).
SPAM is your friend! A lot of people are weary to give out email’s or sign up for newsletters but that’s how you find the deals! It’s not easy to sift through all the other rubbish but specials are always emailed out before the actual specials are announced! A while back Qatar had a treasure hunt. A video was posted with a few destinations and months you could go and then you got one hour to search for flights to these locations. We were about to give up searching when we found return tickets to Birmingham London for R2200!! Now that’s a once in a life time special that we only knew about because we read our emails!
On that educational note I think I have got my point through. The first step to a holiday is the flights so just book them. It’s scary but if you book flights it forces you to save up and not just think about saving for that trip. Tavelling is never a bad idea trust me!
The TravelBug 🙂