Travelling can be explained in a very simple way as below-
Work- Earn Money- Save Money- Plan the Trip- Book Tickets- Backpack- Travel- Expense- Eat- Sleep- Repeat.
But, what would you say if I modify this a bit in my way as below again-
Work- Earn Money- Save Money- Plan the Trip- Book Tickets- Again Save Money- Backpack- Travel- Expense- Eat- Sleep- Repeat.
I am leaving to you to find the modified part. Oh Great, you found it. So, before you go down the line, I request you to differentiate between the above two mentioned ways. Differentiate in the sense, to find out what does that modified added point can impact on your journey and how can that be possible.
Wait… still, I am expecting you to answer this to yourself. If you got the answer, you are ready to explore down the line. If not, figure it out once more and then start exploring the below streams.
Most of our expense from the money we save for our trip goes into the booking of flights and bus tickets, irrespective of the well-known fact that if we would have tried, we might have saved. However, this mostly doesn’t happen in the case of Trains, so I am not considering train fares in this blog.
Booking the flights anonymously drops the expense graph below our expectation. I love travelling and nothing makes me happier when it comes to book my flight tickets at the cheapest rates. The difference in the amount that I manage to save while booking the flights and buses usually handles my other travel expenses.
Let’s start with the bus booking first.
When exploring places within India, booking bus either on Railyatri.com (yes they provide bus tickets too) or Goibibo.com would be a good choice as you can get some pretty luring offers on buses at these sites.
While exploring the cities, it is preferable to either use the daily bus pass or to use a local train or tram whichever is applicable based on your travel destination.
Now let’s start with the flight bookings.
- Explore multiple websites before you land on the final one
I always spent few hours in the background trying to learn few methodologies, tricks and techniques to book cheapest flight tickets whenever and wherever possible. I’m sure you all have searched a lot on multiple travel websites like Cleartrip, Yatra, Paytm, Makemytrip (All highlighted in BLUE are links) and have done flight booking from all that.
But, I’m not sure if you have heard of a little-known website called HappyEasyGo which has saved me hundreds of bucks on flight booking. The best policy of this website is that they guarantee the best lowest price or else you will get refund of 200% of the difference, if you find any other website quoting lowest price than them. HappyEasyGo is established by a serial entrepreneur who possesses rich experience of 13 years in the tourism industry in both online and offline market with a broad exposure in the Indian and International sectors.
Even during Diwali period, when the rush is at its peak, I was able to book ticket to my hometown in just Rs.2300 one-way, when it was showing Rs.3500 for the same journey on other sites.
- Timing is very precious when it comes to ticketing
There are no such specific or hidden rules that can let you be the winner when it comes to book the tickets. However, there are few tips and tricks which I usually follow and will save your bucks for sure.
Always plan for your long journey travel at least 6-8 weeks prior to your travel date. Once your dates are finalized, start exploring different flights for your get-set-go. It is always preferable to book your tickets during such early period, as you will get the tickets at less price. The reason behind this is that most of the flight tickets are hardly sold by such early period and it would be a boon for you if you buy 8 weeks before your planned travel date. If you are lucky enough, you may get a surprising deal at the last minute, but I don’t think you would like to take a chance and risk your journey just because your flight tickets got too expensive.
Always try to book your tickets either on Tuesday or Wednesday, just because being week days, hardly anyone travels. So airlines carry fewer passengers and thus lower demand means lower price rates.
Adding to this, always prefer to book tickets at night, as the air fares changes frequently and it is often at its lowest in late nights.
- Look for your cookies before booking the flight tickets
You have heard about the word cookies, but do you know, these cookies help the airlines to increase their fares while you are booking your flight tickets. Almost all the websites save your search information and use those data when required. Not all the cookies that gets saved are good for you, especially when it comes to book the flight tickets.
Most of the time, when you search for your flight multiple times to re-check the price, there will be the probability of increase in fare of the tickets. You must have been through the situation when you are at the final gateway page of your payment, the airlines increased their price by Rs.200 or 300. They collect all your data and use them against you when the times comes.
The best possible way to deal with this is to either simply delete all your cookies before booking the tickets and wait for at least 5 minutes before you proceed again or always make a habit to search your flight tickets in browser’s incognito window. Using incognito window will never save any of your cookies and search information.
You won’t believe, I booked flight ticket from Pune to Hyderabad in just Rs.3382 for 2 persons.
- Take a Credit Card with the feature of Frequent Flyer Program
Frequent flyer program, commonly known as FFP program, is a loyalty plan offered by an airline using which you can earn miles or reward points or even both when you book your flight tickets using their card and fly with the airline.
For example, HDFC bank has tied up with Jet airways and SBI has with Air India. So every time you use these cards for your booking with their selected airlines, you will receive ‘miles’ which you can redeem in your next flight and so on.
- Always check for alternative airports
This may sound clumsy and awkward, but looking for an alternative airport near to your departure or arrival points will certainly help you out in saving some big bucks. How let me tell you one small story.
When I was travelling to my hometown from Pune, I had almost finalized my flight from Pune to Patna which was costing me around 6500 bucks with one stop. Later, I don’t know what came in my mind, I looked for my flight from Mumbai to Patna. And it came in around 4400 bucks with no stops in between. So I had saved here 210 bucks. You might ask now, that I had to travel from Pune to Mumbai to catch my flight and that too added to my travel expense. Yes, of course. But, a semi-sleeper fully AC bus from Pune to Mumbai domestic airport costs me 300 bucks. So, summing all these, I ultimately saved 1800 bucks directly and small time as well since my Mumbai-Patna flight is with no stops.
This is the case of domestic journey. Just imagine, if it would had been the case in international trip!!!