Our strategy for buying airline tickets to New Zealand

My husband, Kyle and I are leaving our jobs in Seattle at the end of December. We want to have some adventures and see the world. First stop….NEW ZEALAND! We picked New Zealand because 1. It is gorgeous there. I love the combination of water and mountains. 2. People speak English. This is a good transition country for world travel since I have never been outside of North America. 3. U.S. citizens can get a 12 month work holiday visa if you are under 30 years old.

The first step is buying airline tickets. There are many strategies to find cheap airfare.

  1. Figure out when you want to leave. We want to leave Seattle sometime in January 2016.
  2. Start looking at airline tickets to your destination 4 months in advance. There are many sites you can go on. I recently found out about http://www.skyscanner.com/
  3. Have a flexible departure date. I have heard that Wednesdays are a cheap day to fly.
  4. On Skyscanner, I checked fares to New Zealand for the entire month of January. I found that January 28 was the cheapest day to fly.
  5.  Click on “Get price alerts”. I did this for January 28. I received an email when the fare changed.
  6. I started to get nervous when the total kept going up. It went from $800 to $900 to $1,000 per person. Then out of the blue, on Wednesday, October 14, the total went down to $680 per person. We decided to act! Instead of buying our tickets through Skyscanner with a third party we went directly to the airline. It was practically the same amount!
  7. We paid a total of $1,358.20 for two people from Seattle to Christchurch. We are flying from Seattle to San Francisco on Virgin, then San Francisco to Auckland on Air New Zealand, then Auckland to Christchurch on Air New Zealand.

What are your strategies for buying cheap airline tickets?