Let’s be honest, the crazy price of a flight to your dream destination can be downright discouraging. But it doesn’t have to be! Cheap flights are well within reach if you know where to look.
Here are my tips for snagging Flight Deals.
1. Be flexible WHEN you travel
The difference between saving hundreds of dollars on a flight can come down to what day you fly. Flying on a Wednesday instead of a Friday saved me $200. If you can fly in the middle of the week take advantage. These flights are typically cheaper due to low demand.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Doesn’t matter, use is to your advantage. Flights late at night or early in the morning are usually cheaper. Most people don’t fly during odd hours and thanks to them you can save a few bucks.
Avoid booking flights around summer months, holidays, or festivals. Flights during these times are typically inflated. (thanks, summer vacation) Airlines aren’t dumb they know when everyone wants to fly and price flights accordingly.
Pro Tip: Book flights when no one else is flying and you can’t go wrong.
2. Be flexible WHERE you travel
It’s cheaper to fly from San Franciso to places like Hawaii and Mexico than to Barbados or Greece. Search Engines have made it incredibly easy to see what places are the best price to fly to based on where you fly from. You might be surprised by where you can go on a deal. Google Flights is my favorite.
3. Use Search Engines
Search Engines are my best friend and go to for booking any budget trip. Hopper, SecretFlying, Momondo, Skyscanner, and Google Flights (great for searching multiple cities) are all great sites for picking up a great flight deal.
- Hopper is a mobile app that tells you when is the best time to buy. Using historic flight pricing, Hopper shows you when a flight is at it’s cheapest.
- SecretFlying is a free site that provides details to the most incredible glitch fares or flight deals available. If you like a deal, proceed to book with a third-party online travel agent or directly from the airline. I managed to snag a flight from San Francisco to Barbados for $200 Round Trip using SecretFlying.
- Google Flights lets you quickly find and compare flights between airports on certain days and monitor flight prices. This by far my favorite for finding new places to fly and cheap travel days.
- Momondo is a free independent travel search site for major and budget airlines.
- Skyscanner is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine.
4. Be Patient and Persistent
Sometimes getting a great deal is no walk in the park. As the old saying goes, anything worth having doesn’t come easy. Sometimes you really have to work for it. You’re likely going to have to hunt and search for applicable dates, toggle from one airfare search engine to the next, but it is well worth it.
Be patient. It just takes a bit of persistence and a pitch of luck to find it, but the right deal is always there. When you find a deal, nothing beats that feeling of shock and satisfaction. It will feel like it’s too good to be true and that brings me my me next point…
5. Book Now. Plan Later.
Always be ready to book on an once in a lifetime flight deal. Every so often an airline with has an error fare or crazy sale where you can get flights for dirt cheap. These errors or deals are typically very short and you have to act on, with the quickness. I’ve been able to snag flights from San Francisco to Barcelona for less than $250 ROUND TRIP! Flights are an essential part of a trip and once it’s booked everything else falls in line. Don’t think about accommodations, book it, and figure out the rest later.
6. Fly Budget Airlines
Budget airlines make it possible to fly around the world for very little money. Flying a budget airline is a good alternative to flying major airlines whenever possible. You get fewer perks, but you save on price.
• Norwegian Airlines: Europe to Bangkok for about $250 each way
• WOW air: The US to Iceland and Europe for as little as $99
• AirAsia offers crazy-cheap deals around Asia and Australia for as little as $100 each way
• Indian and Middle Eastern airlines offer cheap flights throughout the subcontinent and Africa
Just be sure to watch out for fees. Budget airlines will charge you for almost anything including checked bags, carry-ons, printing your boarding pass, using a credit card, and anything they can get away with. Before purchasing, add up the cost of the ticket AND the fees to make sure the price is lower than a major airline.
I don’t use budget airlines for long-haul flights because the cabins are uncomfortable for me. However, whenever I am not flying a long flight, I fly these airlines whenever possible: Southwest, WOW, Tiger Airways, and AirAsia.
7. Try different routes
Taking the most direct route to your destination can save time but, you better believe you’ll end up paying for it.
Try looking for alternative routes with one or two stops. Sometimes it is cheaper to fly close to where you want to be and book a budget airline for the final leg.
I do this, I find out how much it is to fly directly to a destination. Using Google Flights, I type in airports near my destination and look at prices. If the difference is more than $150, I check my budget airlines to get another flight to my primary destination.
This method is not for everyone. It is more work and can be quite tedious but, can shave some money off your flight.
8. Get Social
One the best ways to nab a flight deal or glitch fare is to use social media. Facebook and Instagram are my BFFs for finding a great deal.
Start by joining various travel groups on Facebook. The second someone finds a glitch fare it’s posted to the page and spreads like wildfire.
Some groups I love are:
Pro Tip: Set your notifications so that you see their posts first on your feed. Anytime you log into Facebook the first thing I see are flight deals posted.
You can break down finding flight deals to a science but, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Finding a deal is about being flexible and smart in where you go, when you go, and having the guts to hit the buy button. Don’t waste forever finding a cheap flight. If you’re spending more than an hour or two finding and booking a flight, you’re spending too much time.
If you follow the tips above, you’ll get a great deal and avoid breaking your budget.