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Categories: Travel Advice
Trying to book flights for a trip abroad can take up a lot of your time, as you’ll understandably be looking to get the best possible price for your trip and save a decent amount of wedge. If you’re booking a flight for a stag do then chances are the money saved will go towards the weekend’s spending money too, so we’ve put together some tips and tricks that should help you find and book the cheapest flights at the best times.
The first piece of advice anyone will give you is to book your flights early. Now this is a given, but what would be the ideal time to try and book in order to gain the best possible price? In this Daily Mail article two flight comparison websites, Skyscanner and CheapAir.com looked into data from over 4 million trips to discover that the best time to book your flights is an average of around 8 weeks (56 days) prior to your departure. You’ll find yourself paying above the odds less than two weeks (14 days) before the date you want to fly, and in some instances you can also end up paying more if you book too far in advance! So follow the golden rule of 56 days to get the best prices. It’s also worth checking your travel dates and making sure you know of any public holidays, key dates, or school holidays that may fall on the dates of your do as these can affect air fares too.
It can be hard to know what extras airlines attempt to tag on once you’ve chosen to purchase your tickets, as what looked like a very reasonable price begins to look a lot less so once your taxes and charges for hold baggage have been tacked on the end. Unfortunately this is a tactic that most, if not all airlines use when selling their flights. Budget airlines such as EasyJet will charge to store baggage in the hold, so if you are looking to book your flights with these companies you should be aware that you’ll need to pay a surcharge (each way) to store your suitcase in the hold. The other alternative to this is to try and fit everything you need for your trip into your carry-on luggage. Some airlines will add on travel insurance as part of your airfare, but you’ll often find it is cheaper to take out your insurance separately. In fact, some banks and building societies now offer travel insurance to holders of certain accounts. It’s worth checking to see if there is any way you can get cheaper, if not completely free travel insurance this way. Even if you can’t just remember it is still cheaper to book your insurance policy elsewhere. Sites such as insureandgo offer travel insurance at very good rates.
Another way of getting cheaper flights is to book seats on chartered flights as opposed to regular, scheduled flights. A chartered flight is one that has been rented or bought by a company, which decides when the plane will fly; most flights that are part of package holidays will be chartered. Some sites such as Skyscanner are now featured chartered flight tickets in its search results where relevant. If you can find chartered flight tickets you may get them cheaper than a standard, scheduled flight as the company chartering the plane will not want empty seats as this leads them to lose money; however you may be restricted by stricter terms and conditions once you have purchased them. You should be able to find chartered flights for most popular holiday resort destinations, such as Malaga, Ibiza, and Tenerife. Fortunately, we offer our stag weekends in all three of those locations.
Want to know if you’ve got the time to go away and think about booking your flight? Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert guy has this great tip to effectively cheat online booking systems and ensure you know if you need to think about booking your tickets sharpish: “Many airlines let you book seats for up to about nine passengers. Pretend to make the booking for more seats than you need, and if the cheap fares still available for nine seats, then you've got breathing space. If the fare shoots up for three, four, or five seats, it's likely you'll need to grab it as soon as possible”. The only trouble here is if you’ve got more than five mates who need to book their flights, as it means one or some of them will end up paying more than the others. The ability to book so many tickets at once is one to keep in mind as it is also a great way to book tickets together and make sure that everyone gets as cheap a price as possible. If you’ve got 15-20 guys looking to fly to Malaga on the same flight then look to book them in blocks of 4 or 5, that way there won’t be any one person left on their todd at the back of the plane while everyone else is laughing away and cracking jokes down the front of the aircraft. There is also a new service from TripAdvisor called Seatguru that lists seating plans for the vast majority of airlines and their fleets, so you’ll be able to figure out where you’re sat before your flight.
Finally, if you find yourself booking flights fairly frequently then you should consider signing up for an Avios account. Avios is an easy way to collect travel reward points which can be redeemed via their Travel Rewards Programme, and you can collect points when you shop at Tesco, fill up the car at Shell and you can also gain points from loads of online stores by logging into an Avios account and then visiting the site through your account. You may as well get yourself some perks where you can, right? So, we’d like to think that after reading this everyone will be able to get much better prices for their flights, but we know the reality may be a little harsher. These tips and tricks should help you out no end though, and save you a pretty penny when it comes to booking those flights to Beni for a stag do to be remembered. We recommend Skyscanner when it comes to finding your flights. Need to book your stag do before you look at flights? View our overseas stag party locations here, and if you're looking for inspiration our stag do ideas page is exactly what you're looking for.