Skyscanner shares 5 booking tips for Filipinos when traveling to the 5 top overseas destinations — China, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. Thanks to budget airlines, traveling overseas became very popular in the country. What the rich are able to do several years back is now possible even for ordinary people. Skyscanner’s booking tips is very timely for 2014 as everyone plot their next travel itinerary especially with the release of the Philippine holidays for this year.
To maximize the budget, we are always on the look out for seat sale which requires booking in advance. But even when there is no sale, it is apparently possible to save on airline fare when booking is done early. Here are the 5 booking tips for us Filipinos for the top 5 outbound destinations:
- China – Save as much as Php7,000 per flight when booking is done 28 weeks in advance. That’s a lot of savings which can be used for dining, exploring the city, shopping and buying souvenirs.
- Malaysia. It’s easy to decide to fly to Malaysia at a whim because it’s near. In fact, it has been a destination of choice for last minute vacations. To save on airfare, book 31 weeks in advance to pay only 46% of the actual cost instead of buying a ticket a few weeks or days prior to the target date.
- Japan. When planning to visit the Land of the Rising Sun, buy your tickets 14 weeks in advance for a savings of as much as Php6,300. It would also be a good idea to book 4 tickets so that another friend or relative can join in the trip.
- Thailand. Booking 16 weeks ahead will result to a saving of as much as Php2,990. And just like Japan, booking four tickets will allow another companion to join the flight for free.
- Singapore. Book 25 weeks in advance for a flight to Singapore to save as much as Php1,600. That’s roughly 24% discount from the average flight cost to one of Filipinos’ favorite destinations in 2013 according to a Skyscanner survey.
These tips are a result of Skyscanner’s study on the millions of flights purchased by their customers for the past three years. According to the study, booking 3-4 weeks in advance on the average is the best time to book flights. However, the savings still largely depends on the type of flight booked or the airlines you take for the trip. Prices are likely to go up when traveling on a budget airline as the day of the flight draws near. Meanwhile, ticket prices are likely to fluctuate on long haul flights as the day of the flight approaches. There’s also no guarantee for the best seats which can be uncomfortable for flights that takes more than 5 hours.
Skyscanner’s booking tips is not only applicable to the 5 destinations mentioned. According to the Best Time to Book study, it is best to book 20 weeks in advance regardless of your destination. The study also showed that the most affordable month to travel is in the month of February, while the most expensive is during the month of April. Apparently, less Filipinos travel on February in preparation for summer travels which usually happens in April.
Taking note of the suggested time frames for booking allows us to plan, get bigger discounts and the take the best seats possible. Booking early can lead to about 18% savings than the average ticket price. This also makes the trip more enjoyable as the trouble of looking for available flights at the last minute can be avoided. Aside from the savings and being stress-free, buying tickets early will allow everyone to focus on the vacation, such as planning the itinerary to maximize the time to relax and experience the culture of a new place. After all, traveling is all about having a great time.
Skyscanner, a leading global travel search site, also adds some simple rules to take note of to get the best possible ticket price:
- Book smart – Be aware of the peak season and the less popular time of the day to fly. This information can really help in deciding when to travel and help lower costs.
- Be flexible – Travel costs to different destinations vary significantly depending on the airlines plying that route and the airports offering these flights. If you are yet on the planning stage for your next trip but are open to destinations, set your search criteria to “everywhere” when using the Skyscanner search service to find countries that offer the best value flights at any time.
- Compare – Using services that provides travel comparison like Skyscanner will let you compare various airlines and online travel agents. Armed with this facility, you’ll see where you can get the best deal.
- Track prices – Skyscanner’s analysis has found that observing the flight prices a few months in advance of travel is the best way to find a good deal for your flight. With a flight tracker price alert service that can be sent either through email or via the Skyscanner app can help monitor when prices drop on a particular route or destination.
Skyscanner offers price alerts on all routes to enable flights to be monitored by email. The Skyscanner app offers widgets for Android, Live Tiles for Windows Phone and “watch” functionality for iOS, all of which allow customers to track the latest price changes on a chosen route. With these resources available at our fingertips along with the Skyscanner’s 5 booking tips, the possibility of saving more for our travels is becoming more real.