How to Find the Cheapest Flight for your Next Trip
Who wants to pay more for a flight than you absolutely have to? When it comes to travel, every dollar counts. Money you save from paying less for a flight means more money to spend elsewhere (like food, lodging, or souvenirs). So how do you find the cheapest flight?
- Start researching EARLY… 3-4 months before your trip start date. Get a base range of how much tickets will probably cost
- Use the Incognito Window or Private Window version of your web browser while searching and researching. While it is convenient to have a history of your searches, prices increase when you search a route multiple times. So each time you search, close all browsers and open a new Incognito or Private Window and your cookies will reset, allowing you to see the lowest prices.
- Search multiple flight search engines.
- Skyscanner is especially good for international travel and allows you to search by month instead of specific dates.
- AirFare Watchdog is great for finding sales and error fares (follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=airfarewatchdog so you never miss an update).
- Kiwi.com displays routes that combine airlines and helps to decrease costs.
- JetRadar is for budget airlines.
- AirWander for those wanting to extend their layovers.
- Identify the cheapest day to depart to your destination. One quick and easy way to do this is by using Skyscanner. Select “One-Way” and “Whole Month” for the departure date and see what dates are the cheapest. Do this for outbound and inbound flights separately. Although conventional wisdom says Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest days to fly out, it is not always true. I have found great deals for Thursdays and Saturdays, and even more popular flying days.
- If you don’t mind giving up some of the comforts, fly budget airlines. But before you book, be sure to read the fine prints: where is the airport located, what is the luggage allowance and how much does it cost, and what possible fees does the airline charge.
- Extend your layover and book connecting flights yourself. This is for those who want to spend some extra time in their layover city before catching the next flight, not suitable for those who simply just want to get to their final destination.
- Usually, booking a roundtrip or multi-city trip will be cheaper than booking one-way trips. But always double check.
- If you are traveling to a remote region, check out the websites of the local airlines, which may reveal exclusive online offers not found elsewhere.
- Check to see if it is cheaper to pay for your flight in a foreign currency and if your bank or credit card company charges a foreign transaction fee.
- Use your flight points! Your points will save you some serious money on flights or even allow you to book your flights for free! Be sure to check if and when your points expire so you can make sure to use them before then!