“Traveling is so expensive!” – is probably the first thing you think when planning a vacation. Well I have good news for you. There are a ton of ways to find cheap flights! How do you think millennials are constantly traveling around the world? It’s not because they have a trust fund and they clearly don’t have six figure jobs right out of college.
They are constantly researching, reading travel blogs, finding mobile apps, signing up for flight websites, doing everything they can to find an affordable deal. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But lucky for you we’ve done all the work for you! There are a many different tips and tricks out there for finding great deals, but here are 5 ways to find cheap flights that I use everyday. Read to the end to download your free cheap flight planner!
5 Ways to Find Cheap Flights
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Skyscanner is a godsend. It’s my first stop when I decide to start searching for flights. I always find that flight prices on here are cheaper than Expedia or other flight aggregators. Skyscanner has several great features if you can be flexible on the dates or the destination.
The first is that you can search for the cheapest month to fly for a specific destination. All you have to do is type in your outbound city and where you want to fly into, then click the Depart field and select Whole Month, and Cheapest Month.
Second, you can choose to find the cheapest destination from your outbound city. If you know you want to take a trip, but don’t exactly know where to go, this is a great option. Enter the city you want to fly out of, click the To field and select Everywhere from the dropdown. Super easy! You’ll now be presented with a list of the cheapest destinations from your city, categorized by country.
2. Search Alerts
Unfortunately for most of us with regular 9-5’s, we don’t have the luxury of being flexible with our vacation dates. Hence, the beauty of search alerts. These little babies will let you know when flights for a specific date range go up or down in price. Such a time saver! Rather than searching for the same flight everyday to check for a price change, let search alerts do the work for you.
You can do this on Skyscanner and on Google Flights. Just enter your To and From cities, the Depart and Return dates, and hit enter. Once you’re in the search, you can click Get Price Alerts on the left side for Skyscanner and Track Prices at the top in Google Flights. You’ll now receive email alerts letting you know when that price has gone up or down.
This little app is great for understanding trends in flight price changes. Hopper works similarly to search alerts in that it notifies you when your flight price changes, but it also let’s you know whether that price will likely go down or up in the near future.
This is great because in order to take advantage of the best possible price, you can either wait to book until the price drops, or book now before it increases. I’m currently using this for my flight to New Zealand from Omaha, and based on the trends Hopper is seeing, my flight is predicted to drop in price!
I’m in love with this app! Fareness is a mobile app that finds amazing flight deals from your hometown. It remembers your home location and notifies you when a great deal pops up from that airport. You can also browse within the app to view the best deals from your location to Europe, beach towns, Asia, etc.
Fareness works best if you can be flexible on the dates and destinations. But you can still use the app to browse for specific dates. You’re able to look at the full calendar view and see how much cheaper it would be if you went a day later or the next week.
Sign up for newsletters! This is such an easy way to get notified of flight deals. If I hadn’t signed up for Frontier’s newsletter, I wouldn’t have known about their 90% off all flights deal and that would have been a huge bummer. We’re talking less than $100 round trip flights to NYC from the mid-west which never happens!
The caveat with these insane deals is that they last for usually 1-3 days, so you have to be ready to book. Southwest had a huge sale and luckily I was notified through their newsletter because I was able to book a $49 one-way flight to Nashville and a $95 one-way flight to New Orleans. The sale lasted 3 days which normally would never be enough time to prepare, save, and decide. But with prices that cheap I didn’t need to wait until my next paycheck!
Sign up for as many as you can so you never miss out on a great deal. Most airlines and flight aggregators have some sort of newsletter or special deal alert that you can sign up for.
I personally have a lot more ways to find cheap flights, but these are my consistent go-to’s. After going through each of the above, I research. This is the part that takes time if you’re willing to work for it. If I’ve found a price I’m happy with, why not try finding it for even cheaper? I’ll take that price and then compare it by going directly to the airline’s website and other flight aggregators just to make absolute sure that I have the best possible price.
Hopefully you can use these tips and tricks to book your next vacation for a price that you can afford. What are some ways that you find cheap flights? Comment below with your travel secrets!
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If you’d like help finding a cheap flight for your next trip, learn more about my travel consulting services on my Work with Me page.