Australian travel hacks: The ‘secret’ trick you need to know for cheap flights every time

The ‘secret’ you need to know for cheap flights every time – and you can do it any time of year

  • A little-known travel hack has been shared
  • Being flexible is essential when it comes to scoring cheap deals 

A lesser-known travel hack that can help travellers secure the best possible deal for their holidays has recently been revealed.

It’s essential to keep an open mind when it comes to booking trips, because being rigid in terms of place and time of year could cost you thousands.

Skyscanner’s ‘Explore Everywhere’ search function will help you find the cheapest flights from your destination, and Google Flights Explore is another helpful tool that provides you with options filtered by region, continent, or price. 

People often pick their destination and season – usually within fixed windows – before even scouting out prices and holiday packages which could save them tons of money.

All great bargain hunters understand that being flexible is key when it comes to finding cheap travel destinations.

Skyscanner's 'Explore Everywhere' search function will help you find the cheapest flights from your destination to places all over the world

Skyscanner’s ‘Explore Everywhere’ search function will help you find the cheapest flights from your destination to places all over the world

How to use Skyscanner and Google Flights Explore 

Skyscanner:

  • Go to the Skyscanner website
  • Input your ‘From’ destination with your city and airport
  • Input a potential travel date and click ‘Everywhere’ for destination
  • Explore various popular destinations with flight, hotel, and car hire options
  • You can also adjust your results based on your spending budget and ideal destination

Google Flights Explore: 

  • Go to the Google Flights Explore website
  • Input your departure airport and travel date, but leave the destination blank
  • You can also click on ‘Flexible dates’ to view the best possible prices  
  • Click on the ‘Search’ button
  • The first flights that come up with be close and cheap options
  • Toggle on ‘Update search as map moves’ button to view more flight options as you explore the map
  • You can also specifically write ‘Europe’ or ‘Africa’ in the ‘To’ section to only show flights to that region 

Having an open mind can also unearth various locations that has escaped your radar.

It is recommended not to have fixed travel dates and look at bookings six to 12 months in advance.

Such a feat can be difficult when you’re planning around school holidays or annual leave, but as much flexibility as possible is key to securing the best deal. 

Escape.com provided travellers with an easy trick when, for example, booking with Singapore Airlines.

After inputing your departure and arrival dates, you will be presented with fares for a destination along with a ‘7-day fares’ option.

That button will show you the difference in prices close to your preferred dates, which could save you hundreds of dollars.  

Google Flights Explore is another helpful tool that provides you with options filtered by region, continent, or price

Google Flights Explore is another helpful tool that provides you with options filtered by region, continent, or price

Another thing to bear in mind when booking a vacation is the ‘magic number’ of days before a flight opens to secure the cheapest price. 

According to CheapAir’s annual study, the price of a flight changes on average every 4.5 days and each change averages $33 up or down.

The number differs across all airlines, but can usually be checked simply by visiting the website. Often airlines release seats between 330 to 362 days in advance.

It's essential to know the 'magic number' of days before a flight opens to secure the cheapest price (stock image)

It’s essential to know the ‘magic number’ of days before a flight opens to secure the cheapest price (stock image) 

Qantas releases its award flights 353 days before departure for those wanting to book using Frequent Flyer points, while Singapore Airlines releasing dates 355 days prior.

As for Virgin Australia, customers can book and choose seats 336 days before travel at time of booking.

Singapore Airlines also has a ‘Secure My Flight’ page where customers can reserve the desired itinerary before deciding to buy a ticket, which comes at a non-refundable fee of $20.

The handy feature freezes a booking without worrying if the fare price increases.

According to the website, if your flight is eligible, a ‘Secure My Fare’ button will appear after you’ve selected your flight and fare type.

Travellers should book domestic flights at least 21 weeks in advance and international flights 22 weeks in advance.

How to score cheaper flights 

Be flexible when it comes to travel dates

Make a stopover

Have an open mind about your itinerary

Travel at inconvenient hours

Fly out at the end of the week

Keep an eye on airline deals by subscribing to newsletters 

Source: Escape

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