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  • Writer's pictureConnor Sykes

Breaking Free Post-Graduation: How to Find Affordable Flights for an Extended Adventure Abroad


Plane flying, pink suitcase open with an island getaway inside.

Graduation is a significant milestone, providing a newfound sense of freedom and possibilities. As a fresh college graduate, you are in the right place. This guide is designed to walk you through the process of snagging cheap flights, making your dream trip more affordable, and turning the concept of globe-trotting into a feasible reality.


 

1. To Find Affordable Flights, Timing is Everything

When it comes to finding cheap flights, timing is of the essence. Understanding the dynamics of airline pricing can be the key to unlocking significant savings on airfare. For example, airlines often offer discounted fares during off-peak seasons when the travel demand is low. These are usually times when fewer people are traveling, like during the school term or outside holiday periods. If you have the flexibility, consider aligning your travel plans with these off-peak times.


In addition to the seasonality of travel, the day of the week and the time you choose to fly can also impact the price of flights. Midweek flights are often cheaper, especially those scheduled for late-night or early-morning departures. Websites like Skyscanner and Kayak have built-in features that allow you to view the most affordable days and times to fly to your chosen destination, making it easier to plan your trip around these cost-saving opportunities.



2. Be Flexible with Your Destination

Adopting a flexible approach toward your travel destination can also significantly reduce your flight costs. Some locations are cheaper to fly to due to more frequent flights, lower demand, or because they serve as hubs for specific airlines. Websites like Momondo have a useful function that allows you to search for the cheapest flights to any location departing from your chosen airport. This feature can be a real game-changer, opening up affordable travel possibilities to locations you may not have initially considered.



3. Choose Your Airline Wisely

The choice of the airline can also have a substantial impact on the cost of your flight. Different airlines have varying fare structures, and budget airlines can often offer lower prices. However, it's essential to remain mindful of potential hidden charges, such as fees for checked luggage, seat selection, or onboard meals and snacks. Websites like Expedia and Orbitz can help you compare prices from different airlines, ensuring you comprehensively understand what your fare includes before booking.



4. Sign Up for Fare Alerts

In the digital age, technology is your friend when it comes to snagging cheap flights. Many travel websites and airlines offer fare alert services. By signing up for these alerts, you'll receive notifications when flight prices drop for your chosen destinations. This can save you from the monotony of regularly checking various websites for price changes. Consider signing up for fare alerts on websites like Airfarewatchdog and Scott’s Cheap Flights. These platforms do the legwork for you, monitoring price changes and delivering the deals straight to your inbox.



5. Consider Booking Multi-City Flights

Booking multi-city flights is another strategy that can sometimes be cheaper than booking a series of one-way flights. This approach also allows you to visit multiple destinations on the same trip, thereby getting more bang for your buck. Websites like Google Flights and Skyscanner offer multi-city search options, enabling you to explore various combinations of destinations to find the most cost-effective route for your adventure.



6. Use Flight Comparison Websites

Flight comparison websites are a powerful tool for finding the best deals. These platforms aggregate prices from various airlines and booking sites, enabling you to compare them all in one place. You can filter the results according to your preferences, such as the number of stops, the airlines, and the times of flights. This can significantly streamline the process of searching for affordable flights. Some of the most popular flight comparison websites include Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights.



7. Leverage Airline Rewards Programs

Another brilliant way to lower the cost of your flights is by enrolling in airline rewards programs. These programs enable you to amass points or miles each time you book a flight with the airline. Subsequently, you can redeem these points for future flights. Some airlines, like American Airlines, also provide co-branded credit cards allowing you to earn points for day-to-day purchases. So, whether you're on the move or not, you can constantly accumulate points for your next trip.



8. Book in Advance but Watch for Last Minute Deals

As a rule of thumb, securing your flight bookings well ahead of time can help you bag a better deal. This is because flight prices typically escalate as the departure date nears. However, don't rule out the possibility of last-minute deals. Airlines occasionally offer hefty discounts on flights that aren't fully booked as the departure date approaches. Websites like Last Minute Travel specialize in these kinds of deals.



9. Consider Nearby Airports

If you're based near multiple airports, it's worth comparing flight prices from each of them. You may discover that driving a bit further to a different airport can result in considerable savings on your flight. Tools like Skyscanner's 'Nearby Airports' search function make this comparison process effortless.



10. Use an Incognito Browser Window

When scouring the web for flights, consider using an incognito browser window. Some websites deploy cookies to track your searches and may hike prices if you repetitively search for the same flight. You can avoid this by browsing incognito on browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox.



 

Conclusion

Traveling abroad post-graduation is an exciting opportunity. With careful planning and innovative strategies, you can snag cheap flights for your extended adventure. Remember, the world is your oyster, and countless cultures, cuisines, and landscapes are waiting to be explored. Use these tips to make your post-graduation travel dreams a reality without breaking the bank. Safe travels!


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