If you are one of the millions of young adults who moved away after finishing high-school, you are bound to have a long-distance family. You may get to see your close relatives once or twice per year, usually during the holiday season.
Unfortunately, that’s also when it’s most difficult to get cheap plane tickets.
However, there are lots of ways to not spend a fortune to travel home for the holidays.
Read below to learn how to get cheap plane tickets for Christmas and other holidays!
You should be able to get cheap plane tickets within 1 hour
1. Book early to get cheap plane tickets
Look for cheap plane tickets any other time of the year and I’ll tell you it’s ok to wait for those appealing last-minute travel deals and discounts. But not for the holiday season. Airline companies are aware this is when hundreds of thousands of people travel home to see their loved ones. They’re more likely to increase the price for those last few valuable seats instead of offering any last-minute discounts. Some travelers aren’t good at planning, and airline companies are ready to pounce and take advantage of those poor chaps. But that’s not going to be you, because you’ll make sure to book your flight at least two months before the holiday. That’s how you get cheap plane tickets for Christmas!
And not only will you get cheap plane tickets, but you also make sure in advance that you actually catch a seat on a flight. At the moment, airlines are losing a lot of money. To cover some of their losses, airline companies are increasing plane ticket costs and decreasing the number of planes in the air. A few years ago, you may have had two flights available to take you home for Christmas from just one company. Nowadays, you might only three or four from that same company, if that airline still exists. So do your best to avoid last-minute bookings to find an available seat!
2. Wait around for cheap plane tickets
Yeah, I just told you above to book your flight early to get cheap plane tickets and now I’m telling you to wait. I’m not going crazy, this tip only applies if you have over four months left until the holiday season. You should wait and book your flight around three months before your desired departure date to get the best flight deals.
Until then, you have plenty of time to keep an eye on the flights that interest you the most. Or, to make things easy, to set up some email alerts for a price that seems fair to you. In case the airline company doesn’t lower the cost of their plane tickets after a month, choose the best cheap plane tickets you can find. Just to highlight the point I just made: when you plan ahead to travel home for the holidays, you have more time to search for plane tickets and to get the best flight deals.
3. Check out other airports, too
Do you have more than one airport close to where you live? How about at your destination? Mathieu and I tend to travel to France for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and/or Easter. Of course, we try to book our flights in advance to get lower prices. And when we look for flights, we look at the airports serving Paris with incoming flights from Bucharest. At the moment, Bucharest only has one airport – Henri Coandă International Airport, but a second one – Băneasa Airport — will be reopened next year, increasing our odds to get cheap plane tickets in the future.
So when booking your flight home for the holidays, keep your options open. Check out all the airports where it’s convenient for you to leave from or to arrive. Normally, it’s the largest airports that have the best deals to offer, but the holidays are a strange season when you can’t play by the usual rules.
4. Fly home for the holidays a few days earlier
I’ve said it before: it’s normally very expensive to fly home one or two days before the holidays. Try to arrive three or four days before. It’s worth taking a few days off to spend more time with your loved ones. And to save some money at the same time, too.
5. If you can, say yes to getting bumped
I already told you that there are thousands of hundreds of people traveling home for the holidays. As airlines have fewer planes in the air, they have more overbooked flights now than ever. If your plane is in that situation, and the airline company is looking for volunteers to take a later flight, you can negotiate a better deal for yourself. You may get money back, a discount for your next flight with them, a free upgrade to first class, etc. Although you will be arriving later to see your loved ones, the perks you’ll be getting can make it worth it all.
6. Pack some snacks
Yeah, you’ll be saving some money if you bring your own snacks. But you’ll also be saving some time. The airports are full of travelers, there are queues everywhere, not just at the security check. At the airport restaurants, whoever got a table or at least a chair somewhere can consider themselves very lucky.
Just make sure the snacks you bring can pass through the security check.
- Internet connection
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Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger getting ready to move to France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.