FINDING a cheap airfare is not a matter of cracking a complex code or spending hours trawling the web each night.
It's as simple as booking in advance according to one Tweed travel agent.
Andrew Moloney, director of Travel Schmoo, said the early bird always catches the best deals.
"The days of last minute or stand-by flights are long forgotten," Mr Moloney said.
"The best way to ensure you get a good deal is to book early."
Mr Moloney, who oversees four Travelscene stores at Tweed City, Tweed Valley, Elanora and Coolangatta, said another tip was to pay nothing at all.
He said many tour companies were now offering fly free deals to the US, Canada and Europe with tour or river cruise bookings.
"You can't get much better than free."
Mr Moloney said travel agents were also essential for finding knockout deals, particularly on international routes.
"Contrary to what internet booking engines would have you believe, we (travel agents) are quite often cheaper than the internet for international travel.
"Internet searches can't think intuitively.
"An experienced travel agent can think up alternatives that an internet engine can't. It's only as good as the person driving it. We do this every day."
Mr Moloney said it was also good peace of mind to have a travel agent on your side if something goes wrong or you want to change your booking when you are overseas.
His next tip was to consider your dates.
"Overseas airfares are heavily seasonalised.
"Most people want to finish on a Friday and start their holiday on the weekend."
He advised people to avoid school holidays and weekends for the best prices.
Mr Moloney said for those able to book in advance, early bird deals for next year would be released in October to November.
He said these were usually the best possible deals and would come with guarantees so that if a better fare does come out, the airline would honour it.
Mr Moloney advised travellers to weigh up price and value.
"People always come in and ask for the cheapest flight. Most people end up getting the one that's the best value."
Where would you like to save money? Let us know and we'll investigate for our new Dollars and Sense series, which runs in every Saturday's Daily News. Leave your comments below or email ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
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