While some flights to China are jam-packed with passengers, there are others that are quite empty. If you’re willing to be flexible on your departure and arrival dates, you’ll often find that cheaper tickets can be found.
Many online booking websites offer a “flexible dates” option when you’re searching out flights, so don’t be afraid to use it.
Avoid the Major Chinese Holidays
There is no worse time to visit China than during their two major holidays – National Day (Oct. 1-7) and Spring Festival (usually in late January/early February). During these holidays everybody in China is trying to get back to their hometown and very few discounts are given.
If you must travel during these holidays try to book at least two months in advance. You still won’t get a cheap flight, but at least you’ll have a ticket!
Don’t Book Your China Flight Too Early!
A common mistake that people make when purchasing China flights is that they want to get their tickets months – if not a year – in advance. Although this may work in countries like the UK or the US, in China things are a bit different.
The best deals are usually found about 1-2 months in advance of your trip, when the Chinese airlines publish their discounted rates. If you’re not comfortable being so “last-minute” for your international flight, at least wait to purchase any domestic tickets until you’re about 2 months out.
There are plenty of flights in China, so don’t worry – you’ll get a seat somehow!
Consider a China Agency
Although you feel like you have more control to shop around on the internet, the truth is that travel agencies have bulk-buying power when it comes to Chinese airline tickets. Often you can get just as good a price if not better through a travel agency located in China.
Find a local agent that deals with international travel and compare their rates with what you’ve seen on the internet. They know the best times to travel and the best ways to get discounts – if they didn’t they would be out of a job.
Traveling or moving to China? Many of your favorite internet sites are blocked by what is known as the “Great Firewall”. Consider these low-cost workarounds that will allow you to access the entire internet while you’re away.