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5 budgeting hacks that could save you a small fortune on airfare

Book your flights in advance to save money. Picture: David Ritchie.

Book your flights in advance to save money. Picture: David Ritchie.

Published Jan 14, 2022

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Planning a holiday in advance in these unprecedented times may seem like a trap, however, it could save you a small fortune in the long run.

So if you’re looking forward to travelling in 2022, then FlySafair has a few hints and tips that will ensure you get more bang for your buck.

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Tip #1: Public holiday Trade-Offs

Try to take advantage of school holidays and public holidays to maximise escape time. Book as far in advance as possible. The alternative to this is to try and find reasons and opportunities for a sneaky break during periods of low demand when prices are really good.

Here are some tips to maximise public holidays in 2022.

March 21, Human Rights Day is on a Monday this year. If you take a single day of leave on Friday, March 18 or Tuesday, March 22 it will give you a four day weekend. And possibly help you to avoid a very busy travel day.

April and May sees a number of public holidays with the Easter weekend spanning April 15-18, Freedom day on the April 27 and Workers Day on Sunday, May 1, meaning that Monday, May 2 will be a public holiday. Putting in eight days of leave from the April 19 - 29 can give you 18 consecutive days off.

June 16, Youth Day is on a Thursday, so taking Friday, June 17 off is a no-brainer to make a four-day weekend.

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Similarly Woman’s Day, August 9 is a Tuesday, so taking Monday, August 8 will also make a four-day weekend.

It’s always a trade-off around these peak travel periods because prices do go up, so take the opportunities, but book in advance to get the better deals. Paying a little extra for more flexible booking terms will still be cheaper than trying to book these prime periods closer to departure.

Work the system by making your escape a little longer by taking an additional day off work and try to travel before or after everyone else does.

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#2 Best time to travel

The last two weeks of January are rough for the travel industry. Most people are just returning from their December breaks and it’s generally too early for business travel to have really started as people are just settling into the working year. If you didn’t get a break over the festive period, then this is the perfect time to escape. Weather and prices are great.

June and July are also good travel months but require some careful planning, because much like January, there are a few weeks during the winter that tend to be very busy. But if you plan carefully and grab a gap in the middle of the holidays you can usually get some great deals. The winter break this year will span from June 25 to July 18.

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November is often the calm before the storm. Most people will have breaks planned over the festive period, so if you can take the gap, this is often a great time to take a sneaky budget break.

#3 Consider the days and times you book a flight

There are definitely days of the week that tend to be more affordable to fly, and it all has to do with those demand cycles. Generally the cheapest days to travel are Wednesday, Tuesday and Saturday, in that order. You could save around 9%. In the world of airlines, travel date and time flexibility pays. Rather take a night flight instead of a morning one.

#4 Travel light

Travel light and save. Most local airlines now (FlySafair, Kulula and Lift) are offering customers the opportunity to buy cheaper tickets that do not include checked luggage allowances. So if you can get away with just hand luggage, you can save.

#5 Opt for travel insurance

Things may change, so opt for flexible options and travel insurances. It’ll cost a little more now, but it could save you big time if things do change along the way.

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