As a Solo Traveler, I must say that I generally travel like a tumbleweed. I buy a one-way ticket to a particular country and stay there until I am usually required to leave for visa reasons. Why? I simply enjoy trying to live like a local. I try to reach a point where I can predict what local people will do in certain scenarios. Once I can predict with a high accuracy, I feel culturally accomplished. Maybe I’m weird. I probably am. That’s just what I like to do.
Personally, it is not very often that I use Multi City Flights to save money, simply because I’m not sure where I will visit next. But most people who fly do in fact plan ahead and already know how much time they plan to spend in each country. Lucky them! They will be able to save a ton of money by using this method!
Today it’s my goal to teach you how you can save a lot of money by simply using Multi-City Flights to book your next journey. Pay close attention! This stuff is pretty cool!
And for those of you who are interested in other ways to save money on flights, be sure to read here.
Ways To Save Money Using Multi City Flights
- Be flexible with dates / times
- Be flexible with nearby airports
- Be flexible with layovers
- Pack light (really light)
About Today’s Multi-City Flights (Before We Begin)
- From Chicago to Sydney to Chicago.
- From Chicago to Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City, to Chicago.
- From Chicago to Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City, to Bangkok to Chicago.
- From Chicago to Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City, to Bangkok to Marrakesh to Chicago.
- All flights will be booked using a Florida IP address. Remember, the location that you are searching from (IP Address) affects the price of the plane ticket.
- I will fly on the 1st of November and return home on the 30th of November. Flights between those dates will be on the 8th, 15th, & 22nd.
- Some of these are Budget Airlines, be sure to check baggage fees. If you are backpacking with a single carry on, then you probably don’t need to worry at all.
- You can also save money by joining a mistake-fare list. Be sure to look in to that later. You can read more about mistake fares, here.
The basics are simply this; I’m going to show you how much money that you can save when you avoid purchasing one-way tickets from location to location. Some of these flights are long (sometimes a good thing). The long layovers don’t matter too much for these particular examples. I just wanted you to see the mathematical/algorithmic differences between one-way flights and Multi-City Flights. I will only show the very cheapest flights available. Here we go!
2 One-Way Tickets vs 1 Round Trip Ticket
2 One-Way flights = $1,549
1 Round Trip Flight = $1,041
$1,549 – $1,041 = +$508 Round Trip Savings
3 One-Way Tickets vs Multi City Flight
3 One-Way flights = $1,400
It’s actually cheaper to go to Vietnam (3 one-way flights, rather than 2). Crazy, right?
Multi-City Flight = $1,257
$1,400 – $1,257 = +$153 Multi-City Flight Savings
4 One-Way Tickets vs Multi City Flight
4 One-Way flights = $1484
Multi-City Flight = $1,231
$1,484 – $1,231 = +$253 Multi-City Flight Savings
5 One-Way Tickets vs Multi City Flight
5 One-Way flights = $1,573
Multi-City Flight = $2,212
$1,573 – $2,212 = -$639 Multi-City Flight Loss
In this example, it is actually cheaper to purchase several one-way tickets, rather than using the Multi-City Flight option. It’s always important to check both options.
The Ultimate Way To Book Multi City Flights
Embracing Layovers with Multi City Flights
$1,573 – $1,252 = +$321 Multi-City Flight Layover Savings
If you compare purchasing 5 one-way flights VS Multi City Flights with long layovers.
$2,212 – $1,252 = +$960 Multi-City Flight Loss Layover Savings!
If you compare purchasing regular Multi-City Flights VS Multi-City Flights with long layovers. Huge savings!
As you can see, people can save a massive amount of money if they book a flight with a long layover. At first glance, a long layover sounds painful and boring. But if you look at it from a different angle, you will realize that a long layover is an opportunity to go outside and explore! You can actually find long layovers which are a couple days long! This will give you ample amounts of time to explore a new country for less than what you would have paid if you didn’t visit this country. Crazy, right?! My secret is the AW Search Engine.
4 Ways To Save Money Using Multi City Flights
Just because you are using a multi-city flight does not mean that you will automatically get a cheaper ticket. If you want to save money using Multi City Flights, it is important to be flexible with the following:
1) Be flexible with dates / times
There are different days of the month that are cheaper than others (for each individual destination), in addition, there are different times throughout the day that are cheaper (also for each destination). Be open to flying at any time of the day/night and on any day of the week. For example if you want to fly to the next city on the 15th, but you see a ticket that is $100 less to fly on the 16th, simply rearrange your schedule and fly on the 16th instead.
2) Be flexible with nearby airports
Sometimes there are multiple airports in each city. Be open to flying to any of them, and then taking an extra long taxi ride to your hotel. Sometimes you can save significant amounts of money by flying to the airport which is a little bit further away. In the examples above, you can see that one of the flights was to BKK and the other was to DMK (in the one-way ticket examples).These airports are only about 10 miles apart.
3) Be flexible with layovers
Another great way to save money is to be flexible with long layovers. If you have very limited time on your vacation, I don’t recommend this option. However, if you plan on going on a month journey or more, it is highly recommended to take advantage of long layovers. Sometimes a layover can be 3 days. You can now travel in an entirely new country for 3 days at no additional cost. Just like mentioned above.
4) Pack light (really light)
Many of the flights that are listed in the above examples are budget Airlines. Flying on the budget Airlines is a great way to save money. The downside is that you usually must pay extra money for your checked-in baggage. So to save on baggage costs, simply don’t travel with a lot of gear.
I once met a man from Germany who travels with a fanny pack. That is it. His phone, credit card and an extra t-shirt was inside. He washed his clothes every night and hung them in his room under the fan. Yes, that is a bit extreme, but you get the idea. If you only travel with a carry on, you generally don’t need to pay anything extra to fly.
Is It Cheaper to Buy 2 One-Way Flights?
Generally, no. Booking fees are reduced (per item) when booking a Multi-City Flight, and in addition, for some reason the algorithms work to our advantage when booking many cities in advance. But this is not always the case. There will definitely be some occasions when booking individual one-way tickets will be cheaper than Multi-City Flights. It’s a good idea to check both options before booking your trip(s).
Why Are Multi City Flights Cheaper?
Generally, booking fees (per item) will be reduced when purchasing flights in bulk (Multi-City Flights) through a travel agency who sells the tickets. Each online travel agency has different (often hidden) booking fees. When flying to multiple locations, the flight aggregator must find flights that have ‘alliances’ with each other – because of this, the algorithms will show different results. Flight aggregators are quite complex when searching for the cheapest flights.
What is the Best Site For Multi City Flights?
Here are some of the statistically cheapest flight websites. But keep in mind, they generally avoid searching for flights with long layovers. Why? Because few people will buy them. People often have a very tight schedule due to work commitments back home. But if you embrace long layovers, then you really can save a ton of money!
If you have a layover that is more than 24 hours, it should not be seen as a burden. It should be seen as a blessing! You will have the option to visit an entirely new country for a day or more, basically for free! The best way to find these ridiculously cheap flights is to visit the AW Search Engine, as mentioned above. Just make sure you prepare a Tourist Visa for the country that you plan to explore during your long layover.
Final Thoughts On Multi-City Flights
As you can see in one of the examples above, it can sometimes be cheaper to purchase multiple one way tickets rather than a large Multi-City Flight package. My guess is that this scenario is more rare than anything else.
It is important to do both types of searching. Search all of your destinations as single flights, and as Multi-City Flights. Weigh both options – including baggage fees if you plan on taking luggage which needs to be checked in. You just may find some awesome deals!
I hope this article has helped you in some way and I hope that you will save a lot of money on your next bundle flight tickets!