Sometimes, getting to a travel destination may be even more expensive than the accommodation itself, and that's when you need to start looking for cheap flights. We know how badly people in Singapore love to travel, if only there were more days of leave and more money in the bank. If you are a wanderlusting individual who loves to travel and get out of sunny Singapore to see and experience the world, but you hate how costly air tickets can be most of the time, perhaps it's high time you employ some tips and tricks to bring down the cost and shave your traveling bill.
This is especially true if you happen to be a penny pincher who enjoys traveling on a budget. For the most part, traveling on a budget isn't necessarily bad at all! If we can get cheaper air tickets and use the money saved for other things (think: more food, drinks, gifts, relaxing massages and so on and so forth), why not? In this GET.com's guide on How To Get Cheap Flights in Singapore, we at GET.com will share with you 11 useful tips on how to nab these travel deals.
Cheap Flights In Singapore
1. Make Use Of Travel Search Engines
If you aren't already doing this when in search for cheaper air tickets, it is definitely time you start making use of these sites to scour and narrow down cheaper flight options to save yourself some money.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you leave no stones unturned, search on different sites and compare prices!
It will definitely take quite a bit of time but if you want to score the best deal out there, you have to put in the effort and do your homework.
Just to put things into perspective, my boyfriend and I snagged a fantabulous package deal online for our travel to the Land of Smiles in Bangkok - each of us only had to fork out approximately $480 for a return Singapore Airlines flight inclusive of decent 5D4N accommodation at a 3-4 star hotel while my silly brother paid over $500 just for his return Singapore Airlines flight to Bangkok.
2. Consider Flying Budget
This is a no-brainer. Flying on budget airlines will help you get cheaper air tickets for the most part though it pretty much means you have to factor in a ton of "extra" charges such as credit/debit card payment fees, baggage fees, reservation of certain seats, etc.
You'll also have to put up with less legroom, chargeable food and beverages, chargeable blankets, absolutely no free movies and so on and so forth.
In my opinion, budget flights are great alternatives especially if you are just flying short haul. Nobody really needs to be served like a king or queen on a 2-hour flight, right?
For the uninitiated, budget carriers in Singapore don't just fly to nearby countries and cities unlike a decade or so ago. You can fly to countries as far away as Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan if you know where to look.
I've flown on Scoot to Gold Coast, Seoul and Taiwan on different occasions. And they've all been pretty comfortable compared to my past experiences with JetStar. AirAsia and Tigerair are another two that you can consider if you're looking to fly on budget.
If you're lucky like I was on my budget night flight to Gold Coast, you may even get to fly on a considerably empty flight and make yourself at home - I got a whole row of seats to myself and slept like a sloth. Score!
For those who are going all out to scrimp, bring your own snacks on board, try mixing-and-matching tickets from different budget carriers (sometimes, doing this really comes with some cost savings) and bring your own shawl or jacket to keep yourself warm as it can get quite chilly on the plane.
If it's a relatively short flight, you may want to try filling up your water bottle at the boarding area before you hop onto the plane so that you can drink up during the course of the flight. This is a tried-and-tested cheap thrill that I picked up from my boyfriend who never fails to bring his army water bottle along each time he flies budget!
3. Take An Indirect Route
If time is no object, fly an indirect route to your destination. As opposed to flying a direct route, such flights usually cost less. Your only "cost" will be the time spent hanging at the airport when stopping over.
Stopovers can range from a mere hour or two to even a full day, so it's really up to you whether you would prefer paying less for your air tickets but put up with the waiting time at the connecting airport that will inevitably eat into your "free" time in your country of destination. To each, his own.
4. Sign Up For Airlines' Mailing Lists And Follow Them On Facebook
Nobody likes a cluttered email inbox but for the sake of getting first dips on web-only slashed ticket prices and time-sensitive promotion deals that airlines dole out, there is honestly nothing to lose.
This is especially true if we manage to snag these exclusive, awesome deals specially meant for loyal "fans" like you and I who are constantly looking to score some fantastic deals.
Flash deals and/or last-minute deals that are happening are also frequently blasted via their social media platforms, too. So, it pays off - literally- to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Image source: Cathay Pacific Airways
Even budget carriers have their own "special deals" day - Scoot has Scoot Tuesday Morning Glory; Tigerair has Thursday Tiger Flash; and JetStar has Friday Fare Frenzy.
It will also be beneficial when you are kept up-to-date on travel search engines' special deals, discounts and promotions! As mentioned above, such sites that you can check out include FlyZilla, STA Travel, Zuji, Expedia, Wego, Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo, Airfarewatchdog, Travelocity and Dohop.
5. Check Out Airlines' Own Sites And Compare Prices
More often than not, you will find exclusive fares on their own sites which are not shared with travel search engines or travel agencies. But keep in mind that these discounted seats are usually rather limited in number!
Also, compare between different airlines (regular and budget) and also their seat class! It wouldn't hurt to fly on a budget airline's business class if it costs almost the same as a seat in the economy class on a more "prestigious" airline anyway. You end up in the same destination but get to enjoy a more comfortable, luxurious experience. Why not?
You may also want to compare the fares for 1 and 2 passengers as some airlines do offer special fares for a pair of travelers from time to time!
I don't know about you but I try to avoid getting my air tickets from traditional travel agencies in brick and mortar stores except when whoever I'm traveling with (or myself) doesn't have time to search for good deals.
Traditional travel agencies don't usually pass on cost savings on flights to consumers like you and I, though they do help you save a lot of time planning and organizing your trip. That's the tradeoff when you want convenience, I suppose.
But if you must get your travel sorted out at a traditional travel agency, book a land tour with them instead and find your own air tickets!
That was what my boyfriend and I did for our recent trip to Taiwan. We joined a tour but hunted for our own air tickets which helped us save a couple hundred of dollars.
6. Be Flexible
You have to be flexible in many different aspects if you really want to score the cheapest air tickets out there. Here are some pointers that you can take note of the next time you're looking to snag some cheap(er) air tickets:
Day and Timing
Flying in the middle of the week, late at night or in the wee hours will likely result in you paying less than your counterparts who fly on weekends and at convenient timings like late morning or noon-ish hours - though you probably have to tackle tired, red eyes.
Air tickets during and around major festive seasons like Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year tend to be more costly as well, just like those during school vacations as the demand for air tickets surges.
But before you commit to your purchase of air tickets, make sure you play around with the booking systems on the myriad of websites to compare all-in prices to see which airline has the cheapest overall fare on which day, at what time, with what combinations, etc.
Try adding a couple of days to your trip before or after intended travel days to see if such combinations will lower the fare. There's no harm in clicking on a few more buttons, anyway!
To find out which day is indeed the cheapest for jetting off, simply search with the "one-way ticket" checkbox ticked and play around with the system.
Sometimes, the difference of just one day can mean a few hundred dollars in savings! So if you aren't flexible on the dates you want to fly and/or return, it is pretty difficult to ensure that you find the cheapest air ticket for yourself.
By this, I mean for you to really embrace the art of wanderlusting and going wherever the cheapest destination (bounded by your own budget) is.
This makes of a lovely alternative travel experience for those who are looking to travel to anywhere in the world as long as they get the cheapest possible fares to somewhere but home!
After all, you never know where these travel gems are hidden across the world, so if you are flexible on where you'd like to travel, you could very well bag an amazing deal and explore somewhere new (and fun) altogether.
Keen to find out how on earth you could possibly embark on such an exciting journey?
Use Kayak's "Explore" tool or Google Flights to help you start planning your adventure! These are a breeze to use and pretty responsive, too.
7. Book Early
It pays to book your air tickets as early as you can, when you are very sure that you can travel during that intended period. According to the internet, the best booking window is 6-8 weeks before your flight, or approximately 3 months before your flight if you are traveling during peak season.
Generally, air tickets' prices soar the later you book. Want a real life example? My budget return tickets to Seoul via Scoot cost around $700 when I booked rather last minute prior to the trip whilst my friend enjoyed his Korean Air experience for just $800 - he booked way ahead and I didn't because I was clearly a klutz a couple of years back!
8. Use Your Credit Card To Redeem Travel Perks
Use your credit card to reward yourself with miles that you can redeem for air tickets or seat upgrades (alongside other travel perks) from a specific airline or from a group of airlines.
But of course, the fastest way you can earn miles is to use a credit card that rewards you with miles for all, or a large portion, of your spending!
Typically, you'll have to register with the airlines' loyalty programmes and set up an account first though.
Different credit cards offer different spending-to-miles conversion rates, so be sure to pick one that suits your lifestyle inclinations and airline preferences.
9. Reap Advantages Of Being A Student If You Are One
Branding themselves as the "largest student and young person travel company in the world", STA Travel is a youth oriented, NATAS & STB accredited travel agency that even has a tab aptly named "Student & under 26 flights".
Lucky you if you're a student in the works of venturing on an overseas study stint whether it be a longer-term one or a school semester exchange.
STA Travel offers exclusive deals ranging from student-priced airfare to discounted Eurail passes and explore-the-world tours! How exciting right?
They pride themselves on helping young people save money while providing maximum flexibility, reliable support and service - so should you be needing some help in planning for your adventure around the world, feel free to speak to them!
10. Check If There Are Alternative Airports
Although this tip may not apply to all countries in the world, there's no harm checking if there are alternative airports in your travel destination.
Airlines most likely have lower fares for smaller and/or less popular airports, so if you don't mind landing somewhere apart from the main airport and traveling to your intended destination by whichever mode of transport applicable, it may help for you to take a look at these airports to shave some money off your travel bill.
Just make sure that you do some basic cost-benefit analysis (i.e. simple math) and examine if savings from flying into a smaller and/or less popular airport outweigh the costs of flying into the popular airports and additional transportation costs (if any).
11. Avoid Traveling During Peak Seasons
I know this is incredibly obvious but if possible, avoid jetting off to go on a holiday during long weekends as most people would want to travel during those dates to avoid eating into their precious annual leave.
Another peak season to avoid, if possible, is school holidays. In Singapore, this usually means June and November-December for primary and secondary schools; May-August and December for local universities like NUS, NTU, SMU and SUTD.
This point is pretty interesting but it helps to some extent to check out when the lull period in your intended travel destination is. When you visit during lull seasons, the hotels and air tickets will generally be cheaper.
Case in point, my trip to Phuket during June happened to be their low-peak season, so I got to stay at a fantastic villa at a steal!
Even the massages, drinks and dining deals at the 5-star villa were heavily discounted (think: 1-for-1 promotions).
Here you can see our list of the 4 most affordable getaway destinations near Singapore.
In A Nutshell…
The cheapest air ticket may not necessarily be the best since it may come with a whole host of terms and conditions that make your deal a very inflexible one, especially in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
For instance, you've booked tickets months ahead but your child falls sick during the period where you all are supposed to be flying, getting the flight dates postponed may incur a sizable amount of money!
And if the airline doesn't allow any postponement to be made at all, you may very well have to forfeit the tickets.
Another thing to note when you're booking your air tickets online is to consider extra fees and "hidden" charges such as credit/debit card fees, baggage, meals, certain seats, extra leg room, and so on.
Factor all these in when you compare between different airlines and flights before making the final purchase.
Also, if you're a credit card holder who loves exploring the world, consider a travel credit card that opens up a whole host of travel perks if you don't already own one.
Although it is arguably quite tough to redeem free flights using air miles, using these miles that you've accumulated to offset ticket prices or upgrade seats can help you save a pretty substantial amount over the longer term!
Nevertheless, it is entirely up to you whether you prefer to splash out on regular air tickets or put in the effort to score some pretty amazing deals!
What's most important is that you have to be comfortable with how much you are willing to pay for your air ticket. Ask yourself how much you're willing to part with and whether you are genuinely happy with that figure.