Unless you are
planning a short domestic trip, the cost of airfare is usually a deciding
factor in an overseas trip. Most people with moderate incomes simply
can't afford to fly regularly, as much as they would like to. There
are, however, some people out there who are flying all the time on
regular incomes. The secret to achieving this is a willingness to
be flexible and shop around with airfares, as well as employing some
tried and true discount travel techniques.
The key to getting
a cheap flight is to shop around, and the internet makes this easy
for almost anyone to do. There are a plethora of websites that will
conduct searches around the world for cheap airfares. Although the
internet is a valuable tool in discovering cheap airfares, it's important
that you don't rely on it entirely. Many sites claim they are searching
"all flights" for the cheapest possible fare, but you really
don't have any way of knowing what they do and don't have access to.
Oftentimes the cheapest flights can come from the airlines themselves,
and you'd be well advised to check their sites as well in your search.
No matter how
much research you do online, you should always visit some travel agents.
Keep in mind that these people make their livings selling airfares,
and will often have access to deals that aren't available to you online.
Think of it this way: if you really could always get the cheapest
flight online, travel agents would be out of business. The fact that
they are not suggests that good deals are to found the old fashioned
way: by visiting the office of a travel agent.
When looking for
discount travel, you should also explore non-traditional methods of
finding flights. Websites like priceline.com offer reverse auction
systems, that is: you place a bid of what you're willing to pay on
a given route on a given date, and if it turns out that an airline
is willing to release a seat for that price, your credit card is billed
an a ticket is issued.
Another good avenue
to explore is "bucket shops" - companies who buy bulk tickets
from airlines at a heavy discount. They don't have the choice that
travel agent has, of course, but if you're flexible you can often
get a good deal. A typical bucket shop system will work as follows:
you give them a week-long window during which you'd like to fly and
some destination choices, and then if something comes up at the last
minute you can have it at a heavy discount.
explored discount travel technique is to look into bucket shops and
travel agents located in ethnic neighborhoods. Often, foreign airlines
sell discounted tickets to these shops, which in turn serve an ethnic
community regularly traveling to their home country. These shops have
access to tickets from airlines that often aren't available at your
regular travel agent, and can offer a significant savings.
thing to remember in terms of discount travel is to explore as many
avenues as you can. The more flexible you are willing to be, the cheaper
your fare is likely to be - but even if you're stuck with rigid dates,
a compressive search will often result in airfares that are significantly
lower than those commonly advertised.