Six simple travel hacks that could save you hundreds on flights
If your flight dates are flexible, flight comparison websites offer hacks that can save hundreds of euro. Here's how.
1. Skyscanner's 'Whole Month'
This tool is one of the simplest solutions I know for sourcing cheap flights. Clicking the 'Departure Date' box on Skyscanner.ie or its app calls up a calendar view, where you can switch between 'Specific Date' and 'Whole Month'.
Checking Budapest flights for December, I found prices ranging from €55 to €265 for the outbound leg alone. That's some difference.
2. Go 'Anywhere' with Kayak.ie
Here's another nifty option, where you can enter 'Anywhere' as a destination, and 'Any Month', or even a whole season, as your dates. Hit search, and it returns a map with prices tagged next to destinations. Trying that, I found return flights to Lisbon for €52 in December. Google Flights is also rolling out a new feature telling you when searched flight prices are likely to rise.
3. Ryanair's 'Fare Finder'
This feature is found under 'Plan' on Ryanair.com, followed by 'Explore', in the menu bar. Click through and enter your destination (or 'Anywhere') and budget (eg '€20 and under'), and cross your fingers. As I write, one-way fares are available from €9.99.
4. More with Momondo
All of these features depend on flexibility. If you're constricted by holiday dates or business schedules, you're pretty much at the mercy of the airlines, although there is one more hack that may help. Momondo.ie has a 'Take Me Anywhere' option that returns low fares all over the world... on your chosen date. Worth a click?
5. Holiday hits
Like your holiday bargains? Holidayguru.ie is a travel deals blog run by Irishman Martin McKenna. Similar to its German parent site, Urlaubsguru.de, it trawls the net for cheap flights, hotels and packages, writes up the deals, and shares them with a rapidly growing audience of Facebook and website fans. Going to press, deals ranged from a €58 Liverpool city break to a four-night Barcelona package with clickandgo.com from €208pp. Just make sure to note whether you're booking flights and hotels separately, or together through a licensed and bonded operator.
6. Get campsited
At this time of year, most of us are packing away the tents and lighting fires indoors. For next year's outings, however, bookmark Campsited.com. The Irish-run site was set up to address the bizarre shortage of online booking facilities for campsites, and bit by bit, it's building the inventory. Bookings were up 500pc in 2016, and there are ambitious plans to branch out from campsites across the UK and Ireland to mainland Europe in 2017. Sign up for the newsletter, and you'll be first to hear of discounts and last-minute deals, too.
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