Our friends in the travel industry have been sharing some of the results of their observations of travelling habits and quirks and we’ll share them with our readers, with a few observations of our own on how to find the best value flight.
Finding the best value flight
The first tip in the list from Phil Bloomfield, Global Head of Communications for Cheapflights.com.au, certainly makes some sense:
- Delete your browser history – prices can increase based on the number of times you re-enter a particular website!
This is definitely a good idea – have you ever noticed that after you’ve been looking for, say, a hotel in some city that looks interesting which you might think of visiting sometime, you’ll receive a string of emails with information about what to do in that city, country or offers for great rates etc. That’s because the information is captured and if they know you’re keen, you may not get the best price. Same with airfares!
- Avoid booking late – generally 50 days ahead of departure will get you the best price with airfares are at their most expensive three days before travel.
This may generally be true, although with the increase in competition for ‘bums on seats’, many airlines are offering ‘last minute deals’ and other offers that make it possible to still get a good deal, if you’re lucky, closer to the date you want. Some low cost carriers also offer really good deals if you can commit to a date a year or so in the future, though ‘hot dates’ like school and public holidays are usually blacked out of these offers.
- Book on a Tuesday – their data shows this is the cheapest day of the week to lock-in holiday plans.
Or a Monday, if you subscribe to the sale alerts from Airline X, or a Thursday if you like Airline Y. However, if you’re not particular and you follow the advice in the first tip to clear your history, you’ll start with a clean slate, so Tuesday may be your best bet. Do some comparison runs on Monday and then book on Tuesday.
- Don’t fly on a Friday – it’s consistently the most expensive day to fly.
Again,that depends. The time of day is also important (see the next tip) and has a lot to do with the business week and your departure and arrival points. Mid-week flights are often less expensive though, especially for holiday destinations.
- Travel between 6pm and midnight – flights are typically cheaper than early in the morning.
Especially noticeable during periods of peak holiday travel and the end of the business week. Again, you’ll need to take into account your arrival and destination points – if you’re going to arrive at an unfamiliar destination at 3 am with nobody to meet you, this may not be an option. You’ll also have to pay for the hotel room even though you don’t get to sleep in it properly before you get going.
Finding the right travel insurance
…. the weak Australian dollar has not dampened our enthusiasm for adventure, but has increased the focus on price. Claudio Saita, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Tokio Marine
- Organise insurance early – while 44 per cent of people don’t organise insurance till a week before they leave, getting cover as soon as you book means you’re less likely to be out of pocket for any ticketing issues, delays or cancelations.
So – do it as early as you can after making the bookings.
- Ensure you’re insured no matter how far you travel – although it may feel safe, domestic travel insurance is a must to cover you against damaged luggage, car insurance excesses and other potential nasties while holidaying in your home country.
This is easy to overlook as we tend to be complacent when travelling in our home country. Your normal insurance policies generally won’t cover the trip related items mentioned.
- Choose the right cover for your destination – almost double the number of Aussies are continuing to visit our favoured destinations of the UK and Asia compared to other regions.
Check the coverage you need especially if you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, in case a problem requires a dependent to join you or medical repatriation would be necessary in the case of unforeseen events.