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The Simple Travel Tip That Can Save Money on Flights

… This post has been brought to you by Cheapflights …

There are all sorts of ways to save money on flights. You can travel in the low season, fly mid week rather than weekends, opt for budget airlines, or go for a no frills ticket option.

You’ll also have a better chance to save money for your destination if you can be flexible, both on the dates you can fly and the places you fly to and through.

When I heard the latest Cheapflights Compass Report was out I wondered what tips I might find inside.

The report shares insights from 13.5 million flight searches over the past year* including tips on how Australians can save time and money on their flights and which destinations are the most popular, the most affordable and the most expensive.

It also highlighted something that can be easy to forget when you’ve got a particular holiday in mind. And that’s how a little side step can help you save.

Blue skies and contrails looking out a plane window.

Australia’s Cheapest and Most Expensive Airports

If you live in Sydney and Melbourne you’re in a pretty good position if you want to hop on a plane and head overseas. Other cities around Australia are not so lucky.

Not surprisingly given its smaller population, Darwin is the most expensive city to fly out of, and fewer flights combined with the fact that there are so many more miles to cover means a hop over to New Zealand is twice as expensive from Darwin as it is from Sydney, with the report showing $901 compared to $451.

Read: Road Trip Hacks – 14 tips you need to know

Darwin, Brisbane and Adelaide are the three most expensive long haul departure points in Australia, with the Compass Report showing flights out of Darwin are around 15% more than out of Sydney, or 20% if you’re planning to fly to London.

Brisbane to London is around 13% more than Sydney while Adelaide flights to Los Angles are 12% more. Luckily for Adelaide travellers heading to the UK, flights to London are now on a par with Sydney thanks to increased competition.

Cheapflights Compass Report City Comparison shows cities where you can save money on flights

I’m sharing the London example above not just because I love that city, but because London is still king, or should that be queen, when it comes to Cheapflight’s searches out of Australia.

Last year London had three times more searches than New York, and more flight searches than New York and Los Angeles combined.

And if you’ll be leaving your car at the airport you can also save money by using an online comparison site like Flyparks. They’ll help you find the best options for a dozen Aussie airports including Melbourne, Perth, Hobart, Cairns and even Sydney airport parking.

How An Extra Stop Can Save Money on Flights

If you’re not in a hurry and would like more money to spend when you arrive, adding an extra stop can make a difference.

Personally I rather enjoy comparing different airline options, looking at tackling a trip a different way and scribbling notes down as I go (even if I’m saving the options in an app, I love that pen to paper planning with the calculator out too).

If there’s a big price difference between international departures, a cheap domestic flight to connect with the cheaper international flight city can help save money.

Save money on flights with a very simple travel tip

Just make sure to factor in enough buffer time to make your flight because airlines are less likely to help with a missed connection if your flights are on separate tickets. And you can imagine how much it’s not their problem if your first flight was with another airline.

Indirect routes and stopovers are another way to save money on international flights, but remember to factor in how much you might spend in your stopover spot. If you’re going to splash more on hotels, taxis and eating out than you save on breaking up the flight, it’s false economy. But it can also add an extra layer to your holiday so that’s all good, as long as you’re happy with your plans.

Check Out Nearby Airports to Save Money on Flights

Your destination may have its own airport, but how much could you save if you flew to another one nearby and hopped on a train or picked up a hire car?

If you’re flying into a big city one of the smaller airports could even be more convenient and be closer to where you’re staying.

Swapping the city you fly into can be an easy way to save money on flights, with Cheapflights’ Compass Report finding you can save $245 if you fly into Nadi instead of Suva in Fiji, and $132 if you fly into Ho Chi Minh City rather than Hanoi when you head to Vietnam.

And if you’re dreaming of speaking French on a south pacific island, the report showed flights to New Caledonia at $746 compared to $2,316 for French Polynesia.

Cheapflights Compass Report shares top swaps to help save money on flights

Of course there are times when you know exactly where you want to go, and you don’t want to waste a moment getting there. That’s when spending the extra money is a fine idea because it’s giving you more of what you want at the other end.

But if you’re watching the budget and happy to take your time, you can have more money for great food, wine and shopping at the other end. All you need is to do a little research before locking in those flights.

This post has been brought to you by Cheapflights.com.au

*  All data in the Cheapflights Compass Report is based on searches through the Cheapflights website and app between March 2016 and February 2017.

Want more travel tips? Check out the cheapest day to book a flight, find out why you should be mastering the art of the travel power nap and learn how to wipe your private phone data from that rental car you listened to your phone’s music in.

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