1. Compare different airlines

Check airfares on as many airlines as possible. It’s always a good idea to check prices on other airlines to confirm that you’re booking the best deal. Mix and match your bookings with different airlines to get the cheapest flights. Sometimes, one airline may offer the cheapest price for your outgoing flight and another might give a better deal for your return flight.

Searching on airfare comparison sites is a fast and easy way to know the airlines that fly any destination worldwide. Take note of the airport/s included in the results. Comparison sites might not include some airlines in their listings, so you may have to check all airlines that fly to your departure and arrival airports. The airport wikis on Wikipedia is a good place to start your research. Then, check airfares directly on the official airline websites to make more reliable comparisons.

2. Some Days are Cheaper than Others

On your flight search, try checking the “next” and “previous” days to see if the price difference is worth changing your travel dates. The day of the week of your flight often plays a significant factor on flight prices. Cheaper flights may usually be booked on weekdays, while more expensive flights are sold during weekends. This trend, of course, may vary depending on the destination.

3. Time of Day Affects Prices

Very early and very late departures often have the cheapest plane tickets. Consider them if the difference in price is worth the trouble, and remember to check transportation to and from the airport if you’re traveling at an ungodly hour.

4. Book only what you need

Before purchasing your flight ticket, make sure to know what services and extras are included in the price tag. These services may include checked and cabin baggage allowance, in-flight food and drink, priority check-in, advanced seat selection, travel insurance, frequent flyer ‘miles’ accrual and so forth.

Many airlines offer these as “extra” services. In cases that you would like to enjoy these perks, always book them in advance because airlines charge a premium if buy them at the airport or when you’re already on the flight. Also, make sure that you have ticked off the services that you don’t need during the booking process because they are often auto-ticked on booking sites by some low-cost carriers.

5. Book in Advance

The best time to book cheap flights largely depends on the number days until departure. Most routes share a pattern of having a point in time when prices slowly start to go down until they reach their lowest and then rise sharply as the date of departure nears.

When searching for flights, check if there’s a monthly or annual view of prices to get an idea on how much in advance you should book your flight.

6. Be Mindful of Seasonality & Holidays

The most important factor on how airfares are priced for a particular flight is how full that flight is. Discount seats on flights to popular destinations sell out early, especially on peak seasons and holidays. Also, you can get a lot of amazing deals when traveling during the low season. Considering the season is especially important when you’re flying internationally. Research the seasonality of the country/region your are planning to visit if you want to travel more cheaply.

When traveling during peak seasons on highly popular routes, it’s definitely best to book early rather than late. You will want to purchase your tickets as soon as you can because airlines rarely drop prices on mostly sold-out flights.

7. Consider alternative airports

Many cities have more than one airport servicing them. Check all if there is more than one airport near your departure or arrival city. Some airport may offer cheaper flights than others but also factor in the cost and convenience of getting from those airports to your final destination.