Travel doesn’t have to be expensive! Here are my favorite tricks for finding cheap flights and getting the best airline deals. Flying can be quite expensive if you don’t know how to book cheap flights. Airline ticket prices are always increasing as companies merge and fuel costs are rising.
The flight is often the most expensive part of your trip…
How do you reduce that cost and find the cheapest tickets available?
Airfare Search Engines
Using an airfare meta search engine is the quickest & most efficient means of finding a cheaper flight. These sites search for tickets across numerous different airlines and offer helpful tools like price prediction, price maps based on destinations, email fare alerts, and much more.
Check all three flight search engines before you book a ticket. You never know which site may show you the best price.
In addition to searching on these flight search engines, I recommend you set up fare alerts. Enter the details about your intended destination, a range of dates, and let the website alert you via email when the prices drop.
There are also a few dedicated airfare websites you should check on a regular basis and sign up for. These sites scour the internet for the best deals possible, doing all the work so you don’t have to.
I have learned that the best time to book a flight has been around 4-10 weeks in advance. The best days to depart are – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday because they are off-peak time with less passengers and lower fares. Early morning flights & red-eye (overnight flights) will always be cheaper too.
Flights with long layovers are less expensive. Another way to save money on tickets is by flying during the off-season when there will be less demand.
Example: Iceland in the Winter or Mexico in the Summer
Book Tickets in January
Some of the best flight deals ever are always available during the month of January & February. Just recently, I booked a round trip flight to Thailand for $670 from D.C. to Bangkok with a 2 hour layover in Japan. A round trip flight from the United States to Asia for under $700!? Amazing… You don’t need to travel during these months, just book your tickets then.
Airlines seem to love offering cheap flights in January. Keep this in mind when planning your travels for the next year. Set aside some cash to book your summer vacation flights in January.
If you happen to live near a few airports, remember to check the fares for each of them, as well as alternative airports or large hubs near your intended destination. Sometimes traveling by bus to or from a different airport can save you a lot of money on flights.
In the past I’ve saved a few hundred dollars choosing a $30 bus ride to New York rather than flying directly out of D.C.
Fly with Budget Airlines
In addition to searching on the major airline booking sites, find out which specific budget carriers fly to your travel destination.
Los Angeles to Thailand for only $300 on China Southern Airlines
Washington DC to Copenhagen for only $180 on WOW Airlines
Some budget airlines don’t allow big meta flight search engines to include their fares in search results, requiring you to visit the airline’s website directly.
Wikipedia list: Low Cost Carrier List
Although much cheaper, the budget airlines charge extra for services that are normally free on larger airlines. Checked bags, snacks, drinks, legroom, credit card payment, printing a boarding pass, and anything else they can think of.
Cheap tickets on budget airlines are often non-refundable and can not be altered.
The more flexible you are, the better your chances are for finding cheap flights. Flying to a random location can be a lot of fun, and you may end up discovering an area of the world you hadn’t planned on visiting. Fly to where the deals are! Some websites make this easy with their explore feature (Google & Kayak). You are given a price map for different destinations based on your departure airport.
Use a VPN
Airlines attempt to make the most profit by charging different fares for people in different countries depending on their IP address. For example, booking domestic flights from outside the country will often be more expensive than booking inside the country. Prices may change based on where the transaction is completed (point-of-sale).
However, you can get around this by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to hide your location and IP address. I use Ghost VPN for every flight I book.
Book Flight Legs Separately
For long-distance flights, it can pay to book different legs separately. You may even save money on the same exact itinerary – just book each section independently, or book two one way tickets instead of one round trip ticket. Spend some time experimenting and see what you can come up with.
Now Book Your Next Flight!
I hope this advice helps you on your next adventure! All these tips & tricks are used every time I book a flight anywhere in the world.
If you are flexible and put in the effort, you can easily save hundreds of dollars on tickets. Flying doesn’t have to be expensive if you know how to find the best deals.
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