How to find the cheapest flights is the ever returning topic in the travel industry. We all want the best price for the best holiday, don’t we? There are hundreds of theories on how to find the cheapest flight and with all these fluctuating prices and competing airlines the search is often tiresome and overwhelming.
I’m incredibly frugal when it comes to airfare. In the last few years I’ve tested many theories when it comes to finding the cheapest flights out there. It took me to destinations that weren’t on top of my travel wish list, but ended up to be unforgettable. I flew to Porto for €30 and to London for €10 and currently I’m puzzling together a long haul flight to several cities in Asia.
I admit that to find a cheap flight you need to have a perseverance as it can be a jungle out there! Here are my key tips and tricks for finding the cheapest flights out there!
There are many ways to search for cheap flights. To start, here’s some basic insight on how and when to search for cheap tickets and what to do when you’ve found them.
- Search way ahead: 3-5 months for international flights, 3-4 for domestic.
- Search dates (and times) when nobody wants to fly: midnight, early morning and during Christmas can be real money savers!
- Flying is cheapest on Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and Saturday.
- In Europe airlines fares to most northern cities are ridiculously cheap in the months of January, February and march because tourism is at its lowest.
- Sign up for e-mail deals on low airfare (I prefer AirfareWatchdog, Skyscanner, CheapOAir, or Google flights).
- Use miles to get a discount on your flight.
- Use promo codes for discounts.
- Fly with carry on only to save on check-in fees.
Read more: How to fly with carry on only
Tricks for the experienced
Finding cheap flights is essential for those of us who like to take it a step further. Here are some tricks for the experienced flight booker.
- Use incognito browser (prices do increase when you don’t, especially when searching over a longer period of time. At least clear your cookies when you decide to do a final search.
- Book on Tuesdays only! Prices are freshly out on Tuesday so ultra-cheap. In the weekend airline prices go up most because everyone is supposed to make travel plans then.
- Use cheap airport hubs. Some airports are cheaper to fly into or there are more airlines competing. It doesn’t matter. Know where to fly to and from for the cheapest tickets possible! Examples or cheap hubs are Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and London. (Kayak gives you a great overview.).
Looking for an affordable getaway on Kayak.
The advanced way to find cheap flights
Here come the nifty tricks! Finding cheap flights is like puzzling, and I must admit this is my favorite part of booking. I just love to see those prices melt away. (I just realized I sound like a coupon mom, Oh God…)
- When you search well, you’ll eventually stumble on airline errors, such as tickets temporarily sold for half the price. You have to be a quick decider when you want to be in possession of a great deal!
- Book layover yourself! It’s true that direct flights are usually cheaper, however, when you want to add another destination to your trip, buying single tickets could be more affordable.
- The very frugal traveler might already know about hidden city tickets. That when flying to your destination isn’t affordable enough and you book it as a layover instead. Do make sure you travel with carry on only!
- When you’ve booked your trip, keep watching them prices! When ticket prices suddenly drop you can use Yapta to help you get a refund on your flight.
The best sites for finding the cheapest flights
- Skyscanner is probably one of the best known websites for finding cheap flights. The site itself is also incredibly user friendly. They also offer hotel stays and car rentals.
- A new find is CheapOair, at least for me. They seem to work with coupons and promo codes, which can save you some serious bucks! For example: Their promo code WORLD30 takes $30 off airline tickets around the world (expires December 31, 2017).
- Kayak is a well-known and reliable website for finding cheap flights. It gives a great overview of cheap hubs to fly on.
These are all of my tricks for booking the cheapest flights possible. I know it takes some effort but unfortunately that’s the way if you decide traveling is what you want. As always, let me know your recommendations for finding a cheap flight by leaving a comment below! 🙂
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