Cost Cutting Tips and Tricks on Flights to Ambergris Caye
When you’re ready to get to Belize, you want the fastest route at the best rate possible. Getting the lowest airfare can be challenging, and I’m often asked how to get the best deal on flights to the island of Ambergris Caye. Since there are so many sites to choose from, I’ll provide you with some essential information for airline tickets. Once you’ve read through these airfare hacks, we’ll have you enjoying emerald green waters and exotic food in no time.
Getting to the island, you will fly into Belize City and then fly Tropic Air for a 15 minute flight to Ambergris Caye. The Belize government has announced plans to build an international airport on Ambergris Caye in the next two years (hopefully sooner), so in the future you will be able to fly directly to the island from the U.S. in two hours.
Here are some tips on getting the lowest fare, and even how to fly for free.
Ticket prices can jump as much as $200 without private browsing on, so knowing how this works is priority one. Any website can track your visit by installing “cookies” on your browser. Airline and travel sites will set prices based on demand. The more you visit their site or check prices, they often increase the prices when you check back or perform more searches for flights.
One way to avoid them from tracking you is to turn on Private Browsing before you search the airline’s site. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, swipe down and tap “Private” at the bottom of your screen to turn on private browsing. You’ll notice Safari appears darker in this mode. Once you’ve finished your search, you can tap “Private” again and your screen will return to its lighter color. If you’re in Google Chrome, go to the upper right hand corner of your screen and click on the three bars. From this menu, choose “New Incognito Window” and you’re now in private mode.
In addition to Private Browsing, it’s best to clear your search history and cookies so the travel sites don’t track that you were there yesterday and cannot count that visit as another reason to jack up their prices. If you need any help in clearing your browser, check out https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?hl=en.
Knowing Where to Go
The more sites you check, the better the deal you’re going to find, and the best sites are the ones that have no affiliation with any particular airline.
Secret Site for the Lowest Airfare
Here’s the most efficient flight-finding site on the Internet you haven’t heard of yet. You cannot book airfares there but you can use its powerful search functions to locate the lowest possible airfares. The basic search option is easy to use. Enter a departure and destination airport, click on See calendar of lowest fares, choose a departing month and a length of stay, and hit search. It’s powered by Google and be sure to verify the lowest air on the sites below it.
ITA Matrix – Search for the Lowest Airfare
Verify the low rates you find here:
- www.KAYAK.com (check out their “hacker fares!”)
Once you’ve checked these sites, you can learn which airlines fly the best route to Belize City based on your departure city.
Timing is Key
Neither waiting til the last minute or booking too far in advance will get you the best price on a ticket. Start tracking flights to Belize early, but don’t book at the first sign of a bargain. Set up alerts on www.airfarewatchdog.com or Kayak.com and monitor prices either daily or weekly via email. Kayak also offers flight trends so you can look at past airfares. While there’s no scientific method for travel anytime during the year, purchasing on a weekday is almost always the cheapest, and international flights usually drop between 30 and 40 days out from the date of travel.
Two One-Way Flights
Sometimes purchasing two one-way tickets rather than a round-trip is a better deal. This requires a little more research but if it gets you to Ambergris Caye, we’ll call it time well spent.
Location, Location, Location
In real estate and in travel, let this be your motto. The place where a ticket is purchased is called it’s “point of sale,” and this location can greatly affect price. International tickets are often cheaper in countries with a lower cost of living. So if you know someone in Mexico…
This motto also applies to choosing smaller airports. If you’re coming to Belize City from Dallas, it’s generally going to be cheaper from Love Field than it will be from D/FW. Likewise, if you’re in New York and see a great one-way deal from JFK but no good return flight, try flying home to Newark and you could save a bundle.
Not a Straight Line
With numerous budget carriers these days, take advantage of a good deal on a flight to another city and then to Belize. It’ll be tough to add more hours to your Ambergris Caye countdown, but if it can save you a little money. So are you willing to add a few more hours of travel time at a lower fare?
Look for the Little Numbers
If you do find a great deal on a smaller carrier, be sure to check for fees in the fine print. If you’re saving $30 dollars on a flight but the luggage fee is $25, it may not be worth the plane change.
BONUS: How to Fly for Free
The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking by Matthew Kepnes could save you hundreds, even thousands, on airfare and travel. Many people think you can only earn Frequent Flyer points by actually flying, but the best way to rack up free miles is on the ground, and there are several creative ways to do this. Don’t assume you have to spend $2,000 to earn comparable price airfare.
Learn how the professionals hack the system to fly for free:
The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking – Nomadic Matt
The Points Guy
If you make frequent purchases or large purchases via credit cards, especially for business it shouldn’t take long to earn enough miles for a free trip. Search best cards for airline miles and be aware of their specials.
Here are a few great sources to review.
Cards for Travel
Best Airline Credit Cards for 2016
Free Frequent Flyer Miles
With these airfare hacks, you’re steps closer to what could be the greatest trip of your life, I’ll see you when you get there. Be sure to email me your experience using these tips and resources. I’m interested to hear your experience and how you use these tips to get lower airfare to Belize.