14 tips to buy flights for your trip

In this article we are going to give you all the advice you need to know to book your perfect flight .

There are trips that are solved with a single flight, and other long-distance trips in which you have to make several stops and use several planes to reach your destination.

Interior of a Vueling airplane
Interior of a Vueling airplane

In any case, nobody wants to have the feeling of having paid more than the bill or having hired something that in the end does not correspond to what you expected.

That is why, from our long traveling experience, we have created this list of tips that you have to keep in mind if you are about to buy the flights for an upcoming trip.

Tips for booking cheap flights

Book flights with time

If you are looking for the cheapest price, you should book as far in advance as you can.

You may end up having to pay double the price if you book with little time in advance.

For our experience, for intercontinental trips we would have to book the flights at least 6 months before the date of the trip to get a very competitive price.

The closer the departure date approaches, the fewer places there are and therefore the higher the price.

Cabin of a Vueling airplane
Cabin of a Vueling airplane

Is it better to travel out of season?

As we have said, it seems obvious that the more demand for tickets, the more expensive the flight, so obviously in high season prices go up.

By booking 3 months in advance in both cases, in August round trip costs around 1100 euros, while in February the flight cost us 450 euros.

This is real, but in high season there are also advantages that must be taken into account because they disappear out of season.

Although the price rises, airlines usually open routes that are only available in high season.

In practice this means that in high season you can make a direct flight to some cities, while outside of it you will need to make a stopover between two flights .

That is the case of the aforementioned Madrid-Boston flight, since in summer there is a direct flight and in winter there is no, so even if it is your turn to pay more, at least you will save time to enjoy the stay.

Interior of a Qatar Airways plane
Interior of a Qatar Airways plane

But there are times when the price of the flight is very high and you do not know why, which is probably because there is a local party or some event that you may not know.

So keep this in mind if you see that the price does not fit for the dates you are looking for, unless you want to travel on that specific date.

How to use search engines and flight comparators

The good thing about flight comparators is that they offer you a lot of options to choose from, although in certain occasions they are so many that you get disoriented.

But the best thing about comparators is the possibility of filtering searches, so if you know how to use them well, you can find authentic offers.

Many flight search engines give you the option (selecting only the month in which you want to travel) to look for the days when flights are cheaper.

Air France A-380 plane
Air France A-380 plane

In this way they offer you the calendar of the month with the prices of the flights every day, and thus you can accommodate the dates of the trip at the prices that interest you most.

If you have some freedom when choosing days, use this option because it can save you a lot of money.

Which airline to choose to travel

Keep in mind the airline you travel with; It is not the same to travel in low cost than in a company that is not, and in each group, with many nuances.

When choosing flights, the search engines with the prices show the information of the airlines that operate them.

Each has its own rules, especially with regard to the luggage to be checked or the baggage that we can carry in the cabin

Another aspect that differentiates the different airlines is whether they give you free food or refreshments, which is becoming less common, except in the case of long-distance or intercontinental flights.

Ryanair plane in Madrid airport
Ryanair plane in Madrid airport

And you must also take into account the schedules of the flights offered, since flying with certain companies to certain destinations can mean moving to untimely hours at the airport.

But not always low cost means worse service.

By way of example I want to emphasize that when flying with the low cost Norwegian , in great expansion in recent years, on certain routes you will have free wifi on the plane! I assure.

In our experience there are some airlines that are spectacular and that take maximum care of the passenger, and others that pose almost an obstacle course, putting a price on every minimum service.

In this regard, beware of  Ryanair , the most popular low cost in Europe, which always requires you to check-in online before going to the airport.

This means that you always have to go with the printed ticket (or in certain routes, invoiced on your mobile), because if it is not almost, you will have to pay 75 euros to check in at the airport.

Flights with stopovers

Another important point is the scales if your trip requires them.

Look carefully at the duration of the stopovers , because there are times when the price of the flight is very cheap because you have a very long stopover at the airport.

Plane of the Norwegian company Wideroe
Plane of the Norwegian company Wideroe

Of course, the scale should not be too short, for example of only half an hour, which sometimes happens, because you run the risk of losing the connecting flight, and with almost total security, your suitcase will not have time to be transferred. one plane to another.

And watch out for the long scales, especially on flights where you arrive at the airport at 2 in the morning and, for example, the next flight departs at 8 o’clock in the morning or similar times.

These scales kill you because you almost do not have time to go to a hotel and it’s a nightmare to sleep at the airport.

Our advice is that you notice that the flight has short stops, or if they are long, that by flight schedules you have the possibility of leaving the airport to visit the city of the scale.

For example, in an intercontinental flight with Qatar Airways , if the stopover in Doha is more than five hours.

And even better, if you have time on trips in which you link two flights with more than 10 hours apart, you should consider it a good option to spend a night or a day visiting the city where you make a stopover.

Best flight schedules

As we have said, another measure that airlines use to lower prices is to put flights at inconvenient times, and in this way they release spaces during peak hours, which are more costly.

Interior of a Qatar Airways plane
Interior of a Qatar Airways plane

But beyond the inconveniences that we have mentioned to make long stopovers in airports, there is another problem that can occur.

Keep in mind that there are times when the departure or arrival times of the plane are late at night or very early in the morning, you still do not have public transportation to get to the airport.

In the end what you save on the flight you lose in the taxi.

If for what you had to choose this option, keep in mind that better and cheaper than a taxi is to book a transfer that makes you the hotel-airport.

What luggage can I take on the plane

The issue of luggage is a factor that can be very important to you, because you may be forced to pay more if you do not comply exactly with the measures you have implemented.

It is also important to check whether the ticket price includes the baggage check or does not include it.

Iberia Express plane
Iberia Express plane

In the case of long-distance flights , the price always includes a suitcase of 23 kg maximum weight.

But if the flight is short and you need a luggage check, in most of the low cost companies you should include it yourself as an extra to pay, sometimes at a really high price.

Most of the prices that you get on short trips do not include luggage, only the hand luggage, and the low cost companies are quite strict in this luggage that we carry with us.

When the ticket includes a suitcase, it usually weighs 23kg.

For each extra suitcase (another 23 kg of weight) they usually charge you a supplement of between 50 and 80 euros depending on the company.

Keep in mind that it is cheaper to pay the luggage billing along with the ticket when booking the flight, than if you do it at the last minute at the airport, which will always have a higher cost.

Be careful if you are going to hire several flights , because if one of them is transoceanic but the rest is not, the price of the ticket may only include luggage in the long journey.

Check it and make sure you hire and add what you need.

Airport of Barcelona
Airport of Barcelona

The aforementioned Ryanair is a company that has always had very demanding standards , which you have to take into account.

Currently, only if you have paid a supplement will you be allowed to enter your legal bag in the cabin; If not, or the invoices after payment, or if you carry it as carry-on luggage, when you arrive at the door of the plane you will be taken down to the warehouse.

The latter of lowering the luggage of hand luggage to the warehouse is also done by other low cost companies .

What to do after the delay or cancellation of a flight

Knowing what to do in case of a long delay or cancellation of a flight is a very important aspect.

It is not usual, so if you are not a frequent traveler, it is almost certain that you will not know your rights in these circumstances and do not know how to claim .

If you want to know how to proceed if you have to complain about delays, cancellations or loss of luggage, we have published an article in which we clarify all the doubts that may arise.

Here you can see how to claim for delay or cancellation of your flight .

Is it necessary to hire insurance for air flights?

When hiring the flight they usually offer cancellation insurance referring to possible problems of overbooking and other issues so you get scared and hire them, but …

Is it really necessary to take out cancellation insurance when buying the flight?

Everyone is the one who has to see if it suits him or not.

These insurance cover a wide range of incidents that may arise, starting from possible medical problems, but also compensate for all the inconveniences related to air travel .

If you have already contracted your own travel insurance, it would double the coverage, so you should not be interested in the insurance offered by the airline.

In our case we do not hire this cancellation insurance because we always travel with good travel insurance .

First in a KLM aircraft
First in a KLM aircraft

Different airport of arrival and return

If you are going to make a route in which you visit several cities and you are going to move a lot, keep in mind that you can earn hours or even days if you plan to plan different airports at the beginning and end of the trip .

Unless your route is circular, rate this option.

Change of hour use

If your flight includes a change in the time zone, look at it very well at the time of booking it, with all that it implies in terms of possible changes in date, especially on very long trips.

You would not be the first to realize that you are missing or have days left on your trip.

Tickets with special needs

There are many people who, when traveling, have different characteristics than those of a standard traveler, either due to mobility problems, for carrying special luggage or for going with children with carts.

At the time of contracting the ticket you must warn of these circumstances so that the airline counts on it.

In the case of children up to two years old , they do not usually have to pay, or if they do, it is a minimum percentage of the standard ticket.

Vueling plane in Barcelona airport
Vueling plane in Barcelona airport

That is, they do not have the right to seat, but they must travel on the legs of one of the parents.

When children are between 2 and 10 years old , depending on the airline and the price of the flight, it usually has a discount.

In the case of any mobility problem, airports always offer a service with help staff and wheelchairs , which you can request when arriving at the airport free of charge.

They accompany you and lend you the help you need, even if you are traveling or picking you up on the plane.

Also, you will not have to pay any charge, for example, for billing a wheelchair or a child’s car you own.

And as for special baggage , such as ski boards, when booking the ticket you have to indicate this circumstance.

As long as you meet the rules of what you can take on an airplane, you will only have to check it in at the airport.

Entertainment during the airplane trip 

On long trips , entertainment systems vary, and traveling in one airline is not the same as in another.

It is precisely in this type of services where you can find clear differences, and so for example, depending on the company and the origin and destination of flights, the catalog of films in your language can vary a lot.

Visas to fly

Finally, before buying tickets you should check if you need to apply for a visa to fly to a specific country.

In any case, when you check in you must have all the necessary documentation for the trip because without it you will not be allowed to board the plane.