When it comes to travel one of the biggest questions is “where can I find cheap flights?” It makes sense since the flights can often times be the most costly part of your trip.
Today, I want to walk you through a guide to finding the cheap airfare you’re looking for. Every day thousands of airline tickets are released at amazing deals. Some are regular deals, some are posted by mistake and others are just slashed prices so they can compete with other airlines.
Note: This guide will work for you where ever you live in the world.
Step 1: Have Adjustable Travel Dates
This is a very important part of making this work so i’m listing it first. If you’re not flexible with the dates you wish to travel then you can forget ever finding great deals.
So, the cost of airline tickets can vary depending a a variety of factors. These may include the day of the week, the time of year and if there are any holidays coming up such as Christmas, Thanksgiving or the 4th of July.
If we look at the month of August, it’s a popular time of year to travel to Europe so finding cheap flights during this time to Europe is unlikely. Furthermore, places like Thailand are popular in December and January. The idea is to go one way when others are going another, that’s how you find the best deals.
It’s also important to note that air travel in the middle of the week is less expensive than travel on a weekend. With many more people traveling on the weekend airlines will raise their rates during this time.
Stay flexible on your times and dates or you will limit yourself to finding deals.
Step 2: Be Open to Different Destinations
It’s important to be flexible with your destination in order to grab cheap flights.
Instead of going to a place where airline tickets are the most expensive, find the destinations with the cheapest tickets. A great resource for exploring your options is Google Flights.
This is the perfect starting point when you have no particular destination in mind. If you’re flexible with the destination and the dates then I highly recommend this as a great way to start the search.
Step 3: When It Comes to Search, They are Not all Equal
While searching for your flights a best practice would be to use search engines that have no affiliation with airlines. You should know that there is no perfect search engine for this, all of them have their own faults.
It’s a good idea to have a starting point like Google Flights but you want to be sure to use multiple search engines. This can help you get a thorough search and make sure you’ve turned over every rock to find the best deal.
The top 3 search engines for flights are Skyscanner, Momondo and Kayak.
Step 4: Take the Budget Airlines
Back in the day you were forced to pick a major airline if you wanted to take an international flight, but those days are gone. In today’s aviation age it’s possible to to make your way around the world for very little money.
Air Asia has deals around Asia, Hawaii and Australia for as little as a hundred bucks. WOW just introduced low fares to and from the United States. Other airlines like Norwegian Airlines allow you to fly to and from Europe and Bangkok for around $250 each way.
When it comes to discount airlines you won’t get all the perks but you will get a much cheaper ticket. Its about the destinations, not the plane ride.
Step 5: Student Discounts
If you are a student, there are lots of discounts available for you.
A wise move would be to check out STA Travel and it’s search engine. You will find flexible student tickets on their site as well as in their agency stores. A good example would be the ability to score a $400 ticket from Athens to Bangkok, when regular prices are $600.
If you’re an Australian or a New Zealander another good company to check out is Flight Centre, they offer good student deals. If you’re Canadian make sure you check out Travel Cuts for some good deals. Even if you are not a student these places are still worth checking out for cheap flights.
Step 6: When Searching, Don’t Search for Multiple Tickets
When you are searching for tickets make sure you search for only a single ticket at a time. Airlines will always display the highest price in a group of tickets.
Example: If you were a family of 4 and looking for 4 seats, seat A is $200 and seats B and C are $300, and seat D is $400, it will show all the tickets as being $400 each. It will not group the costs together and give you that total.
The best thing to do is search for a single ticket and at the checkout pick seats so that you still sit together.
Step 7: Extra Travel Hack for Cheap Flights
This may be one of the best ways to get cheap airfare. Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free companion tickets and free upgrades.
Even if you don’t fly that often it’s a good idea to join airline travel rewards programs. This way when you do travel your miles will add up over time.
It may be a good idea to stay with U.S. based airlines considering they are involved in all the major alliances and this will allow you to earn miles on their partner flights. An example of this would be flying Singapore Airlines which can earn you miles on United Airlines because they are partners.
Step 8: The Best Place to Search for Flights
There has been research which shows that Momondo returns the cheapest flights 92% of the time. Out of all the companies I’ve mentioned this one has to be my favorite. it searches the little websites, airlines and routes that no one else does. This can mean big savings for your search.
If you need any further assistance with finding cheap flights or have more tips just drop a comment in the box below!