Updated: August 22, 2019
I’ve been traveling around the country a lot since 2009. Apart from the sights, one of the reasons why I love traveling in the Philippines is because it’s really affordable.
Seriously, where in Manila would you find an airconditioned hotel room with hot shower and WiFi access for only P500 per night? Or delicious baby back ribs as big as your hand for less than P300?
Those luxuries don’t exist in Manila, at least that’s what I know. But that’s the cost of my accommodation in Marinduque (Boac Hotel) and one of my meals in Cebu (Casa Verde Restaurant).
So given that it’s cheap to be in these places, then the only challenge that remains for our wallet is the expensive airfare.
Well, not necessarily, thanks to the seat sale promos which come out almost every week from different airline companies in the country.
So if you’ve been itching for a travel adventure, and you think those airline tickets are too expensive for you, then just wait a couple of weeks because a new promo fare is probably just around the corner.
Below now are some of the seat sale promo buying strategies I’ve learned in the past. I do hope you find them useful and inspire you to travel and discover more of our country.
Plan Your Trips Ahead of Time
Seat sale promo travel dates are usually 3 to 6 months in advance. This means you also need to plan for your trip that much ahead of time.
It may seem “risky” for your schedule but trust me, more often than not, you’ll be able to find a way to be free to travel during those dates once you’ve bought those non-refundable and non-rebookable tickets.
Invite Some Friends Along
Traveling becomes cheaper when you get to share your expenses with friends. This means that you, as well as your friends, should be able to manage their schedule for the trip.
Once you have your group agree to a destination for specific dates, then it’s time to wait for a seat sale and tell everyone to be alert for any news.
Get Everyone’s Details
Before the seat sale promo even happens, make sure that the one assigned to book the tickets already has the travel details of everyone joining the trip.
Required booking information such as full names, birth dates, addresses, passport numbers (for international flights) and other details can be stored in a notepad file for easy “copy-pasting”.
Register in Airline Websites
Create an online account in airline websites so that your personal profile is already saved and can appear automatically when you’re booking a flight.
This will save you a lot of time and hopefully, help you finish fast enough to avail the promo seats before they run out.
If you’re paying online through your credit card, then you might also want to save your payment details as well. Don’t worry, these websites are secure and you can always advise your credit card company to call you to validate any online transactions that occurs on your account.
Follow Social Media
Almost all airline companies have Twitter and Facebook accounts nowadays. Search and follow them, most seat sale promos are announced first there.
Moreover, there are also some websites which aggregate seat sale and other airline promo information. These are websites not connected to the airline companies, but they’re pretty accurate, especially for Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, and other airlines.
Be Fast but Accurate
Booking a seat sale ticket is all about speed without compromising accuracy. While it’s recommended that you do everything fast, it’s also necessary that you pay very close attention to what you’re doing in every step.
The last thing you want during a seat sale promo is buying an airline ticket booked on a wrong date, the wrong destination, or for the wrong person. Sounds silly? No it’s not believe me – I learned this the hard way actually.
A One Way Ticket Isn’t Bad at All
Who says you have to book round trip tickets? A lot of travel bloggers I know will not hesitate buying just a one-way ticket to a destination if there’s no more available promo seats for their planned return date.
What they do is just wait for the next seat sale to book a return flight.
Remember you’re buying 3-6 months ahead, so there’s pretty much plenty of time to get another promo fare from another airline. Or another option is to book a return flight from a nearby airport.
That’s it! I hope you were able to pick a few pointers which can help you save some money on your next airfare.
Check Travel Apps and Websites, and Travel Agencies
There are a lot of travel apps and websites out there, where you can find cheap flights. Examples are Skyscanner, Expedia, Kayak, and many others.
Try to check them during an announced seat sale, perhaps they were given allotment and you can buy through them instead. The same reason applies to travel agencies; see if you can book with them at seat sale prices during airline promos.
A Seat Sale Experience
Let me end by telling you an interesting seat sale promo experience that I had back in 2009.
I wanted to attend the Bacolod MassKara Festival in October.
So come May, I was already on alert for seat sale promos. One came and I was able to book a Manila to Bacolod piso-fare flight.
Unfortunately, there were no more return flights on sale during that time. But a few days after, another airline published a seat sale promo and I was able to book my Iloilo to Manila flight for P88.
In case you don’t know, Iloilo is just 45 minutes away from Bacolod via SuperFerry for around P250.
So who says traveling around the country is expensive? With enough patience, careful planning and a good sense of adventure, all the 7,641 islands of the Philippines is just a seat sale away.
Note: This post was written in 2011, with updates in 2019.