How to Find the Best Cheap Air Tickets

For the last three years or so I’ve been a nomad, in exile from my home country of England. Back in 2006 while travelling through Mongolia I met a pretty young local lady in a bar. We spent the night drinking far, far too much and speaking to each other in French (I spoke no Mongolian, and at the time she was visiting home from her masters degree course in French language somewhere in Paris).I stayed in Mongolia for a month, during which time I spent as much time as possible with Ogi, the Mongolian girl, and for the next two years I visited her in France and Mongolia several times before we eventually realised we were made for each other.Unfortunately we were at the mercy of our respective countries visa regulations. As a Mongolian Ogi would find it difficult to gain residency in the UK, and as an Englishman I can only visit Mongolia for two months at a time. While both of us are employed in good jobs, neither of us has much in the way of the sort of skills required to obtain work overseas.So, for the last three years we’ve lived as nomads around Asia, living in each country until our visas expire. We spend a month at a time in China, four months at a time in Thailand, weeks in Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Macao. When we reach our visa deadline we catch a train, bus or flight to the next country and start all over again. It’s tiring, to say the least, but it’s an interesting life and, most importantly, I get to live it with the love of my life by my side.

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The only problem, though, is the high cost of flights between countries. At least five times a year we need to take a flight, and between the two of us the cost would account for more than half of our income if we couldn’t find a way to find cheap air tickets.Fortunately, in our years of travel we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to keep the costs down. The first, of course, is to shop around as if your life depends on it. Travel agents often promote different fares throughout the year as each destination hits its peak and off-peak seasons. If you hit the sweet spot you can find some incredible deals.For thrifty shoppers the Internet is an invaluable tool. Flight comparison sites gather price data from hundreds of ticket vendors, and finding the lowest fare is as easy as clicking a mouse. I never book a flight without first checking a flight comparison site – not even if the flight I’m looking at is already marked as a ‘discount’ flight. Just because the price has been reduced doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t discounted it even further.Second, keep an eye out for travel coupon codes. Travel agents and other ticket vendors often release coupon codes to promote a destination that’s been undersold, and if you have a sharp eye you could get a whopping 10% (or more, if you’re really lucky) off the cost of your flight.Finally – and this one may seem a little mercenary – if you’re flexible as to the destination you may consider travelling to a destination that has recently suffered some sort of disaster (bear with me, it gets better).Let me give you an example. In late 2011 Thailand suffered from its worst flooding in half a century. Parts of Bangkok were submerged, my own home in Chiang Mai was knee deep in water and hundreds lost their lives. As I write this in January 2012 I’m back in Bangkok after two months of travelling. The water is long gone, but the hotels are quiet. Tourists have, for a little while at least, lost confidence in the country, and they’re staying away. They have no reason to – it’s the dry season now, and flooding is pretty much impossible – but for the next few months the flights to Thailand will be discounted and hotels will lower their rates.

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While it may seem cruel to profit from tragedy, tourism is just what the doctor ordered. After any major event such as this the economy is shaken, and the best gift you could give is a little of your tourist money.So:Check flight comparison sites
Keep an eye out for travel coupon codes
Stay flexible with your destinationIf you follow these rules you’re sure to find cheap air tickets.