Where to Buy Travel Tickets

dove acquistare i biglietti di viaggio

This blog is dedicated to independent travellers. A community of people who organise their trips and holidays completely independently, avoiding any form of intermediation.

We are enterprising individuals who love to travel and set off to explore the world. We are experienced travellers and know well how to plan travel itineraries because we meticulously prepare all our travel experiences.

We understand how important it is to pay close attention to planning travel expenses to avoid miscalculating the allocation of the travel budget.

One of the most important components of a travel budget concerns travel tickets; in the case of intercontinental trips, it is the most important and influences the allocation of all others. Before we look at where to buy travel tickets, let’s see why it pays to purchase them independently.

Why it pays to buy travel tickets independently?

A few years ago, the internet did not exist, and only travel agents had access to booking and purchasing systems for airline, ship, train, and bus tickets. The traveller had no choice. To make tickets, there were only two alternatives:

  • Visit an authorised Travel Agency (there were also those that sold only tickets for certain companies)
  • Make tickets directly at the airport, station, or terminal (with all the risks involved such as overbooking, increased prices, missed connections)

There was no other place to buy travel tickets! Then the internet arrived, and all the transport companies in the world became e-commerce.

Today, the process of buying travel tickets (even for intercontinental flights) is so simple that anyone can purchase trips around the world in a few seconds, needing only an internet connection and a credit card. In the era of global digitalisation, travel agencies have been replaced by comparison portals and offer aggregators.

On these sites, you can find discounts and opportunities to buy tickets at a lower price than those offered by the companies themselves.

How do these sites offer tickets at lower prices than the companies?

The mechanism is very simple: entrepreneurs with a high propensity for risk buy tickets well in advance (even years before the departure date) and in large numbers. In this way, they manage to obtain very competitive rates. Essentially, they bet on our departures, risking the capital needed to buy a large number of tickets. They then sell the tickets on their portals (or on the network of partner sites or even in travel agencies) at a price lower than the list price. As the departure date approaches, the price increases (as with the official sites of the companies) but remains slightly lower than the official price.

Where to Buy Travel Tickets: An Effective Strategy

Now let’s see what can be the most effective strategy for deciding where to buy travel tickets. Entrepreneurs and transport companies have two priorities:

  • To carry out the trips with as many travellers as possible. They hate having free seats!
  • To sell tickets at the highest possible price

Their strategy is simple and obeys the law of supply and demand:

  • They sell tickets at a high price when the trip is announced/confirmed, and the tickets are put on sale (usually several months before departure). At this time, demand is high because travellers who are forced to leave that specific day require the tickets.

Then the price starts to drop as the departure date approaches until it reaches a minimum when demand is lower.

At this stage, those who wanted the tickets at all costs have already bought them, and demand tends to decrease.

As the departure approaches, the price starts to rise again (because travellers who have meanwhile decided to leave start to buy tickets (demand increases again).

Don’t forget that entrepreneurs speculating on sales (those of portals external to the official companies) also participate in this, who, like you, try to buy tickets when the price is lowest.

As the departure date approaches, the price of tickets increases (very high demand) progressively, and the closer the departure date, the more the price increases.

On the day of departure or sometimes a few hours before, unsold tickets are put on sale at a very low price (Last Minute). In this way, operators try to avoid travelling with empty seats and to recover at least part of the losses by encouraging travellers to leave, taking advantage of extraordinary offers.

Unfortunately, this practice is becoming increasingly rare, and real opportunities are ever scarcer because companies and operators have refined their sales techniques, and it is tough to have available seats a few hours before departure.

Often, to avoid this, they cancel flights to gather all travellers on the next flight.

What can be the most effective strategy to understand when and where to buy travel tickets?

Once you understand why the price of travel tickets is variable, you need to put yourself in a position to take advantage of this. How?

The price trend of tickets follows a “U” curve where the price is first high, then drops to reach the minimum, and then rises again as the departure approaches. Your skill lies in finding, understanding, and sensing the moment when the price is at its lowest and buying at that precise moment!

You need to have the utmost freedom in choosing your departure date! You can act in two ways:

  • Set the departure date well in advance, follow the price trend, and buy tickets when the price is low
  • Have the possibility to leave within 24 hours and take advantage of Last Minute offers.

You must still monitor all the possibilities at your disposal and activate “alerts” on the destinations you are interested in.

Most sites that sell travel tickets offer the possibility to activate alerts, notifications, emails that warn you when there are unmissable opportunities for the destinations you have chosen.

The main sites I recommend are:

  • Sky Scanner: this portal also offers the possibility to download an App that, in real-time, alerts you when there are offers on tickets for the destinations you are interested in.
  • Last Minute: this site specialises in “last minute” offers

Even companies adopt the most advanced marketing strategies to sell their tickets (like sites like Sky Scanner), so I advise you to monitor the institutional sites of “Low Cost” airlines that offer good opportunities and must be absolutely monitored when we have to decide where to buy travel tickets:

dove acquistare i biglietti di viaggio

I advise you to conduct numerous and thorough searches and to activate notifications, alerts, and alerts on all the sites that could be useful to you in finding the best rate for your needs.

One last tip: the lowest price does not always represent the best opportunity, and often spending a few more euros means having more peace of mind (and assistance) during your trip.

Consider that having an efficient and functioning customer service can make the difference between a perfect trip and a ruined holiday.

Even today, the maximum guarantee in terms of assistance, guarantee, and insurances is offered by travel agencies, and even if the services are paid for, sometimes it may be convenient.

dove acquistare i biglietti di viaggio

This post is also available in: Italian