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The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

Tips to buy cheap flight tickets

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You don’t have to wait till you have finished your studies abroad to come home. Or you don’t need to forget about plans to travel to neighbouring countries during your studies. Here are some tips to buy cheap flight tickets to visit family back home or to go on holiday…


24-hour rule

After you have booked, check the next morning to see if the price of your airfare has dropped. If it did, give the airline a cal to cancel your flight and often you can rebook without penalty.


Last minute trips

Airlines are known to cut prices when they can’t fill planes for an upcoming weekend trip. Sign up for alerts and you can probably snag yourself a short weekend break somewhere on Fri right through to Monday or Tuesday.


Chase the fare

It is useful to search multiple airline fares at a time. From Skyscanner to Kayak, you’ll find a list of competitive fares that will suit your destinations and needs.


Leave on Wednesday

It’s the cheapest day to do it especially for domestic travel. The day with the most seats is likely to have better supply and thus, more empty seats that require discounting to fill the plane, meaning airlines will have to release more seats at their cheapest price point.


Check Twitter and Facebook

Airlines experiment with blasting fares via social media especially AirAsia. But you have to be fast. Some deals can be gone within hours. If you find something, jump on it.


Fly two different airlines

Sometimes, it’s worth it to mix and match. Most airlines now sell one-way flights at reasonable prices, meaning one might be cheaper for the outbound flight while the other works better for the return. You can even consider flying to one airport and departing from another.


Fly out early

The first flight of the morning is usually the cheapest. The next cheapest flight times are during or after lunch or around dinner time.


Rack up free airline miles

e-Rewards gives players tickets they can cash in for miles while other sites like e-Miles let people cash in free miles for airfare, hotel perks and Amazon.com gift cards.


Know your airport hubs

Every airline has some kind of a deal going for certain cities. These specials might not always be for the city you are flying to but you might be able to get a partial discount if you take a layover in that city as part of your round trip.


Be flexible

Try adding a couple days to your trip before or after peak travel days to lower the fare.


Don’t overlook small carriers

Travel search engines push smaller carriers to the bottom but you’d be foolish to overlook them. Discounters don’t have to be your first stop but they should be an option.


Park and fly

Some airlines have a monopoly on airports, allowing them to charge more. To counter this, check fares at airports 50, 75, 100 miles from your destination. The car rental and extra travel time may be worth it.


Book connecting flights

Booking connecting flights could save you as much as $100 round-trip. Just make sure you leave enough time to make your connecting flight in case the first flight arrives late.


Useful links:

Application checklist

Choosing a country to study abroad in

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