Flights and accommodation are often the largest travel expenses. My 12 years of experience traveling have given me the inside scoop on where to find the best deals. These are the best tips and websites for finding cheap flights.
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Over the years I have traveled extensively and spent hours searching for the best deals on flights. It’s easy to find low-cost flights to any destination with the right tools and some patience.
Use an Incognito Window
Did you know that flights prices can rise once you have viewed them several times in the same browser as before? Your eyes don’t play tricks on you. Airlines will increase the price of flights once they are aware that you are interested. In order to scare you into buying a flight, they keep track of your browser’s cookies and adjust prices accordingly.
You can avoid this tracking by searching for flights in an invisible window to ensure you are always looking at the lowest price and fairest.
You can go incognito with Firefox or Internet Explorer by pressing Control (or Command Mac) + Shift + p, or Safari or Google Chrome by pressing Control (or Command Mac) + Shift and + N. This will open a new browser window which will allow you to browse anonymously.
The Best Flight Search Engines
Search engines will take a cut from the cost of your flight and then show you an inflated price to compensate. Although all search engines do this in some way, it is important to choose the one that offers the lowest inflation rate.
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Skyscanner is my favorite. I recommend the app to quickly check airfares on the move! Momondo and Skyscanner both consistently show the lowest prices for flights. I will also be checking Google Flights to find out if there are any sales for booking direct.
Find the cheapest days to travel
Although it is not surprising that flight prices vary widely based on the day and week, there is no set rule about which days are more expensive or less. If you are flexible about your travel dates, it is worth taking a look at prices for a month and seeing which days are the cheapest.
You can do this by opening the Skyscanner app and entering your departure and destination cities. Then, when it comes time to select the “Departure” and “Return”, click on “chart”. This will allow you to view the prices for each day and the travel period that you are interested in. This will make it so much easier to find the lowest flight!
This can be done on the Skyscanner desktop website by clicking on “whole months” or “cheapest month”.
Take a look at your connection options
Although booking your flights one-time is easy and will prevent you from missing connections, it’s sometimes more cost-effective to book your connecting flights separately.
This can help you save money, especially if your layover is an opportunity to visit another city. Be careful not to book your flights too close together. This will make it more difficult to miss flights due delays.
Airline errors: Take advantage
Airlines have been known to post incorrect fares due to human error and technical glitches. Sometimes these errors can result in extremely discounted flights. There are several resources available to help you locate these error fares. However, you can generally find them via Skyscanner using the “Whole Month” method and then selecting any fares that seem comparatively low.
Stay on top of flight sales
You can also take advantage of mistakes, but it is always good to keep track of sales. You can do this by signing up for the mailing list of different airlines, and then checking their emails periodically to see if there are any sales that apply to your situation.
Search Budget Airlines
You get a complimentary snack/meal, additional leg space, two carry-on bags, and other amenities when you book your flight with a major airline. If you are willing to travel less comfortable, then a budget airline is your best option.
Budget airlines remove all the amenities to offer a flight at a lower price than major airlines. You can then pay for additional amenities that you feel will be of benefit to you.
Budget airlines may penalize you more for overweight or large baggage than their major counterparts in order to keep costs down. You should also check which airports airlines fly into and out of. Budget airlines tend to avoid large airports to save money on landing fees.
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Find the cheapest place to fly
If you are flexible about where you want to go, you can either fly to the most expensive destination on the map or to the closest airport. You may be able find a nearby airport that you can fly into, and then take a bus or train to get to your destination.
To find out, go back to Skyscanner and enter your departure city. Next, click on the “To” heading and click on “Everywhere.” This will display a list of cities and the cheapest locations you can fly to.
Flyer points can be used to buy your flights, which is also known as “travel hacking” in some circles.
Flyer points, or “miles”, are often offered as part of loyalty programs offered by airlines and credit card companies. These points can be earned based on how frequently you fly or how much you spend. These points can then be used to buy flights.
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The supply and demand system is what drives flight prices. As flight tickets sell, so will the prices. This means that prices for tickets will not fall as soon as their departure date approaches. You can save money if you know the exact dates of your departure.