In this article, I will provide you information on everything you should know about the…
The most expensive element of most vacations is the airfare. Today, I am going to help you become a master on finding a cheap flight. While transatlantic airline prices have decreased in recent years, they may still eat up a significant portion of any travel budget. Finding a cheap airline bargain can make or break your trip, whether you’re a budget solo traveler or a family searching for a family holiday overseas.
After all, if your flight is excessively expensive, you’ll most likely postpone your trip. It’s happened to me numerous times.
Despite this, airlines provide thousands of incredible bargains every day, ranging from incorrectly stated fares to special specials to price cuts to compete with another airline. Cheap flights are available, and if you know where to look, you can make your ideal vacation a reality.
Airlines, on the other hand, offer thousands of unbelievable offers every day, ranging from incorrectly listed fares to special promotions to price cuts to compete with another airline. Cheap fares are available, and they can help you make your dream vacation a reality if you know where to look.
Here’s how to get a good deal on a flight to anywhere in the world:
1. Ignore the Myths on finding cheap flights
The first thing to understand about finding a cheap flight is that there is no magic bullet or single secret ninja trick. There are numerous myths about how to find cheap flights on the internet. In fact, you’ve probably come across a slew of them while looking for the best flight deal!
They are all lies. They will lead you astray.
Most websites employ mediocre reporters who recycle tired and out-of-date myths. Here are some of the most common ones that are 100%false
- It is NOT cheaper to purchase airline tickets on a Tuesday (or any other specific day for that matter).
- There is no evidence that searching incognito results in lower prices.
- There is NO specific date or time frame for booking your flight.
- It is impossible to predict airline prices, and websites that do so are essentially making an educated (but probably incorrect) guess.
Airlines used advanced computer and pricing algorithms to determine prices and run sales based on the time of year, passenger demand, weather, major events/festivals, time of day, competitor prices, fuel prices, and a variety of other factors. Those ostensibly “tricks” are no longer effective. The system is far too intelligent for its own good. They should be discarded. Allow them to pass away.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Anyone who tells you otherwise is illiterate. These myths will absolutely lead you astray.
2. Always Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates and Times
The cost of an airline ticket varies greatly depending on the day of the week, the time of year, and upcoming holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. August is a popular month for Europe travel because everyone wants to go somewhere warm in the winter or when the kids are out of school. In a nutshell, if you want to fly when everyone else is, your ticket will be more expensive. In a nutshell, if you want to fly when everyone else is, your ticket will be more expensive.
Make a concerted effort to be flexible when it comes to scheduling. If you really must visit Paris, travel in the spring or fall when the city is less crowded and airfares are lower.
But what if you want to have a flight in August? You’ve been out of luck. What about a Christmas trip to Hawaii? Best wishes! Prices will be at an all-time high.
The solution is to fly during the off-season. A best way is also to Look for alternate dates so that you can take advantage of the best day. The more rigid your plans, the less likely it is that you will find a bargain.
Furthermore, flying during the week is almost always less expensive than flying on the weekend because most people travel on weekends and airlines raise their prices. Prices are also lower if you fly after a major holiday, and early-morning or late-night flights are less expensive because fewer people want to travel at those times (who wants to wake up early?!). Fridays and Mondays are also pricey because that is when the majority of business travelers fly.
Airlines are not stupid. They are aware when a festival, holiday, major sporting event, or school break is approaching, and they raise their prices accordingly.
Remember! If you want to save money on Flights then you should be flexible with your dates and times.
3. Be Flexible with Your flight Destinations
If you can’t be flexible about when you fly, be flexible about where you fly. It is preferable to be both, but if you truly want to save the most money and find a cheap flight for your trip, you must be flexible with one or the other. Airline search engines have made it extremely simple to search the entire globe for the cheapest ticket. You don’t have to search manually, city by city, day by day. Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights all have explore tools that let you enter your home airport and see a map of the world with all the flights on it. This allows you to compare multiple destinations without having to think about every possible option. You might even discover some interesting destinations you hadn’t considered before!
if you don’t mind going somewhere other than home than Here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Navigate to Google Flights and then to the map:
Step 2: After that, enter your departure city and date. On the map, you may now see a wide range of alternatives. You can use the “Flexible dates” option if you don’t have a specific location or dates in mind:
The fact about airfare is that there is always a good price to be had going somewhere — it simply might not be your first option. If you’re flexible about where you want to travel, however, you’ll always get a good bargain and save a lot of money.
When you’re trapped into one location for an extended period of time, you’re stuck with whatever price comes up. Nothing is going to change that. However, if you learn to be flexible, the entire globe opens up to you, and you’ll be able to find incredible low-cost flights!
4. Fly Budget Carriers
If you wanted to travel between continents in the past, you were primarily limited to traditional, pricey airlines. This is no longer the case. While most long-haul budget carriers canceled their flights during COVID, I expect them to return once the travel sector improves.
AirAsia provides ridiculously low fares throughout Asia and Australia, including flights from Australia to Thailand for less than $150 USD!
Airlines from India and the Middle East offer low-cost flights throughout the subcontinent and Africa.
A low-cost carrier can now take you almost around the world. Sure, they aren’t as comfy, and extra enhancements like checked luggage and meals may be required, but they bring the world to your home without breaking the wallet.
The following is a list of the world’s largest budget airlines:
(Pro Tip! If you’re not sure which budget airlines travel where, check the website of your departure airport for a list of airlines that fly there.)
Whenever possible, traveling inexpensive airlines is a smart alternative to flying the “majors.” You’ll earn fewer rewards, but you’ll save a lot of money.
Just keep an eye out for costs. That is how they profit! Checked luggage, carry-ons, printing your boarding pass, using a credit card, and everything else they can get away with are all common expenses on budget airlines. To ensure that the price is lower than a larger carrier, sum up the cost of the ticket AND the fees.
5. Don’t Always Fly Direct
Not only is it beneficial to be flexible with dates and destinations, but it is also beneficial to be flexible with your flight path. For example, flying to London and then taking a budget airline to Amsterdam is sometimes less expensive than flying directly to Amsterdam from your departure location.
This is exactly what I did when I went to Paris. The flight from the United States cost $900 USD, but I could fly to Dublin for $600 and then fly to Paris for $60. It took longer to fly, but the $240 USD I saved was well worth it to me.
To utilize this strategy, calculate the cost of driving directly to your destination.
Then, go to Google Flights and key in the continent of that destination to see pricing for nearby airports. If the difference is greater than $150 USD, I calculate the cost of getting from the secondary airport to my primary destination (either by budget airline or train, if the distance is not too great).
If you do choose to book individual flights, allow at least three hours between them. This will provide you more room in case of a delay because your second flight will not wait for you (you booked with a different airline, therefore they don’t care if you’re late or not).
Because most insurance companies need at least a 3-hour delay before making a claim, leaving a three-hour buffer will also cover you for an insurance claim.
This strategy requires more effort because you must figure out a variety of itineraries and compare different airlines. However, it may reduce the cost of your travel, making the extra effort worthwhile if you save a few hundred dollars.
Note: If your flight to or from Europe is ever delayed, you may be entitled to further compensation (upwards of 600 EUR).
6. Keep an Eye for Special Flight Deals
Make sure you’ve signed up for certain emails before you start hunting for specific lights. Joining airline and last-minute deal websites’ mailing lists will offer you access to the finest deals available. Sure, 99 percent of them won’t fit into your schedule, but keeping an eye on the specials will ensure you don’t miss out on a great deal.
Cheap airfares are frequently only available for a limited time (usually 24 hours). If you don’t keep an eye out for sales on the internet, you’ll most likely miss out on the finest prices.
If I hadn’t signed up for travel deal websites, I would have lost out on a round-trip ticket to Japan for $700 USD (usually $1,500) and a $500 airfare to South Africa.
In addition, frequent flier bonuses are frequently advertised in airline publications. Those points and miles can add up to free flights and great upgrades if you’re a travel hacker. The top websites for finding travel deals, other from airline newsletters, are:
- Scott’s Cheap Flights – The BEST for US flight deals.
- Airfarewatchdog – Great for searching US flight deals.
- The Flight Deal – Great for global flight deals.
- Holiday Pirates – The best for European flight deals.
- Secret Flying – A great site for flight deals from around the world.
7. Keep in mind that all search engines are not same.
You must search multiple websites to find the best deal. Many major search engines do not include budget airlines or obscure foreign carriers because they do not want to pay a booking commission. Others do not include booking websites that are not in English. Others, on the other hand, only show prices obtained directly from airlines.
In short, not all flight search websites are created equal, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
Because there is no perfect airline search engine, you should use several to compare. Even the greatest have flaws. That being said, I have a few favorites that I always start with because they consistently produce the best results. The following are, in my opinion, the best websites for finding a cheap flight:
- Skyscanner – The best booking site available. They have an excellent user interface. (and a great app for mobile)
- Momondo – They search the most airlines and websites in the world and, 92% of the time, they find cheaper flights. Use them in tandem with Skyscanner.
- Google Flights – This is a fantastic search engine that allows you to compare prices for multiple places and Destinations.
I usually begin my research with Skyscanner because it searches all big AND inexpensive airlines, as well as non-English and English websites and everything in between. I’ve been using them since 2008, and they thoroughly vet all of the sites they connect to, as they operate under stringent guidelines. It’s one of the most extensive booking sites available; they always have the best price, and it’s the search engine that all the other travel professionals I know use.
8. Take Advantage of Student Discounts
There are numerous discounts available to students (or those under the age of 26). Prices are typically 20-30% less than the conventional fare. Flight Centre and other travel agents can assist you in finding a low-cost flight. Don’t forget about them!
Also, keep in mind that the majority of student discounts are transferable to airline partners. Delta, for example, provides a student discount that can be used on partner airlines such as KLM and Air France. This will enable you to travel considerably further afield while saving a significant amount of money.
Visit their website or call them if you’re not sure which airlines provide discounts. It will be worthwhile to delve a little further to save 20% (or more)!
9. Mix and Match Airlines for your travel
When you buy a flight directly with an airline, you can only travel that airline and any of its partner carriers. That means your options for discovering the ideal itinerary or saving the most money will be limited.
Usually, that is sufficient. If you want to save even more money, try booking your tickets on different airlines. For instance, if you’re flying from New York to Paris, you might stop in London. Booking both legs as one ticket is convenient, but it is unlikely to save you money.
Instead, book a one-way ticket from New York to London and a separate one-way ticket from London to Paris using a different airline. This will allow you to compare prices and find the best offer. It takes a little more work, but the savings (and freedom) can be well worth it.
This is what the majority of third-party booking websites, such as Kiwi.com, do. They piece together trips using whatever flights they can find in order to get you the best deal.
If you’re looking for the best deal and aren’t satisfied with what you’re seeing on the airline’s website, try booking separate segments. You might just come across a great deal!
10. Use Points and Miles
Sign up for a travel rewards card as soon as you know you want to travel somewhere. Airline rewards programs are the most popular way for frequent travelers like me to earn free flights, travel perks, and hotel stays. They provide flight upgrades, large welcome bonuses, credit toward rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft, access to free events, airport lounge access, and much more.
No matter how frequently you fly, you should be enrolled in a reward program. You also do not need to make any additional purchases. Every year, I earn over a million miles without flying or spending any extra money. That translates to dozens of free flights (often in business class) for my family and me.
11. Find Individual Traveler Ticket Prices
If you’re traveling with friends or family, don’t look for or buy multiple tickets at once. Airlines always display the highest ticket price in a group of tickets, implying that you will pay more money.
Airlines offer a wide range of ticket prices (these are based on a variety of factors). They want to sell tickets in the highest fare bucket possible and always list prices in the highest fare bucket when grouping tickets together.
For example, if you are a family of four looking for four seats, the airline will find four seats together and show your fare based on the highest ticket price. So, if seat A is $200, seats B and C are $300, and seat D is $400, the tickets will be priced as $400 each rather than adding up the individual ticket prices. If the price difference is significant, it will result in a sizable additional expense.
As a result, always look for tickets as a single individual. Following that, during the checkout process, you can select your seats so that you and your family can sit together. Even if you don’t end up next to each other, it’s a fair trade for a few hundred dollars saved.
12. Search for Tickets in Different Currencies
If your country’s currency is now strong in comparison to others around the world, look for flights to a country with a weaker currency.
When the US dollar was strong and the New Zealand currency was weak, I was able to find a one-way airfare from Australia to New York for $1,000 USD. However, when I searched on the airline’s New Zealand website, I saw the identical ticket for $600 USD.
It was the same airline, flight, same booking class; the only difference was that it was booked in a different currency. This strategy does not always work, but it does so frequently that it’s worth a shot if your currency is currently performing well.
13. Book tickets early (But Not Too Early)
Airline fares continue to rise as you get closer to departure, but there is a sweet spot when airlines begin to lower or increase fares based on demand. Don’t leave it until the last minute, but don’t book too far in advance either.
The best time to book your flight is about 2-3 months before your departure, or about five months before if you’re going during peak season.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, so use it as a guideline. I could go on and on about airline pricing models, but airlines raise prices closer to departure because last-minute bookings tend to be price-insensitive business travelers willing to pay whatever. So don’t wait until the last minute to book!
To get started, use the suggested tips above for finding a low-cost flight. If you do that, you’ll always receive a good deal!
Find Your Cheap Flights Today in 2021
All of my searches begin with Skyscanner because it searches all big AND inexpensive airlines, as well as non-English and English websites and everything in between. Even if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, it’s a good idea to start looking for flights now. People that delay to book end up spending the most money.