Being flexible with your travel dates can help you score cheaper airfare. Flights during the middle of the week are generally cheaper than flights on weekends.
If your schedule allows, fly on less popular travel days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The most expensive days to fly are often Fridays and Sundays when most leisure travelers prefer to fly.
Aim to travel a day or two earlier or later if you can. Even shifting your trip by one day earlier or later can make a difference. Airlines often hike up prices for flights right before or after major holidays and long weekends.
Use the calendar tool on flight search sites to compare prices across different travel dates. This allows you to easily view airfare trends and spot the cheapest days. Set your departure city and destination first, then toggle through different travel date combinations.
Being flexible by a few days or weeks can lead to huge savings, especially if you’re booking last minute. The money you’ll save on airfare may be worth the extra time off work or school.
Use Flight Search Engines
Flight search engines are invaluable tools for finding cheap airfare. Instead of checking individual airline sites, you can use a flight search engine to scan prices across hundreds of airlines and routes all in one place. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and effort.
The two most popular flight search engines are:
Kayak – Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites and airlines to find the best deals. You can filter by number of stops, departure and arrival times, airline, and more. Kayak also has handy tools like Price Forecasts that predict whether prices will rise or fall.
Google Flights – Google Flights leverages Google’s powerful search capabilities. It compiles flight data from both online travel agencies and airlines. You can set price alerts and view prices on a calendar. Google Flights also shows related hotels and destinations you may want to consider.
Other flight search engines like Momondo, Skyscanner and Hipmunk work similarly. The key is to cast a wide net by checking multiple sites. Competition keeps flight search engines striving for the best algorithms and UIs.
Pro tip: Use the ‘incognito/private’ mode in your browser when running flight searches. This prevents any tracking cookies from affecting results and pricing.
Flight search engines let you quickly filter through a huge number of flight options across different days, airlines, routes and more. This comprehensive perspective makes them an essential starting point for finding cheap tickets.
Securing budget-friendly flight tickets can feel like a mystery, but with a few insider hacks, you can unlock significant savings on your next adventure. In this guide, we reveal some secret tips that airlines and travel experts don’t always disclose to help you score the best deals on your flights.
- Use Airline Rewards Strategically:
- Take advantage of airline reward programs strategically. Accumulate miles through credit card spending or promotions, and redeem them for discounted or even free flights.
- Dynamic Pricing Awareness:
- Airlines often adjust prices based on demand. Use multiple devices or browsers to check for fares; sometimes, refreshing your search can reveal lower prices.
- Book One Way Instead of Round Trip:
- Compare the cost of booking two one-way tickets instead of a round-trip. This strategy can sometimes lead to lower overall expenses.
- Hidden City Ticketing:
- Explore the concept of hidden city ticketing, where you book a flight with a layover in your intended destination. This can be cheaper than a direct flight to that location.
- Set your Location to Low-Cost Countries:
- Some travel websites display different prices based on the user’s location. Experiment with setting your location to a low-cost country to potentially access better deals.
- Check Nearby Airports:
- Expand your search to include nearby airports. Sometimes, flying into or out of an alternative airport can be significantly cheaper.
- Book During Off-Peak Hours:
- Flight prices can fluctuate based on the time of day. Try booking during off-peak hours, such as late at night or early in the morning, to potentially find lower fares.
- Student and Youth Discounts:
- If you’re a student or a young traveler, explore discounts specifically tailored for your demographic. Many airlines and travel agencies offer special rates for students and youth.
- Sign Up for Fare Alerts:
- Subscribe to fare alerts from various travel websites. These alerts notify you when prices drop for specific routes, allowing you to book at the most opportune time.
- Negotiate with Airlines:
- In some cases, calling the airline directly and negotiating the fare can lead to discounts. This is especially effective if you’ve found a lower price on another platform.
- Combine Airlines for Better Deals:
- Mix and match airlines for different legs of your journey. This can sometimes result in a more affordable overall fare than booking with a single airline.
Utilize 24-Hour Cancellation Policies:
- Some airlines offer a 24-hour cancellation policy. After booking, continue to search for better deals, and if you find one, take advantage of this window to cancel and rebook without penalty.