Traveling is the only thing that you can buy that makes you richer. There’s a point to that, although more often than not, traveling takes a good chunk out of your bank account.
But what we at Flystein like to show people is that it doesn’t have to be like that. We play a game called travel hacking – a set of techniques that will help you save up to thousands on your flight tickets. We’re lifting the veil from a few of them.
Hidden city ticketing
This is the game to play when you’re traveling with carry-on luggage only. For example, you need to get from New York City to Los Angeles. Flying there straight might set you back about $400. But flying the route New York City – Los Angeles – Las Vegas, might save you $100. The trick is to take your carry-on luggage at Los Angeles and just step out the terminal. However, this can’t be done with checked luggage, as your luggage might end up in the final destination.
This trick comes especially handy when you’re looking to fly long-distance. More often than not, the total fare is going to blow your mind and you’ll consider skipping the holiday altogether. The idea here is to find two split itineraries. For example, you want to fly from the US to Africa. Instead of searching for the direct route, try to first find tickets from the US to an European hub like London or Paris. Then search for tickets from that European hub to Africa. Splitting your tickets up like that might extend your holiday a day or two as we recommend to stay overnight in your connection city, but will save you money to spend on a safari or two.
It’s no surprise that often one-way tickets are more expensive than round-trip tickets. There’s a reason for that and that’s the fact that airlines want to fill as many seats on a route as possible. But sometimes you don’t need to fly back, for example when you’re moving to a new city you’ve found on Teleport. Then you use the trick of throwaway ticketing. It’s basically booking a round-trip or open-jaw ticket, but using only one way of it. Though bear in mind that you could only throw away the second half of the itinerary because if you miss the first then the airline will most likely cancel the whole reservation.
Stopovers are stops in an itinerary that are over 24 hours long. We would all like to fly direct, but usually it’s a lot more expensive. Adding a few stopovers to your itinerary will give you a chance to split very long flights into shorter ones, take a rest and visit more destinations than originally planned without extra cost. A lot of airlines actually offer free stopovers – such as Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, Icelandair in Reykjavik, Emirates in Dubai, Etihad in Abu Dhabi, and a few more.
Knowing when to buy your tickets
This is not a travel hack, but something that we can’t stress enough and that might save you money. If you’re looking to fly long-haul, then try to book your flights at least 2-3 months in advance, when flying domestic or within your region – 1-2 months is usually fine. Booking your tickets last minute is going to set you back way more than it should as they are usually incredibly expensive. That’s mainly because business travelers who ‘wake up’ too late are willing to pay a ton of money to make it to the last minute meeting. Popular holidays are an exception to the rule – often it is much better to plan well ahead and grab tickets if the price is right even 11 months ahead.
These are just a few tricks that we have up our sleeve. The airline industry is a maze of rules and the regular traveler will never be able to make sense of it all. That’s where a company like Flystein comes in. Our flight experts spend hours studying the rules of different airlines, exchanging tips with other travel hackers, and trying out different strategies.
Svea manages marketing at Flystein and has been building a career in the travel industry for over 6 years. She loves working in the candy shop that is the travel industry, on projects in and outside of the box. She works mostly from Tallinn, Estonia with some occasional trips to Lapland. Connect with her on Twitter and check out Flystein.