Here are all the tips and tricks on the best way to find the cheapest flights to pretty much anywhere in the world!
All have been there – determined to find cheap flights but somehow ending up just glued to the laptop screen for hours on end. Trawling the latest and greatest comparison websites trying to discover the cheapest flight deals…
Finding cheap flights can be a pain, especially with endless search options, comparison websites and constant fluctuating prices. It can end up being a frustrating process when it should be fun!
Never fear amigos, after almost a decade of traveling the world on a budget, here are all the tips and tricks on the best way to find the cheapest flights to pretty much anywhere in the world!
1. Always Search in Secret
You’ve been searching for a while, the price started out ok but you thought you could do better. But now, you’re panicking, the price is increasing. How can the cheapest airfare suddenly disappear! Well, you’re not going insane, you’re being watched.
Ok, so there’s not some weird guy peering through the window at your laptop screen. Instead ‘cookies’ are tracking your searches and feeding the most frequent and popular back to the suppliers. This, in turn, bumps up the once attractive prices. Putting you into panic mode in the hope you will just book the more expensive fare because it’s the ‘last best deal’.
Always search for your cheap flight deals in private with incognito windows. This tool is genius and basically the number one secret to finding the cheapest flights. If you’re not familiar with incognito it works the same as a normal internet page. The only difference, your cookies are reset each time you re-open an incognito window.
2. Use only the Best Flight Search Engines
Even the most novice travelers can probably name at least five different flight comparison sites. The list of comparison sites seems to get longer every day which makes finding cheap flights even more time consuming and repetitive. Or in other words, super dull when in fact, booking flights should be the most exciting part of your travel planning!
Sadly, there is not a single search engine that constantly offers the cheapest deal – because if there was we would all know it, right? – they simply don’t make money this way. So it pays to check a few, to help you know which few to keep bookmarked check the table below! These flight websites always come up with the greatest flight deals!
Just quick note amigos, comparison websites are awesome but they do not include most budget airlines. If you know of particular budget airlines operating the route you want, definitely remember to check them out too!
3. Budget Can Sometimes be the Best
Budget airlines can sometimes offer significantly cheaper tickets than the bigger airlines. Although choosing to fly budget does mean some sacrifices. That free food, space, and legroom, drinks, and movies you get with the big airlines are not offered on budget airlines. Stock up on snacks – and water – before hopping on the plane. Extra Legroom and movies are sometimes offered, but there are no guarantees and can promise, they often won’t be free. But somehow losing these luxuries to get a cheap flight is definitely worth it.
4. Book Your Own Flights
Let your imagination run wild when you search for flights. That city you have to hang around in for a few hours, why not step out the airport and spend some proper time there? The best way to find affordable flights is to be flexible and break up the journey. For example, if you’re flying to Vietnam via Bangkok, it may be cheaper to book a ticket to Bangkok and a separate ticket onwards to Vietnam.
This is possibly the best trick for finding cheap flights. Just a note though amigos, typically if you break up and book your flights separately you may have different airlines. So do not book layovers that are hours apart as delays could mean you miss your flight on the other end. Especially as you will likely have to recheck your bags again!
5. Mark the Cheapest Day to Fly
Have you heard the rumor that Tuesdays are the cheapest day to fly? Universally, of course, no specific destination, just them all. Hate to burst your bubble but this is no longer true – if it even ever was – all routes are different, some airlines are different and basically, it changes all the time. So when are flights the cheapest? While Tuesday may not be the cheapest day to travel – all the time – traveling midweek is more likely to be cheaper than flying on the weekends.
6. Travel Agents Are Not The Enemy
Contrary to popular belief, travel agents are not (always) money hungry and out to rip you off. In fact, many travel agencies have deals with airlines which will be cheaper than anything you will be able to find online yourself. This, however, doesn’t mean you should walk into a travel agent without having done your own research first. If you have a rough idea of the cheapest route, date, and destination, this will save a lot of time and searching. You’ll also know how cheap you can get it, meaning you’re less likely to get ripped off. Most travel agents will Price Match if the cheap flight you found is cheaper than the flight they have.
Travel agents not only have better deals (sometimes) but often if you book through a travel agent, you’re protected slightly better if something goes wrong or at least, don’t have to deal with it yourself.
7. It Doesn’t Pay to Wait
If you know where you want to go and when you want to go. You’ve searched and found the cheapest flights but wait, someone has told you if you wait and book at the last minute the flights will be cheaper. Don’t do it, it’s a myth amigo!
Very rarely do flights get cheaper closer to the departure date, if anything, they are likely to get more expensive. This is basically the same for ALL modes of transport. If you have found the cheapest deal and you are not flexible, book it, now! Booking ahead is likely to always be cheaper than booking last minute.
8. Check Foreign Currencies
Before you book that flight, have you checked if it’s cheaper to book it in another currency. Or the currency of the destination you are departing/heading for. Budget airlines typically make you pay in the currency of the country you are departing from but not always. Most airlines will have an option on the page to change the currency. Before you do this, make sure you are incognito and the location setting on your device is off or you have a VPN activated. Booking a flight and paying in a different currency could save you a small fortune but only if you’re using a credit card free of foreign-transaction fees! Otherwise, your attempts to save money doing this will be lost!
9. Grab Error Fares Fast
Error fares are what we like to think of as gifts from God. Error fares are basically the airline, company or third party advertising and selling a fare at the wrong price because someone mistyped the fare into the system. BINGO! Every traveler dreams of stumbling across these bad boys.
So how do you find budget flights and error fares? By visiting these two sites (Airfare Watchdog and Secret Flights), signing up to the alerts via email and by making sure you always have a credit card on hand.
Act fast when you stumble upon cheap flights, they won’t be around for long, especially error fares. Airlines, as you can imagine, are never too pleased when glitches like this happen and will fix it quickly. You just have to be faster than them. Good luck!