Tips for Your Flight Search
Flights are typically not included in our packages. Since we are commonly asked for advice on finding the best fares, here you will find some tips on finding deals and booking flights for yourself.
1. Incognito Window
Make sure you are browsing for tickets from a clear browser with no cookies enabled. Industry experts have shared that airline ticketing sites can monitor how often you are checking particular flights and raise the price to invoke a sense of urgency. Truth or myth, browsing from a private/incognito window is just as simple and could potentially save you some money.
2. Flight Matrix
Use a website that displays results in a matrix. You can filter by many criteria and find the best deal. A great site to use is http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ (now, flights.google.com). It allows you to filter through the best rates, flight times, air carriers, and many more criteria. For example, you can search by arrival time, rather than departure time. Or, display results in a calendar to possibly find a better deal by arriving a day earlier or staying a day later.
3. Check directly with the carrier
When you find a flight that you like on one these sites, check the carrier’s website and see if they have an even better price listed. Sometimes when you call the airline, they can give a better rate also.
4. Depart from a major international airport
Look for international flights departing from your nearest airport, then compare them to flights departing from a different major international airport around the country. For example, if you live in Oklahoma, a ticket from Oklahoma to Miami, then another from Miami to the Caribbean may be less expensive than a ticket from Oklahoma directly to the Caribbean. If you have the time to spend, you can get creative with the routes to find better deals. However, it is important to note that if you use two different airlines, the airline on the second leg is not responsible for delays or cancellations caused by the first.
5. [BONUS] Arrive at a major international airport
Similar to the previous tip, sometimes better fares are available to airports near our destination. For example, if you are joining us in the Philippines and your trip begins in Puerto Princesa (PPS), it may be more cost-effective for you to find a flight to Manila (MNL) with an international carrier (potentially saving a few hundred dollars). Then you can search for a connecting flight between PPS and MNL with regional carriers (prices can be as low as $30). You can see how this could possibly save you quite a bit.
But if you choose this option, make sure you time it right! Remember that you have to claim your luggage, check-in, and re-check your baggage for your connecting flight between Manila and Puerto Princesa. Also, because your tickets are independent of one another, the second flight will not care if the first one is a bit delayed. But if you allow enough time between flights, it’s well worth it.
We hope these tips help! If you still feel stuck or need a little more help finding a flight for one of our trips, just shoot us an email and we’ll send you a few options. Happy Travels!