how to find cheap flights

How to Find Cheap Flights

A Globetrotter’s Guide to Budget-Friendly Skies

Travel has become more accessible than ever before, but finding affordable flights can feel like a treasure hunt. Cheap airfare opens the door to exploring new cultures, relaxing on distant beaches and making memories that last a lifetime. To help you unlock the secrets of budget travel, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on how to find cheap flights for your next adventure.

10 Insider Tips for Finding Affordable Flights

1. Travel During Shoulder or Off Season

One of the classic strategies for finding cheap flights is to travel during the “shoulder” or off-peak seasons. This means avoiding the rush of major holidays, school breaks and peak vacation times when demand—and prices—are highest. For example, flying to Europe in the fall or early spring can be significantly cheaper than the popular summer months. Likewise, beach destinations are often less expensive outside the winter escapes from colder climates.

2. Be Flexible with the Day of the Week

Flexibility is key when seeking out affordable airfare. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the cheapest days to fly, as demand drops after the busy weekend travel period. Additionally, flying on an actual holiday, such as Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, can result in considerable savings as fewer people choose to travel on these days.

You May Also Like:

3. Search in Incognito Mode

Airlines and booking sites are known to track your browsing habits, using cookies to note your interest in specific flights. As a result, you might see prices creep up with each subsequent search as a pressure tactic. To avoid this, use your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode when searching for flights. This way, your searches won’t be tracked, potentially leading you to lower prices.

4. Use Flight Search Sites

Leverage the power of flight search engines, like Kayak, Skyscanner and Google Flights, to compare fares across multiple airlines quickly. These sites aggregate prices from various sources, giving you a broad view of your options. Don’t forget to check Southwest Airlines separately; their fares don’t appear on most search sites.

5. Set Fare Alerts to Track Specific Flights

If your travel plans are set well in advance, take advantage of fare alert systems offered by many flight search engines. You can set alerts for specific dates and destinations and the system will notify you when prices drop. This proactive approach allows you to wait for the right moment to book without constantly monitoring prices yourself.

6. Consider Budget Airlines

Budget carriers offer no-frills service at a fraction of the cost of traditional airlines. While amenities are limited and extra fees for baggage and seat selection are common, the base fare can be incredibly cheap. Ensure you factor in all potential charges when comparing prices with full-service airlines, as extras can add up quickly.

7. Pay in a Different Currency

Occasionally, booking a flight in a currency other than your own can lead to savings due to fluctuations in exchange rates or pricing strategies in different markets. This trick requires a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and requires a bit of research. Always calculate the price conversion before booking to ensure the savings are genuine.

8. Take Advantage of Mistake Fares

Sometimes airlines or booking sites make errors in posting fares, leading to extraordinarily cheap prices. These “mistake fares” can be due to a variety of reasons, such as currency conversion mishaps or simple human error. While airlines sometimes honor these fares, they may also cancel them, so proceed with cautious optimism and wait until your booking is confirmed before making additional travel arrangements.

9. Book Ahead

Booking at the right time can be a delicate balance. While last-minute bookings can yield deals, planning typically results in the best prices. Most experts recommend booking domestic flights one to three months in advance and international flights two to six months in advance. However, booking too early may mean missing out on fare reductions closer to the departure date.

10. Compare Prices with a Travel Agent

Even in the age of online booking, travel agents can have access to exclusive deals not available to the public. They may also have special relationships with airlines, resulting in discounted fares. If you’re planning a complex itinerary, a travel agent can help navigate the maze of flight combinations to find the best prices.

Smart Travel Savings

Ultimately, finding cheap flights often comes down to a mix of careful planning and opportunism. Regularly monitoring prices, using technology to your advantage and being willing to adjust your plans can lead to significant savings. Each trip is unique, so combine these tips to suit your personal travel style and goals. With patience and a bit of luck, you can uncover deals that make travel more affordable and frequent.

Take a look at some third-party flight booking options.

Want more? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up-to-date on all our latest guides, tips, and inspiration!

Sign Up Now!

To help us customize your newsletter experience, let us know which country you currently reside in.

Subscribe with Facebook
Comments +