5 essential and practical tips for flying in India on a budget

” A penny saved is a penny earned ” – Saving is difficult and spending is lot easier, but with careful planning and little effort you can save few bucks that will earn you rewards later in time. My mantra is to plan ahead, be well-informed, look for combo and cheap deals, travel light and be flexible, while this will cost you nothing but in the long run it will save your hard-earned money. So here are five essential tips for frequent and budget flyers, being a one I always follow the same.


Planning ahead is core to all what we do in our life, in business, in travel and even if it means going to meet your friends or stocking your larder with few extra foods for rainy or snowy days. This is one important aspect and is related to almost everything.

So when travel is on cards, before booking your hotels, before listing out the shopping details and before chalking out the local attractions, the foremost thing to do is book your flight, and that too well in advance, at least two months before to get the best rates on flight tickets.

Booking the flight tickets in last-minute will be very expensive sometimes it costs three times the original price and may not be available for that particular sector. So plan ahead, get the best rates and save yourself from all the stress and frustrations.

One more advantage of planning ahead is that besides low-cost airlines, you can also get really cheap deals and best rates on regular airlines like Indian Airlines with food on board, and enjoy the luxuries of big carriers like Indian Airlines which has greatest number of fleets at its disposal and connects almost every city in India.

You will be surprised at the end  how much bucks you have saved by booking your tickets well in advance, and you can always use that few saved extra bucks to do things that you always wished to.


Next is the cheap deals in flight tickets. Browse the internet, compare two-three reliable sites and get the quotes that suits you the best. One more important thing is to look for deals that comes along with hotels booking in combination with free breakfast and free parking and wi-fi too. Such deals are perhaps the best when you are planning to stay at the location for couple of days or more but not over a week. Internet prices are always cheaper, and take that advantage to the fullest.


By keeping your dates and times flexible, you can save few extra money. Early morning and night flights are always cheaper irrespective of the flight sectors, so try to book the tickets in that time zone. Besides, it has other benefits too. You will be able to avoid the rush hour traffic both in your departure and arrival destinations and you will get the whole day in your hand to  utilise as you like to.

I personally prefers the early morning flights for the same reason, and low-cost airlines like Indigo has many such early morning flights, besides that Indigo is always on time, no frills, and it also connects to tier I and tier II cities, with many hop over flights in between.  Time is money and who would love to stuck in a chaotic traffic for hours, certainly not you, so always keep this in mind.

Next, avoid the holiday rush hours and seasons, school closing times, lots of people travel at that time, and it is unlikely you will get the best rates then. As a general rule, also avoid the weekends that is friday till sunday evening. These are premium days and ticket rates are higher on weekends than on the week days. Monday to Wednesday are best for travelling and you will get best rates too.


Obviously one way fares are always expensive than the round trips, sometimes double the round trip fares. So plan your travel accordingly and always go for the round trip tickets. This is particularly true for low-cost airlines like Indigo where the return tickets in some sectors cost less than a luxury train ticket.

Usually non refundable fares are cheaper than the refundable ones, but if you ask me I personally prefers to travel in a refundable fare ticket. If for some reasons beyond my control and life is full of such surprises, I have to cancel my flight tickets on a refundable ticket the full amount will be credited back to my account, sometimes tickets are fully refundable and sometimes airlines asked for a simple processing fee.

On the other hand a non refundable ticket though cheaper than the refundable one, can not be refunded on any account . However, if you want to postpone your travel with the same airline then that can be adjusted with additional processing fee.


And finally be loyal to your airlines. This is highly applicable for frequent flyers, once you found an airline that you like the best, then stay with them and earn extra miles. Frequent flyers miles are reward system that allows customers to earn free tickets after completing a threshold number of flights. Redeem those points with smaller perks, sometimes gifts or clubbed with hotel deals and car rentals. If you have accumulated a large number of points then redeem it with your next domestic ticket and best time to redeem them is at least 4-6 months in advance. And this time merely browsing the internet will not help you, go and talk to the airline personnel to redeem your points.

These are few essential tips that every frequent flyers must take into consideration and even if you are not a frequent flyers, then also except the last one other guiding points will definitely meet your objectives, so next time while planning your travel take a cue from here and save few extra bucks and spend on more important things.

If you have any other tips or guiding points that will save few extra bucks then do share your views here. We would love to hear from you.


Have a great day ahead !


  • Reply
    January 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Shucks. Good post. Actually now that I think about it, I followed none of these tips in my vacation few months back when I went to visit my families (in Indonesia, Thailand, and India).
    a) I was not sure of the dates of my travel, so waited until pretty much the week before I would fly to book my ticket.
    b) And then booked only one-way flight since I was not sure when I would return.
    c) And so could not look for or take advantage of any cheap deals.
    d) And I flew Singapore Airlines from San Francisco to Jakarta, Air Asia from Jakarta to Bangkok, Thai Airways from Bangkok to Hyderabad … and the same route back, with one-way ticket each route.
    Needless to say, my vacation turned out to be 3 times more expensive. ~!@#$%^&*

  • Reply
    February 1, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Very very useful post Sukanya !! really so handy tips and practical

  • Reply
    February 2, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Yes Nisha, many at times we are not able to follow these tips for various reasons, and in our Thailand trip we saved lots of extra bucks as ours was total DIY trip, and we tried to stuff it with many attractions. total backpacker kinda except the hotels, we really got some good deals. and we planned it six months ahead !!!

    thanks for liking the article.


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