Going traveling is one of the best things to do to experience many things worldwide. The big issue is how to find cheap flights to make the trip affordable. Airline tickets can be one of the most costly things you buy when traveling. If you can minimize the price, you can enjoy more of the trip and travel even more.
Not everyone can score a cheap flight. Flights themselves can be deal breakers. If you are leaving for a trip during some of the busiest tourist months, you may get stuck with a high-priced ticket that breaks the bank and derails your future travel plans. It is best to look for cheap flights if you have the flexibility and knowledge of when to look and where you can make the most of it and find some of the best deals around.
Here are 11 Ways On How to Find Cheap Flights!
Each of these different ways allows you to save more money while booking flights. The prices continue to rise, but if you are prudent and knowledgeable, you can take advantage of the many deals out there for you.
1. Ignore the All Those Cheap Flight Myths
One of the biggest things people concentrate on would be the flight myths that you hear about. When searching on the internet on how to find cheap flights, you may come across many different myths about how to find the cheapest flights. These are things that people hear about. Some things like booking flights on a Tuesday because that is the day all the sales go on.
Let me clarify; there is no magical way to find a cheap flight. There are many different ways to ensure you obtain a cheap flight. Let me bust some of the myths out there for you.
Here are some of those common myths that many people talk about.
- No evidence searching in incognito mode or on various computers will help you find a low price.
- Buying tickets on a Tuesday is not the best way. There are no better days to book than just booking early instead of last minute.
- You cannot predict that a specific period or date will be best for travel. Anything can happen that can raise prices, such as higher fuel prices.
There are so many flight myths to persuade you to follow their advice. You are traveling to many places around the world; you have to realize that flexibility can be one of the number one ways to travel cheaper.
The old ways of booking travel have become obsolete. Airlines have sophisticated computers and technology that put out prices depending on seasons, world events, and many other factors in today's world. It is better to have the flexibility and use travel hacks to find those sales and deals.
No magic bullets will help you find the deal of the century, but if you are flexible, use search engines and travel hacks, and do research, you can find the best deals.
2. Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates
One advantage to booking cheap flights has flexibility. That is the one tool you can use to create the most advantageous situation to obtain the cheapest flights.
Airlines are using their technology to see when people are traveling and not traveling. Many people travel on Fridays and Mondays so those tickets will be much higher. When everyone has off, holidays are another time of the year when tickets will have a higher price. Everyone wants to travel, and therefore, the airlines know that they can make a bit more money.
On days and times when fewer people will be traveling, there will be windows of opportunities for cheaper airfare. Airline companies may have flash sales or saver rewards to help entice future customers to buy a flight.
Holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, and 4th of July are high traveling seasons. The ticket prices will go up.
If you fly when everyone else is flying, the price will be higher.
Try to be flexible in your trips. Fly in the offseason to avoid the mad rush of everyone else flying. Most people fly on the weekends, so they fly during the week to prevent price gouging. With fewer people flying, there are more opportunities to score a better deal.
3. Be Flexible With Your Travel Destinations
If you can be flexible with your time, you can also be flexible with the places you fly to. Realize that specific destinations will have pricer flights. While looking at flights from Europe to Taipei, the flights that originate from a larger airport like Vienna or Frankfurt have better deals than smaller airports.
The reason is that more flights are flying out of those places. You can take a 5-hour bus ride from Prague to Vienna Airport to save $200 on an international flight. The bus ride cost like $25. With the flexibility in time and destination,, you can save massive amounts of money depending on where you are going.
The many different search engines help with finding the best deals around. Google Flights and Skyscanner are now your best friends. With an app like Hopper, you can now have multiple ways to scour the internet, looking for the best deals.
Direct flights are not always the most affordable, so be flexible with your destinations as you are looking for the best flights out there.
4. Don't Always fly Direct
Flying direct to many locations can end up costing you more money. Flexibility with locations can allow you to find some of the best deals. If you can look at some of the flight search engines, you can open up the searches to find better deals when flying.
Looking at some flights, you can fly from Chicago to Vienna for about $1,100 Direct. That is a 9-hour flight, which is not bad. You will fly with Austrian Airlines and get there without any stops. If you were to add a stop in Dublin and fly with Aer Lingus, you could find a flight booked with Aer Lingus for $917 or find a cheaper fare with a booking company on Trip.com for $440. Either way, you are saving money. The flight is an additional 2 hours.
Those 2 hours will save you anywhere from $180-$660. It helps to be flexible and look at your options are you are flying. An additional stop that is 1-4 hours longer can add up to your savings.
Most people would prefer direct flights, but if you are looking at saving money, adding a stop can help you save.
5. Use Some Of The Best Flight Search Engines
With the technology we have at our fingertips, it has become a great time to find the cheapest flights. Numerous different search engines are looking for the best flights out there.
One of the best search engines will be Google Flights. Just typing in the locations and dates you would like to fly to, Google flights will come up with numerous options to get you to where you want to go. That can give you a baseline for some of the flight prices as you are doing your research.
Another favorite flight search engine is Skyscanner. Skyscanner will have multiple sites come up offering deals on flights as you are looking for deals. Beware that some of these deals may come from 1-3* star sites that may not have the best reputation. Going with the airline site and some of the other 4-5 star sites is probably your best bet for finding the cheapest flight.
Other search engines can help you on your way, such as:
The many different search engines are tools at your disposal to find the best prices, times, and destinations for your future travels.
6. Fly for Free Using Miles and Points
One of the best ways to fly for cheap or free is using miles and points to purchase tickets. Collecting miles and points has allowed so many people to use their miles and points to fly for free.
One of the most incredible travel credit cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has a welcome bonus of 80,000 points which will give you $1000 in free travel. That is so good it is hard to turn down if you like traveling. Many other cards have similar offers, like the Capital One Venture X card with its 75,000-mile bonus. That will give you $750 of free travel.
With these travel credit cards, you can transfer their points to transfer partners and book flights on other airlines. You can move some Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United and book free flights on Turkish Airlines, Singapore, Lufthansa, and many other airlines. That is a huge bonus for many people trying to find cheap flights.
If you are looking for a way to start traveling more for free, try to do some travel hacking. Find a sound travel credit card that will work for you and start collecting those points. Make sure to pay off the statement at the end of the month not to collect interest on those credit cards. Unnecessary debt is not a good travel strategy.
Here are some related posts on some credit cards:
7. Join a Cheap Flight Mailing List For Flash Sales and Errors
Try signing up for some mailing lists that will allow you to book cheap flights. As you become accustomed to searching for airfares, you will notice that sometimes there will be sales or errors. Some airlines will have flash sales to fill their seats, but that will happen at a particular time that we do not know when.
Numerous programs and email lists are looking out for mistaken fares and sales. Some of these are like Scott's Cheap Flights. Scott's Cheap Flights is a great mailing list that will list some flash sales and errors in prices. They will send you multiple emails and have places on their website where they have seen where there is a mistake on the fare. Airfarewatchdog.com is another site that will look for mistaken fares and errors.
Finding some of these mistakes will allow you to find some cheaper deals. They do the work for you, and you sit back and book the deals you want to go on. It is a win-win.
8. Use Budget Airlines to Fly Cheaply
Most people are looking for deals on major airlines like United, Delta, and American. International carriers can also have great deals like Singapore Air, EVA Air, Turkish Airlines, and Qatar Airlines. If you are still looking for even cheaper, there are many budget airlines worldwide offering cheap flights.
As you look at these budget airlines, read the fine print on many of them. Scoot's long-haul flights from Sydney to Singapore will have no inflight entertainment, and the seats may not be as comfortable as flying Singapore Airlines.
Budget airlines also will charge you for picking seats, having checked baggage, and maybe a specific weight limit on your carry-on bags. Take a look at their fees.
There are numerous budget airlines, giving you plenty of opportunities to book cheap flights to many places. Sky Airlines is an excellent airline in South America, offering great prices on tickets that are much better than some bus companies.
Air Asia and Scoot are great budget airlines that allow you to fly all over Asia for a low price.
These days you can fly to most places on budget airlines. They may not be the most comfortable as the top airlines globally, but they can get you from point A to B at a great price.
Here is a list of some of the significant budget airlines worldwide.
Budget Airlines in the U.S.A.
Budget Airlines in Canada
- Air Canada Rouge
Budget Airlines in Asia
Budget Airlines in Europe
Budget Airlines in Australia
9. Mix and Match Airlines To Save Money
Flying can be an experience that most people want to go from point A to point B. If your main concern is finding the cheapest tickets, you should consider mixing and matching your airlines.
Some search engines can do this for you, such as Kiwi.com. That being said, when you are searching for certain destinations, it may not be possible to stick with the same airline, so having a mix-and-match can help you save money as well.
Flying to Indonesia in 2019, my wife and I had many Ultimate Rewards points that we wanted to use for a trip. The points were not going to work out in our favor to fly to Bali. So what we did was choose to fly to Jakarta for a free flight using our points and choose a much cheaper airline, Air Asia, to fly from Jakarta to Bali. This allowed us to save money because we got that free flight to Jakarta.
It is ok to mix and match different airlines to make it to your destination when looking at destinations. It helps to do research and determine what the most effective route is.
Going to a bigger airport or a hub can allow you to have cheaper airline tickets and then find a connecting flight to the smaller airport in your destination city.
Do not be afraid to change airlines. There can be significant savings. Some search engines, such as Kiwi.com, can allow you to mix and match airlines to find the best possible price.
10. Don't Wait to Book a Flight
One of the biggest things to not do is buy a flight last minute. Sometimes there are sales at the last minute, but you are unlikely to score a ticket with a great price like that. It is best to book your tickets early.
If you have a plan on where you want to go, then booking a flight 2-3 months ahead of time is the best bet. As the time gets closer to your departure time, seats get filled, and ticket prices go up. If it is during peak time, you should book a flight a bit earlier to lock down a great rate.
Failure to plan is going to cost you money in this respect. Be prudent and know where you want to go, go over the available steps to make sure you find that great deal, and book the flight.
11. Prices Could Be Cheaper With Different Currencies
Lastly, try booking a ticket in a different currency if all else fails. If your flight is leaving a specific country like British airways out of London, you can search the price in Pounds. If the price results in a much cheaper fare after figuring out the currency conversion, book it in pounds. It sounds strange to many people, but flying and saving money because of the currency can help out.
It does help to check flights in different currencies. You never know how much you can save if you have not used all the tools on your tool belt. A sound travel credit card will also allow you to have no foreign transaction fees. That can help with the conversions.
Finding a cheap flight is not always the easiest to do. It may not always be ideal, but having the flexibility to fly on different airlines, to other locations, on days during the week, will allow you to find cheap flights. Learning from some of these tips will enable you to have the advantage of having tools to find the cheapest flights.
If all of those things do fail, you can fall back on using your points and miles, giving you the most opportunities to find cheap flights. Using your points and miles can do wonders to make your trips so much more affordable.
These are 11 tips on how to find cheap flights. So take advantage and find those deals.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.