Top travel booking mistakes

Booking a trip can be stressful. In our rush to get everything locked in, we can overlook many money-saving options and make simple yet costly mistakes. Here are the top travel booking mistakes you’ll want to avoid when planning your next adventure. 

Choosing the cheapest ticket
While a low fare can be very tempting, cheap flights are often less flexible and might require additional fees for services included in other tickets. For example, selecting your seat, making changes to your ticket, requesting a larger weight allowance or even taking a carry-on may cost you extra. Look into these additional costs before you’re lured in by low fares. 

Searching specific dates to fly
While you may have your ideal dates locked in mentally, being more flexible could mean significant savings. When you start plugging in other dates, you may see that flight prices vary enormously. Using apps such as Skyscanner allows you to compare the prices of flights over a few days and could save you big time. 

Booking the wrong flight
It sounds silly, but it’s a surprisingly common mistake. Locking in the wrong time, flight and even destination happens more frequently than you’d think, and not all companies will allow you to change booking details or offer refunds. 

Buying your tickets at the wrong time
Just as buying your tickets too close or too far from your travel dates can cost more, the day of the week and even the time of the day can drastically alter costs and deals. The general rule is that booking anywhere around 10 months in advance will land you steep airfares as companies are conservative with their estimates early on. However booking within two weeks of the flight means prices are likely to skyrocket. Even booking during peak times, such as on a weekend when other people are more likely to be searching for flights, will mean fewer deals are available. Using free apps such as Hopper will help you predict what days and times flights will be cheapest, and could save you hundreds. 

Putting in the wrong details
You’d be amazed how often people mistype their own names or details, and how much grief this can cause when trying to get through airport security or check into a hotel. Take the time to fill out forms and booking details accurately. It could save you much time and, potentially, expense. 

Disregarding budget airlines
While it’s easy to jump on to large and popular websites to search and compare flights, did you know that many won’t show results for smaller budget airlines? Independently searching what budget airlines travel to your destination could save money and also offer alternative routes and flights. 

Booking direct to your destination
While it may seem like the easiest and most logical route to take, searching for flights that take you only to your destination can be expensive. Use the ‘Everywhere’ function on Skyscanner to search for cheaper flights that take you close to your destination. From there, you could take another flight, a bus or even a car to your final destination and save.  

Fearing the early morning flight
We know, no one likes waking up in the middle of the night to board a flight, but what if it meant great savings? Fares are likely to be cheaper between 4am and 8am, delays are less likely and the airport less crowded, so it might be time to enjoy a sky-high sunrise.  

Have you made any of these costly mistakes while booking a trip? Do you have any other tips for fellow readers? If so, let us know in the comment section below.

Written by Liv Gardiner

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