#TripTips: How to book seat sales successfully and get the best travel deals this 2022
Revenge travel is in full swing with seat sales and promos from different airlines coming left and right.
Travel junkies may have gotten a bit rusty from two years of staying home during the pandemic, so it's time to flex your travel muscles once again, dust off your passports, and get ready to embark on future trips, as travel restrictions ease around the world.
Here are a few handy tips to make sure you score the best deals for your flights and go on that much-needed vacation.
Plan your trips ahead of time
Have a calendar list handy of the best dates for your future trips. There are still a few months left this year, but the Palace recently released their list of regular holidays and special non-working days for 2023.
There are at least 17 national holidays next year, that you can plan your trips around. With more flexible working arrangements these days, you can also consider longer trips for semi-working holidays. Take note that this list does not yet include dates for Eidul Filtr and Eidul Adha, which will be added once the Islamic calendar for 2023 has been finalized.
According to a PAL airline insider, the ideal time to book a flight is 3 to 6 months ahead of your trip for the best deals. Meanwhile, AirAsia reps told PhilSTAR L!fe that booking 30 to 90 days before your actual travel date lowers the ticket prices even more.
Follow social media accounts of airlines to keep updated
Stalk the social media channels of major airlines to keep updated on the latest travel promos and deals. Airlines usually promote their seat sales widely on social media, but seasoned travelers know that big seat sales are bound to happen on certain months.
Historically, Philippine Airlines (PAL) offers big seat sales in March in time for their anniversary, on June for the Independence Day seat sale, and towards the last quarter of the year for their "end of year" seat sale. Passengers can plan ahead expecting those big seat sales of PAL.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific is known for offering the much-awaited piso fares (P1 or one peso fare), ultra-cheap flight sales a few times a year. For those who are lucky enough to book flights during piso fare promos, domestic roundtrip tickets can be scored for as low as P300 all-in. Cebu Pacific's anniversary also falls in March.
AirAsia also offers various promos and special deals on fare flights and last minute flight deals throughout the year. According to insiders, guests can also look forward to monthly repdigit sales (8.8, 9.9, 10.10, etc.) since AirAsia and many e-commerce companies piggyback on these easy-to-remember dates for big-ticket sale events every month.
ICYMI, AirAsia also has a new SNAP+ business promo package that bundles hotels and flights and prices of Snap+ packages, which are usually slashed during big-ticket sale events. Big-ticket sale events usually come with ancillary promos on baggage allowance, in-flight meals, and hot seats, so passengers can mix and match what they want to get the best deals.
For those who want other all-in package deals, Sunlight Air is a chartered flight service that you can consider. And for those who don't want to fly, 2GO Travel now offers good deals for "sea sales" and sailcations aboard their ferries to various destinations around the country.
Travel during the off-peak season and days
Peak season for traveling around the Philippines usually falls from March to May. Travel between islands is easiest during this period, and delays due to tropical storms or typhoons are rare. December is also a high season for travel.
However, it goes without saying that travel demand is usually higher during this time, as well as super peak season holidays like Christmas, February 14-17 for Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, and Holy Week.
While passengers could potentially face travel delays and hassles, they can also get better deals (and content with less crowds) by opting to travel during the off-peak season and months of July to November.
Travel insiders share that one of the cheapest months to fly is September. You can also get good deals by traveling from mid-January to February right between the peak Christmas/New Year and summer season.
Since demand is naturally higher on the weekends, those with flexible travel schedules should avoid traveling during the weekends if they can. Based on personal experience in the past as a former travel junkie, the best days of the week to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays.
Have all your flight information ready
Before trying to book any promo flight, you should have already signed up on the various airline booking sites and saved your relevant information, as well as your travel companion's information. There's a time limit when trying to get the best deals and only limited seats available, and you'll find that hot destinations quickly get sold out.
According to AirAsia insiders, seat sale slots are limited per day and the airline usually announces its seat sale at least a day ahead of the actual sale event. Thus, passengers are encouraged to plan their travel period right away and book tickets as soon as the clock strikes midnight.
If there's going to be a three-day seat sale, make sure to book during the first day of the promo and first hour if possible. A lot of travelers looking to score good deals usually set an alarm and login as soon as the promo goes live on site, so seats usually get sold out pretty quickly.
Pick alternative domestic destinations
Since travel restrictions have eased, demand for certain destinations have become higher than usual. Cebu Pacific has noted that top domestic destinations remain the usual go-to beach spots like Boracay, Bohol, Cebu, and Palawan. For international trips, flights to Japan, Korea, and Singapore are currently in-demand this 2022. However, there are still a lot of added costs and requirements that come with overseas travel.
Sometimes the best destinations and trips are to places you really wouldn't expect. For those really itching to travel anywhere, this could be your chance to explore lesser-visited destinations closer to home. The Philippines has so many amazing destinations worth exploring. For instance, the province of Capiz and Gigantes Island in Iloilo which is accessible by flights to Roxas City offers a great destination for nature and seafood lovers and history buffs alike.
Dumaguete in the Visayas region is another underrated destination where you can enjoy visiting natural spots like Twin Lakes Natural Park, and Pulangbato Waterfalls or go swimming with sea turtles in Apo Island.
In Mindanao, the culturally-rich and vibrant city of Zamboanga offers a melting pot destination, where you can enjoy the unspoiled beaches of a pink sand island, historic landmarks in the city, and enjoy unique local delicacies like curacha and satti, among others.
This week, Cebu Pacific has an ongoing seat sale exclusive for the Davao region that will run until August 26, 2022, with P88 one-way base fare, for travels until January 31, 2023.
From Davao City, you can easily hop on a bus and go on land trips to other amazing destinations in the region like the surfing town of Mati in Davao Oriental or the rugged mountainous region of Bukidnon.