Cheap Flights Melbourne To Cebu Philippines – At our first meeting last year with our followers, one of the questions we were asked by the audience was: How do you choose your next destination?
We laughed before answering: The longest time we go where we can fly cheap. For many budget travelers, planning a trip starts with a plane ticket. Booking a cheap flight comes first, then we cross our fingers and deal with everything else when the travel date is almost over.
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This is how I planned my trip. Honestly, I still do these days, though less often. And I know I’m not alone. Often the biggest financial hurdle is the plane ticket. It takes a big chunk of the budget, especially for international travel. Hotels, tours and other expenses are easily booked.
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When we started, all our trips were run at promotional prices. But what happens when there are no seat sales? How do we find cheap prices?
In this post, we’re going to share with you some flight booking tips and tricks that we’ve learned over the 10 years we’ve been blogging. Please note that we are not including promotional prices as we have already written a separate post for that. (READ: HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PROMO BALLS!)
Skyscanner is a flight comparison website that aggregates the prices of flights around the world so you can easily compare and choose. When searching, we automatically enter the airport of origin and destination. But Skyscanner has an often overlooked feature. If you are not yet set on your destination and just want to check where you can fly the cheapest, just click or type HERE in the Checkout field.
When you click on the search, it will track all the flights from your origin. For example, if you fly from Manila and you enter LOCATION, it will show you the places with the cheapest flights, by price and country. Here is an example:
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Clicking on the country will further break it down by city/airport. This trick also works when there is a spot sale. And it’s a great hack when you’re trying to find promotional prices!
Speaking of Skyscanner, using flight comparison sites is a good habit even when you already have a destination in mind. Before, when looking for flights, I would manually visit the airline websites one by one. But now it is much easier because there are many aggregators like Skyscanner, Kayak and Traveloka, and airline partners like Value Alliance.
The good thing about these sites is that they can show you flights across airports, even those without codeshare agreements. For example, let’s say you’re flying from Manila to Sapporo, Japan. In addition to connecting flights from the same airport (which are usually more expensive), the system can also offer options with two legs of flights operated by different airlines (which are usually cheaper). See the screenshots below.
I’ve come to rely on these sites so much that when I see a tempting ticket, I run a search on Skyscanner or Traveloka first to see if there are better deals out there.
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If you’ve been looking at a particular route but the price is too high for you, set up a price alert so you’ll be notified in the event the price drops. This feature is available on Skyscanner and Traveloka.
For example, if you only have a budget of P20,000 for a flight to New Zealand but the prices are always too high when you check in, you can activate an alert on your phone so that when the price drops below P20 you will be notified. don’t forget , 000. It is a good way to be aware when there is a sale.
You’ll be surprised how much traffic you can get! Facebook is full of travel groups whose members actively share tips, tricks and hacks! We have our own Facebook support group, and many times I learn about seat sales from members before the airlines’ official posts appear on my news feed.
It’s not just about selling seats. Many unannounced or little-known promotions are often shared here, complete with their booking screenshots. But this is not all.
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A few years ago, a major system failure occurred on an international flight booking website. It was initially posted on a private online group but quickly spread like wildfire to other Facebook groups. A few of my friends were able to book round-trip tickets to the Maldives and Australia for less than P500! The company filed these wrong records.
It’s fun because I had a lot of friends in the Maldives this weekend! Thanks for Facebook Groups!
On one of our last trips to Europe we ran into a problem. We were in Krakow, Poland, and we have to fly to Athens to catch the flight home. Unfortunately, despite trying many dates, we could not find cheap flights from Krakow Airport to Athens. Even the ones that stopped in another city were more than our budget.
Frustrated, I was about to book an expensive flight when I noticed that just below the Origin field on Skyscanner there was a small box marked: Add nearby airports.
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I hit search and it showed flights to Athens from another airport. Apparently, only 1.5 hours from Krakow is another option – Katowice Airport. And the flights to Athens from there were much cheaper.
I felt stupid for not realizing it sooner because I always knew that some destinations were served by multiple airports. Paris has three (CDG, Orly, Beauvais-Tillé). Tokyo has two (Narita and Haneda). And some airports designed for certain cities may be good choices for other not-so-distant destinations.
Can’t afford flights to Caticlan? Try Kalibo. Want to visit Caramoan but flights to Naga are too expensive? Consider Catanduanes. Flights to Manila out of your budget? Check Clark.
In my early years as a travel blogger, my philosophy was something like this: “As long as I get to my destination in one piece, I’m good.”
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I will only take the cheapest prices within the first few minutes of the seat sale, regardless of alternatives. But that has changed in recent years, especially for medium and long-haul flights. Comfort was higher on my priority list. I grew up looking at the other side of flying and how fun the journey would be. Maybe because I’m not getting any younger. LOL.
For example, on my flight back to Manila from the Maldives, I was given two options. A low-cost carrier offers the lowest circulating prices for as little as P10,000, with a long cycle. A full-service airline, on the other hand, sells tickets for P16,000, which means a much shorter layover in Hong Kong. Old me would have gone with the P10,000 right away. P6000 is P6000. That’s a big difference.
But when I figured out the details, I booked it later. Why? The full-service airport fare of P16,000 includes everything: food, seat selection, checked baggage. The offer of low-cost airlines did not have all these. When I tried to add food (it was a long flight!) and luggage (since I was carrying a big one), the total cost was P14,000. P2,000 isn’t that much of a difference anymore, and with all other things considered (travel time, legroom, in-flight entertainment, arrival time, etc.), I flew with the full-service airline. And I didn’t regret it one bit.
If you’re trying to make a connection, it’s often a wise decision to fly with the same airline for both legs of the trip. If that’s not a viable option, choose at least two airlines that have a codeshare agreement with each other. That way, the trip is seamless even if your flights are operated by two different companies, and they can take responsibility if you miss your next flight due to a delay or cancellation.
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Last year we booked one of our European trips with Adria Airways, the flag carrier of Slovenia. I just found them on Skyscanner, thought their prices were competitive and their schedule was easy and booked it.
But I didn’t know about this airport. If I had done a quick Google search, I would have found out that they are in deep financial trouble. Long story short, my flight and all other Adria flights were cancelled. Adria filed for bankruptcy, so I couldn’t get my money back anymore. My insurance doesn’t cover it either. I just accepted it and moved on to the experience.
You need to check not only the financial position of the airline. Before booking, research and read their policy on delays, cancellations, bookings, refunds, no-shows and other details. Check out their security breach history too!
If you have booked your flights with the credit card of someone who is not traveling with you, check the airline’s policy on this before you fly. Do you need a real card? Is a photocopy enough? Do you need a copy of the ID for the cardholder?
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