How do you choose where to go on holiday? Do you have a set destination in mind and the try to find the cheapest flights or do you find some cheap flights and then structure the holiday around that?
Over the last few years we have had some brilliant trips to places that we might never have decided to go to, unless we had fond some cheap flights and when we are searching for cheap flights we always use a cheap flight search provider like JustFly.
In the last few years we’ve done some fab trips based on finding cheap flights.
We did New York – because we bought cheap flights in the January sale.
You can watch our video about what we did using our cheap flights to New York below. However in the interests of full disclosure the 7 day Family Holiday in New York was not cheap but it was absolutely fantastic!
We also did a family holiday in Porto in Portugal because the flights were £250 for all 5 of us return at February Half Term. Combining this with booking an airbnb rather than a hotel saves lot of money too.
You can watch our video here!
Berlin and Hamburg were also chosen based on the fact that we could fly into Hamburg and out of Berlin, getting the train between the two. A flight search engine really helps with this as we realised that the flight back from Hamburg was really pricey, but the flight back from Berlin was cheap as chips.
We also managed to find 5 flights to Nantes from Liverpool in August for just £200 return to enable us to do a simply wonderful trip to Puy Du Fou just outside Nantes. We then booked a really cheap hire car to get us the park. Booking a hire car that has a base off airport is also a top tip. Now the kids are older I don’t mind doing that, but wouldn’t recommend it with little ones.
So what tips do we employ to make sure we find the cheapest flights?
Consider alternative destinations
Amsterdam rather than Southern Spain in the Summer Holidays will be significantly cheaper. A city break rather than a beach for an October half term getaway will save you plenty, and a .
Fly to alternative airports and drive to your destination in Country
Fancy a holiday to the Algarve? Consider flying into Lisbon and driving the 2hours 30 minutes down to Faro, it will save you a fortune, particularly if you will be hiring a car anyway.
Flying to Madrid and driving down to the Costa del Sol will almost always work out cheaper too, although the drive is considerably longer at 5 hours. We do however do this regularly in the UK as we drive from Liverpool to Gatwick or Heathrow for cheaper International flights so it’s really the same and the traffic (or lack of it) is often better in Europe too.
Choose a different airport in the UK to fly out of
Whilst our most convenient airports are Manchester and Liverpool. We regularly drive to Gatwick or Heathrow for cheaper International flights, we saved £1500 on our Malawi Family Holiday flights as we were prepared to drive to Heathrow to start our journey.
Fly out with one company and back with another
Just this week I flew out to Malaga with Ryanair and back with Easyjet as that was the cheapest combination of flights.
We work out when the school Inset Days are
We always always take advantage of a school inset day. Using them to fly out earlier than other people can do for a half term holiday, or to come back later. Some of these have saved me hundreds of pounds without missing school.
We pinch a day either side of a holiday even without an Inset Day
Yes I know you aren’t supposed to take your children out of school, but we are lucky that we have children who otherwise have a really good attendance record and the difference in price can make a significant difference. I would always choose to take the day or two before a half term holiday as things are winding down then, rather than a day when they are due to go back.
Prices very often go up in price rathe than come down the closer you get to your holiday dates. I try and book them as soon as I can.
Book Flights that leave mid-week
It is often cheaper to fly on Wednesday and Thursday. Lot of studies have been done on this, but a few years ago we saved £2000 on 7 flights to Florida for our 14 day family holiday to Disney by flying out on a Wednesday rather than a Friday.
You can save a lot of money on flights by flying with hand luggage only or by only booking luggage in the hold for a couple of people.
Check what the airline will carry in the hold for free
Many airlines will allow you take up to two pieces of additional child related equipment in the hold, per child. If you need to take a pushchair and a car seat with you, make sure you do some research on the airlines policy on this before you book the flights, as if you need to pay for these as extra this will increase the cost of your flight.
Book Connecting Flights
Nonstop flights typically cost more. You can often get cheaper flight tickets by booking connecting flights. If you are prepared to have a slightly longer wait in the airpot when you connect, you can make it even cheaper again. Whilst I wouldn’t really want to do this for short haul flights, we’ve employed this practice very successfully on long haul flights, and if the wait is over a couple of hours you can minimise your costs by paying for an airport lounge with comfy seats, free wifi and free food and drink.