September 12, 2023
When embarking on the exciting journey of planning an international trip, one of the foremost considerations is undoubtedly the flight cost. Securing an affordable flight fare can significantly contribute to making your dream trip a reality.
For those who wish to embark on a meaningful volunteer trip abroad, we understand that this opportunity may seem elusive, but fear not – we’re here to guide you on how to plan effectively and find budget-friendly flights for your life-enriching journey with Volunteering Solutions.
Airlines regularly offer a plethora of enticing deals, ranging from accidentally published fares to exclusive promotions and competitive price cuts aimed at outdoing their rivals. Also, the flight fares might vary according to the season and the destination.
Here’s how you can book cheap flights and save more:
1. Be flexible with your travel dates
It’s true that airfare costs are influenced by several factors, including the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving. For instance, August is considered the peak time to travel to Europe, with everyone eager to soak up the summer vibes.
Similarly, Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam attract hordes of tourists during Full-moon parties and various festivities. Clearly, if you plan your trip during peak vacation periods when everyone else is also in holiday mode, you can expect ticket prices to soar.
The solution to this problem lies in opting for off-season travel. As a volunteer, you have the flexibility to choose when and where you want to contribute your time and effort.
The volunteer programs offered by Volunteering Solutions are available throughout the year, giving you the freedom to align your volunteer trip with the availability of affordable airfare.
By planning your volunteer journey during the off-season, you can take advantage of lower ticket prices and avoid crowds, all while making a meaningful impact through your volunteer work. This strategic approach not only allows you to save money but also ensures a more enriching and peaceful travel experience.
Note: Since all the volunteering programs have particular starting dates, you can check your flights accordingly. In case the rates are higher, you can arrive a day or two earlier. Don’t worry, because we can arrange for your accommodation for those days (at an additional cost). Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll help you plan it).
2. Check the flight timings for a cheaper deal
No, I’m not kidding! After traveling to 17 countries around the world and extensively exploring India, I’ve come to the conclusion that flying on weekdays is consistently more cost-effective than flying on weekends.
Additionally, airfare tends to be more affordable if you travel either after or on a major holiday. Early morning and late-night flights are also budget-friendly since fewer people prefer to travel during those hours (who wants to wake up early, right?).
On the other hand, flights on Fridays and Mondays tend to be more expensive because that’s when most business travelers choose to fly.
3. Think twice before choosing your volunteering destination
Being flexible with the travel dates won’t solve all the problems! You’ll have to be a bit flexible about the destination as well. We understand that for some of you, it matters a lot where you want to travel to volunteer, but no matter where you go and which program you choose to be a part of, your contributions will be immensely valued.
If you’re based out of Europe, then it’ll be very cost-effective to volunteer in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, or Greece. In fact, flight prices from European countries to a lot of African nations are also pretty affordable. If you’re from Asia or Australia, then we have a bunch of volunteering opportunities in Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Malaysia.
In case you’re flying from the USA or Canada, you’ll get the best flight deals for Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador.
4. Choose flights with layovers than the direct ones
We understand that the excitement of reaching the destination is real – but what if we tell you that direct flights will cost more than those with layovers? Yeah, that’s true!
Flights with layovers serve as a strategic means for airlines to optimize their aircraft capacity. By incorporating additional stops along the route, airlines can effectively occupy more seats on a single aircraft.
This efficient seat utilization spreads out the operational costs of the flight across a larger passenger base. As the airlines can sell more tickets, the flight tickets eventually become cheaper.
5. Plan your volunteer trip in advance
Last, but not least – this is a universal hack that we keep repeating! Planning your volunteering trip in advance will always help you in saving some extra bucks, and it’ll also give you the time to prepare yourself for the journey.
The best time for flight booking typically falls approximately 2-3 months prior to your departure date. However, if your travel plans coincide with your destination’s peak season, it’s advisable to consider booking around five months in advance. This strategic timing ensures you have the best chance of securing both desirable flight options and competitive fares for your journey.
Apart from the above-mentioned hacks, there are some other important things to consider:
- If you’re a high school, college, or university student planning to volunteer abroad, you can always check for student discounts that are usually available.
- If you’re a professional, or a corporate employee seeking a career break and planning to take a volunteer vacation, you can check your credit card points (or Airmiles) to get better deals on flight tickets.
- You can also plan on taking a detour while traveling to the destination of your choice. For example, if you’re traveling to Chiang Mai (Thailand) to volunteer, you can always fly to Bangkok and take a train/bus from there. Flights to Chiang Mai will always be more expensive than those to Bangkok since it’s not a popular international airport and only limited airlines fly there.
For any more assistance with flight booking, you can always reach out to us at [email protected] and our Program Advisors will be happy to help you!