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If you want to save money on your next holiday, booking cheaper flights will make a big difference to the total cost. Knowing your way around the booking sites and the way airline pricing works can help you get much cheaper flights.
There's a sweet spot for accessing the cheapest fares which extend from four months ahead to about a month before the booking - a month and a half ahead is probably the best time of all. You could use DubaiDirectory.com to find best airline companies and cheapest flights in Dubai. Book closer to the date of travel and you'll probably find your choice of low fares is limited.
Most people ask for the cheapest flight to a particular destination. If your budget is the deciding factor, your destination to fly to. Kayak Explore and Momondo Trip Finder both allow you to find destinations by price. You need to head to the right websites. Don't look through travel agents' sites instead use the 'meta-search engines'. Skyscanner, Kayak or Momondo generally find the cheapest fares by trawling and comparing different airlines and agents. You may strike lucky first time, but you should compare at least these three sites and maybe a couple of others before you press the button.
Some sites have functionality that can give you an advantage. Adioso, for instance, allows you to enter vague areas rather than cities; you could ask for 'London to South America' rather than having to try different airport combinations. Skyscanner also allows country searches that don't specify an airport. Other sites enable their users to look for flights up to three days either side of their preferred dates.
Being flexible about your dates can help secure cheaper fares; Monday and Friday plus weekends will always be expensive, as many people are flying out for work or back home for the weekend, while midweek flights are often cheaper.
Momondo has a particularly interesting feature that shows the average price for a given route for each month of the year. That's useful information when you're working out whether you've got a great deal or just an okay one, and it might also help you organize your travel to take advantage of the cheapest period to fly.
Be aware that flights may be cheap for a reason. A route requiring two or three transfers will always be cheaper than a direct flight; one with a 12-hour layover will always be cheaper than one with just two hours. Your decision may be to opt for comfort and to save holiday time, but for the cash-strapped, such flights can bring a significant reduction in costs.
Flights from small airports like Beauuvais (for Paris) can be low cost, but remember to assess the saving after the extra cost of getting to your destination from the airport. Remember to factor in booking fees, credit card fees, baggage fees and other extras.