Fly to South America for less

Q. I have been taking a Spanish class at my local community college. One of my fellow students is married to a Chilean woman, and they have invited me to visit them at her family home in Chile. But the flights seem very expensive – is there any way to get to South America for less?

A. Often flights are the most expensive part of a trip to South America, so I would suggest being flexible with the timing of your trip, as long as your friends have not set specific dates. Try signing up for the enewsletters from airline companies which fly to South America (such as Qantas, Aerolineas Argentinas or LAN), and waiting for the flight sales to come up. Flights are often cheaper in the off-season, and this can be a great time to travel, especially if you are staying with friends.

Another useful tool is the Skyscanner website. It compares flights from different airline companies around the world to help you find the most cost-effective fare. It can also help you to work out the days or months during which it is least expensive to fly, by showing you a calendar of approximate travel costs on each day.