How to get Cheap Flights to the United Kingdom as a First Timer (10 Methods)

Whether as a student, businessman, spouse, or Tourist to the UK, you will likely put off your flight if it’s too expensive. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

But here’s the thing: every day, airlines have thousands of amazing deals.

They might accidentally put the prices too low or have special promotions, or they might even lower the prices to compete with another airline.

The good news is that there are affordable fares out there, waiting to turn your dream trip to the UK into a reality.

In this article, I’ll be showing you my 10 methods of how to get cheap flights to the United Kingdom, also top sites to book cheap UK flights as a first-timer on the go. Let’s begin.

10 Methods How to Get Cheap Flights to the United Kingdom as a First Timer

Let’s consider some practical actions to cut down on flight costs:

#1. Flex Flight Dates

Being flexible with your travel dates and times can save you money while allowing you to visit your desired destinations. Let’s explore the benefits of date flexibility and provide practical tips for finding the best deals.

Impact of Travel Dates on Ticket Prices

Airline ticket prices vary based on the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holidays. Traveling during popular periods like Christmas or school breaks can result in higher prices.

Benefits of Flexibility

Being flexible with your dates increases the chances of finding cheap airfares. It also allows you to explore alternative options and save money for enhancing your travel experience.

Capitalizing on Off-Season Travel

Traveling during the off-season to popular destinations can lead to more affordable prices. Spring or fall visits to places like Paris offer lower costs and a less crowded experience.

Advantages of Mid-Week and Off-Peak Flights

Choosing mid-week flights, such as Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and off-peak times, like early mornings or late nights, often results in lower fares due to decreased demand.

Utilizing Google Flights for Best Deals

Use online tools like Google Flights to easily identify the cheapest days within a specific timeframe. The calendar view helps you spot price variations and find the most cost-effective travel dates.

Influence of Festivals, Holidays, and Events

Airlines adjust prices during festivals, holidays, and major events when demand is high. Avoiding these periods helps you avoid peak pricing and save money.

#2. Be Flexible with Your Destination

Flexibility in choosing your travel destination can lead to cost savings and exciting discoveries.

By keeping an open mind and being adaptable, you can find affordable airfares and explore new places. 

Here are some practical tips for embracing flexibility in your travel plans.

Use Airline Search Engines

Take advantage of user-friendly airline search engines like Skyscanner and Google Flights

These platforms offer explore tools that allow you to search the world for the cheapest flights.

Simply enter your home airport, and a map with flight options will appear. 

This makes it easy to compare destinations and uncover hidden gems.

Try Google Flights’ Interactive Map:

Visit Google Flights and click on the map feature.

Enter your departure city and travel date to see various flight options. If you’re open to different destinations or dates, use the “Flexible dates” option for more choices. You can even filter results by desired trip duration.

Embrace the Unexpected

Be willing to consider alternative destinations. The best deals may not match your initial preferences, but embracing the unexpected can lead to significant savings and unique experiences.

Keep in mind that the goal is to create memories and explore new cultures, regardless of your first-choice destination.

Enjoy Freedom and Savings

Flexibility opens up a world of opportunities.

By being flexible with your travel destination, you can explore multiple options and secure the best deals.

Letting go of rigid plans allows you to save money while satisfying your wanderlust.

#3. Budget Carriers

Gone are the days when flying between continents meant expensive tickets with traditional airlines. 

Budget airlines have changed the game, offering affordable options for global travel.

Although some budget carriers temporarily suspended long-haul routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will likely reintroduce them once the travel industry recovers.

The Benefits of Flying Budget Carriers

Budget airlines specialize in short and medium-haul routes, making travel more accessible and cost-effective.

While they may lack the same level of comfort and complimentary services as traditional carriers, their competitive pricing allows you to explore the world without breaking the bank.

Consider Budget Airline Travel

● Regional Operations and Easy Accessibility: Budget carriers excel in regional operations, providing ample cheap flight opportunities even during periods of higher prices. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or exploring neighboring cities, budget airlines offer convenient routes to reach your destination affordably.

● Lower Prices, Fewer Perks: Opting for a budget airline means significant savings. While you may miss out on certain perks, such as free checked bags or meals, the reduced fares allow you to allocate your travel budget elsewhere.

● Beware of Fees: Budget airlines often charge additional fees for services like checked bags, carry-ons, printing boarding passes, and credit card usage. It’s crucial to factor in these fees and compare the overall price with larger carriers to determine the true value of your ticket.

● Airport Locations and Transportation Options: Budget airlines often operate from airports located outside city centers, which may result in limited transportation options and additional expenses. Consider these costs when assessing the potential savings of flying a budget airline.

Making Informed Decisions

To make an informed decision, calculate the total cost of your trip, including the base ticket price and any additional fees.

Compare this cost with that of larger carriers to accurately evaluate the financial advantage of flying with a budget airline.

#4. Don’t Fly Straight Down

Flying directly to your destination may seem like the most convenient option, but it’s not always the most economical choice. Be open to alternative routes, find cheaper flights, and even explore new cities along the way.

The Cost-Saving Strategy

When planning your trip, consider the possibility of flying to a nearby city instead of your primary destination. 

Sometimes, it’s more affordable to fly to a major hub and then take a budget airline or a train to your desired location.

Research and Comparison

To employ this money-saving method effectively, begin by finding out the cost of a direct flight to your intended destination.

Then, use Google Flights to search for flights to nearby airports within the same continent.

If the price difference is significant (let’s say more than USD 150), explore the options for traveling from the secondary airport to your primary destination.

Websites like Rome2Rio can assist you in finding the best transportation methods between airports and cities.

Exploring Alternatives for Departures

The cost-saving strategy can also be applied when planning your return journey.

It might be cheaper to fly out from a nearby airport rather than your original departure point.

By searching for flights from other airports and comparing prices, you might find better deals that can save you money overall.

Keep in mind that for long international flights, the added travel time may be worth the cost savings.

#5. Student Discount

Being a student comes with its fair share of challenges, but one perk that can make your life a little easier is the availability of student discounts.

These discounts are designed to help students (and often individuals under 26) save money on various goods and services.

Travel Agencies

When it comes to planning your next adventure, travel agencies can be your best friend. Companies like Flight Centre and Student Universe specialize in finding affordable airfare for students.

With discounts ranging from 10% to 20% off the standard fare, you can explore exciting destinations without breaking the bank.

Don’t overlook these agencies as they have insider knowledge and access to exclusive deals that can save you a substantial amount of money.

Partner Airlines

Did you know that most student discounts offered by airlines extend to their partner airlines as well? Let’s take Lufthansa as an example. 

Lufthansa offers a student discount, which means you can also enjoy discounted fares when flying with partner airlines such as Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines.

Do Your Research

Finding information about student discounts offered by airlines might not always be straightforward.

Some airlines don’t prominently display this information on their websites, making it necessary for you to do a little digging.

However, the effort is well worth it when you consider the potential savings of 20% or more.

#7. Mix and Match Airlines

Expand your options and increase your chances of finding cheaper flights by considering mix-and-match airlines.

While booking directly with one airline is convenient, it may limit your choices and potentially result in higher prices.

Instead, try booking separate legs of your journey with different airlines. For example, if you’re traveling from New York to Paris with a layover in London, book your New York to London flight with one airline and your London to Paris flight with another.

This approach allows you to compare prices and discover hidden bargains.

#8. Utilize Points and Miles

Take advantage of travel rewards programs and credit cards that offer points and miles.

By signing up for a travel rewards card, you can earn free flights, upgrades, access to airport lounges, and other travel perks.

Even if you don’t fly frequently or spend extra money, these programs can still provide significant benefits. 

Travel hacking, the art of maximizing points and miles, can help you travel the world for little to no cost.

Explore resources and guides on travel hacking to learn how to make the most of these programs.

#9. Search Ticket Prices for Individual Travelers

If you’re traveling with a group, avoid searching for or purchasing multiple tickets in a single transaction. 

Airlines often display the highest ticket price for a group of tickets, which can result in higher costs. 

Instead, search for tickets individually and choose your seats during the checkout process to ensure your group sits together.

By doing so, you can potentially save a substantial amount of money, especially when there are significant price differences among the tickets.

#10. Book Early (But Not Too Early)

Finding the right time to book your flight can make a significant difference in the price you pay. 

Airline fares tend to rise as the departure date approaches, but booking too far in advance can also be costly.

Aim to book your flight around 2-3 months before your departure, or up to five months in advance if you’re traveling during the peak season of your destination.

While this timeframe can vary, it serves as a useful guideline to secure reasonable fares without waiting until the last minute.

FAQs

What is the cheapest month to fly to the United Kingdom?

The cheapest month to fly to the United Kingdom is February, with prices starting at $682.

Do I need a passport or visa to fly to the United Kingdom?

Yes, travelers to the United Kingdom need a valid passport. The visa requirements vary depending on the traveler’s nationality. It is recommended to check the visa requirements for your specific country before traveling.

How popular are flights to the United Kingdom this year?

Flights to the United Kingdom have been popular this year, with high demand and competitive prices. Many travelers are eager to explore the country’s attractions and experience its rich history and culture.

Conclusion

The United Kingdom offers a wide range of attractions and experiences for travelers. With competitive flight prices and various transportation options, it is a popular destination for visitors from around the world. 

Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks, enjoying theater performances, or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the countryside, the UK has something to offer for every traveler.

It’s important to consider factors like the best time to book flights, the cheapest months to fly, and the visa requirements before planning your trip to the UK. This idea is ever-green.

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