scorecardLooking to travel abroad? 5 tips to help you save on airfare
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Looking to travel abroad? 5 tips to help you save on airfare

Looking to travel abroad? 5 tips to help you save on airfare
TravelTravel4 min read
  • Airfare websites are designed with key features that help price sensitive customers choose the cheapest options.
  • Adapting your travel dates within a certain time frame can significantly increase the likelihood of securing more budget-friendly fares.
  • Booking an international flight with a layover or two can lead to substantial savings.
Meet Aparna, who like many Indians always dreamt of exploring Europe. However, the big hassle was always that direct flights were expensive. Then, she discovered a clever trick— layovers. Aparna chose a flight with a layover in Istanbul, Turkey, saving a bundle compared to direct options. Plus, she got to enjoy a bonus day exploring Istanbul, which was an add on.

With data suggesting that Indians are more keen on travel than ever before, we look at ways in which one can optimise one’s travel budget, especially, the airfares to foreign destinations and save substantially.

Use fare comparison websites

This is something all of us do to a certain extent, and it helps.

Airfare websites are designed with key features that help price sensitive customers choose the cheapest options. “They often have special deals and promotions and price drop alert systems. Additionally, if you are planning a complex itinerary, involving multiple destinations, arriving at one city and departing from another, these websites can help you piece together the most cost-effective options,” says Arun Bagaria, founder and CEO of TravClan, a B2B travel tech platform.

For example, for Skyscanner, artificial intelligence (AI) is now built into how the site recommends results to travellers and it helps travellers to express their travel intent.

If you're booking international flights in a currency other than your own, these websites often offer currency conversion tools, ensuring you understand the costs in your local currency.

Use credit cards smartly

Keeping a vigilant eye on credit card promotions and offers tailored to international travel can be a smart strategy. Many credit card companies collaborate with airlines to provide their cardholders with exclusive advantages such as discounted fares, bonus miles, or cashback rewards when they book international flights.

These incentives can have a substantial impact on reducing the overall cost of your international airfare, making your travel more affordable and rewarding. Staying informed about these credit card partnerships can lead to significant savings on your journeys abroad. For example, Aparna redeemed 15,000 air miles on her credit card to get a ₹5,000 discount on her flight.

Special deals and promotions

Keeping an eye on special offers and promotions provided by airlines or travel agencies is a savvy strategy for saving on international airfares. These promotions often include time-sensitive discounts, comprehensive travel packages that bundle flights with accommodations and other amenities, or exclusive deals tailored to particular destinations.

By staying informed about these opportunities, travellers can maximise their savings and make their international journeys more cost-effective. “Subscribing to airline newsletters and tracking their social media accounts can help you remain informed regarding these money-saving prospects,” says Rikant Pittie, Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip, a flight booking portal.

When you book your flights, the time you choose to do it can make a big difference in the deals you get. Discounts and special offers usually don't last long, so it's important to keep an eye out for them and book your tickets when they're available.

Be flexible

Flexibility in modifying your travel plans plays a big role in cost-effective international airfare. Adapting your travel dates within a certain time frame can significantly increase the likelihood of securing more budget-friendly fares, as it allows you to capitalise on promotional periods or off-peak times.

Moreover, a willingness to explore a variety of international destinations can lead to unexpected bargains, as lesser-known routes or destinations may offer better deals. Exploring these flexible approaches lets you make the most of potential savings when booking international flights.

“Airlines frequently extend lower-priced flights to less-visited locales or locations experiencing reduced demand at particular times of the year,” says Patti.

Consider alternate routes

While direct flights are convenient, they tend to be more expensive. Booking an international flight with a layover or two can lead to substantial savings. Although layovers may extend your travel time by a few hours, they often come with lower fares.

“Additionally, you can take advantage of this extra time to explore a new city or airport during your journey, turning it into a mini-adventure,” says Bagaria. Booking an international flight with a layover which will extend the flight time by 1 to 6 hours will also bring down the fare significantly.

In a world full of wanderlust, saving on international airfares is a traveller's Holy Grail. From vigilant fare monitoring to seizing credit card promotions, the journey to frugal flying is diverse.

So, whether it's tweaking travel dates or exploring offbeat destinations, savvy globetrotters embrace every trick. With these money-saving hacks, the world is your oyster, waiting to be explored without breaking the bank. Bon voyage!

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