Where to buy Travel Tickets

Where to buy Travel Tickets

This blog is dedicated to independent travelers.
A community of people who organize trips and holidays in total autonomy and avoiding any form of intermediation.

We are enterprising people who like to travel and set out to discover the world.

We are seasoned travelers and we know well how to plan travel itineraries because we carefully prepare all our travel experiences.

We know how important it is to pay close attention to how to plan travel expenses to avoid miscalculating the breakdown of the travel budget.

One of the most important components of a travel budget is that which concerns travel tickets; in the case of intercontinental travel it is the most important and the one that conditions the distribution of all the others.

Before seeing where to buy travel tickets, let's see why it is worth buying them independently.

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Why should you buy travel tickets yourself?

A few years ago there was no internet and only travel agents had access to booking and purchasing systems for airplanes, ships, trains and buses.

The traveler had no choice. To make the tickets he had only two alternatives:

  • go to an authorized Travel Agency (there were also those that only sold tickets from certain companies)
  • buy tickets directly at the airport, station or terminal (with all the resulting risks such as overbooking, higher prices, missed connections)

There was no other place to buy travel tickets!

Then came the internet and all the transport companies in the world became e.commerce.

Today, the process of purchasing travel tickets (even for intercontinental flights) is so simple that anyone is able to buy travel around the world in seconds, all that is needed is an internet connection and a credit card.

In the era of global digitalization, travel agencies have been replaced by comparison portals and offer aggregators.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 charged by the same companies.

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

The mechanism is very simple: entrepreneurs with a high risk predisposition buy tickets well in advance (even years before the departure date) and in large numbers. In this way they are able to obtain very competitive rates. In practice, they bet on our departures, risking the capital necessary to buy a large number of tickets.

Then they sell the tickets on their portals (or in the network of partner sites or even in travel agencies) at a lower price than the list price. The closer the departure date is, the more the price increases (as per the official websites of the companies) but it is always a little lower than the official price.

Where to buy Travel Tickets: an effective strategy

Let's see now what can be the most effective strategy for deciding where to buy travel tickets.

Entrepreneurs and transport companies have two priorities:

  • travel with as many travelers as possible. They hate having free seats!
  • sell tickets at the highest possible price

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

they put high-priced tickets on sale when the trip is announced / confirmed and the tickets go on sale (usually several months before departure). Right now the demand is high because travelers who are forced to leave on that specific day require tickets.

Then the price begins to fall as the departure date approaches until it reaches a low when demand is lower. At this stage, those who wanted tickets at all costs have already bought them and demand tends to decrease.

As departure approaches, the price begins to rise (because travelers who have decided to leave in the meantime start buying tickets (demand increases again).

Do not forget that entrepreneurs who speculate on sales also participate in all this (those of the portals outside the official companies) who, like you, try to buy tickets when the price is lower.

As the departure date approaches, the price of tickets gradually increases (very high demand) and the closer the departure date is, 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 traveling with empty seats and to recover at least part of the losses by encouraging travelers to leave by taking advantage of the extraordinary offers. Unfortunately this practice is increasingly rare and real opportunities are increasingly scarce because companies and operators have refined their sales techniques and it is really difficult for there to be places available a few hours before departure.

Often to avoid this they cancel flights to reunite all travelers 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 varies, you must be able to take advantage of this advantage. How?

The trend in ticket prices therefore follows a "U" curve in which the price is first high, then falls until it reaches the minimum and then rises again as departure approaches.

Your skill is to find, understand and intuit the moment when the price is at a minimum and buy at that precise moment!

You must have maximum freedom in choosing your departure date!
You can act in two ways:

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

However, you must monitor all the possibilities available to you and activate "alerts" on the destinations that interest you. Most of the sites that market travel tickets offer the possibility of activating alerts, notifications, e-mails that notify you when there are opportunities not to be missed for the destinations you have chosen.
The main sites I recommend are:

  • Sky Scanner this portal also offers the possibility to download a App which, in real time, notifies you when there are offers on tickets for the destinations that interest you.
  • Last Minute this site specializes in "last minute" offers
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Even the companies adopt the most advanced marketing strategies to sell their tickets (as sites like Sky Scanner do) and therefore I recommend that you also monitor the institutional sites of the "Low Cost" flight companies that offer good opportunities and must absolutely be monitored when deciding where to buy travel tickets:

I advise you to do numerous and in-depth research and to activate notifications, alerts and alerts on all the sites that could be useful for you to find the best rate for your needs.

One last tip: the lowest price does not always represent the best opportunity and often spending a few euros more means having greater peace of mind (and assistance) during your trip.
Keep in mind that effective and working customer service can be the difference between a perfect trip and a ruined vacation.
Even today, the maximum guarantee in terms of assistance, guarantee and insurance is offered by travel agencies and even if the services are charged, sometimes it can be convenient.