We all know that travel can be expensive, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be completely unbearable in price. I’ve spent many hours scouring the internet for travel deals, researching flight patterns, and figuring out all of the tricks for saving money. The less money a trip costs, the longer it can be and the more adventure you can enjoy! I’m here to tell you all of my unbelievable tips for finding cheap flights that I can promise will save you money. If you are asking yourself how to find cheap flights, then follow these tricks to make your adventure a reality and save hundreds of dollars.
Flight Finding Services for Cheap Flights
Google flights is my true love (sorry Eric). This is where I go to plan EVERYTHING. Out of all of the different websites out there, google flights is the end-all, be-all in my mind. Google Flights offers a simple layout. They ask simple questions: where do you want to fly to, where are you flying from, and what dates do you want to fly,
What I love about Google Flights is that they have price graphs that show you the cost of the same flight on different days which allows you to choose the absolute cheapest ticket available.
If you are looking for how to find cheap flights, then google flights will show you the best times and compare prices amongst multiple airlines for you! You can also search for an entire continent like “Europe” and choose the “Flexible dates in the next 6 months” option to see when the absolute cheapest time to fly is.
I will often use the sites listed below to find initial cheap tickets, and then take that information to google to begin my true price breakdown and search. While other sites have the “Wow” factor of showing me the deals, Google is where I go to find the specific flight that I will actually book.
Read More: 10 Easy Tips for a Long Flight That Will Change the Way You Travel
Hopper is a cool app that will allow you to find cheap plane tickets. It has a search engine function like many of the other sites that I will mention, but it is not my favorite. I want to mention Hopper though because it is a great resource for tracking flights as the prices change over time.
Learning how prices change over time can be a great resource because it helps you become a more savvy travel planner. This app will send notifications of flight price changes directly to your phone! If you are tracking a specific location, this can be highly beneficial while you wait for that perfect price. If you are wondering how to find cheap flights, apps like Hopper will send you notifications and do all of the searching for you!
Sky Scanner is one of those awesome places on the internet that you go to when you are dreaming of the person that you want to be. I find myself on Sky Scanner whenever the wanderlust has become unbearable. The cool feature about Sky Scanner is that, not only can you scan for normal cheap flights, you can also click the magical “Everywhere” button. This magical button will search ALL locations within its system during the dates that you want to travel to find cheap flights to, well, everywhere. This is an awesome tool if you have no idea where you want to go, you just want to find somewhere awesome that is within your budget.
The best thing about Kiwi.com is NOMAD mode. Nomad mode is super unique because it tells you the CHEAPEST way to get to multiple locations in one trip. It will connect all of the locations that you are looking to go to and give you the cheapest option for flights connecting each of the different locations. For those of you who like to nomad it and wander to different cities or countries during one long trip, this is the site for you.
Another cool thing about Kiwi is that it, like Skyscanner, has an “anywhere” mode. Anywhere mode is cool because it allows you to see many different options of places to travel for cheap prices during your time frame. I use this feature while planning trips and often use it to choose my destination.
One con that I have found with Kiwi is that it doesn’t actually have access to flights to every airport that other services have, but it’s an amazing resource for finding cheap flights.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
I’m OBSESSED with Scott’s Cheap Flights because Scott does the work for you! Scott’s Cheap Flights sends you email alerts when there are great prices on flights all over the world, and they do it for FREE.
I often use this as a starting point for my research. They will send an email saying something like “March-June” Flights to India for $500. Then they will give a list of airports you can fly from and fly into with the cheapest price found during that time period. It’s pretty cool and super easy. You will get an email a few times a week from them. They have a premium service that you can pay for that has more deals, more emails, and cool features, but when it comes to saving money for travel, I don’t want to add another subscription service to my budget.
Tips to Save Extra Money
Book on the website of the airline itself
Now that I have taken all of the time to list all of those amazing websites that will allow you to find the cheapest flight, I am going to shock you. Do NOT book from those sites. Use them to find the cheapest flight, and then go to the website of the actual airline in order to book the flight. The reason for this is that those companies take a fraction of the cut for advertising and searching and doing the work for you. This means that they are likely to raise the price by a few dollars here or there to cover their costs. You best option for buying a flight is always from the source. There is no middleman that needs to be paid, so you will get the true base price.
Book at the airport
As mentioned above, book at the airport to save money! By booking at the airport directly, you are able to avoid many of those service fees that they tack on when you purchase online. Those fees help pay for their internet systems, payment transfers, and other shenanigans, but flights are expensive enough without adding fees to them. If you live close to an airport and have the time, go book your flight in person to save at least $40 from some airlines!
One Dollar Flights (Truly Cheap Flights)
This is the moment that many of you are here for. The infamous and completely unbelievable ONE DOLLAR FLIGHTS. A little bit of information first: Many of these flights are not actually “One” dollar, if you find one, you are one lucky bug. However, these flights are INCREDIBLY cheap, think under $40 round trip or even $15 dollars round trip. How is this possible you may ask? Well, budget airlines like Spirit run into trouble when their flights are severely unfilled. This leads them to want to fill those seats in order to lower their margin of loss. That is when these ridiculously cheap flights come into play.
In order to obtain a flight for truly this cheap, you need to be able to avoid the fees that are tacked on. When you buy a plane ticket online, you will see these ridiculous things called “service fees” which, fun fact, are waived if you buy the ticket in person at the airport. That is the secret right there. Go to your local airport, walk up to the Spirit desk, ask about the dollar flights, be willing to go a location you might not have thought of before, and there you go! You will save, on average, $40 round trip JUST from not having a service fee. This tip helps you even if you aren’t hoping for a dollar flight. If you know what flight you want to go on, go to the airport and buy the ticket at the counter to say money.
Just so you know, the chances of getting an actual flight for a dollar are insanely low, but if you manage to do it, shoot me a message! I want to know!
Side note: This doesn’t have to be a “Day of” thing either! You are just more likely to find those drastic price cuts on the day when flights are leaving. If you’re down for packing your bag for a random place and just going, this is an awesome way to save money.
Read More: I flew Spirit for a Penny and Lived to Tell the Tale
Read More: Breakdown of Spirit Airlines “Penny” Fares
When To Find the Cheapest Flights
Book on Tuesdays
This is one of my fairly random tips for finding cheap flights, but you should book your flights on Tuesdays.They say that Tuesday at 3:00pm is when tickets are the cheapest. Why? My guess is because many people are in the middle of their work day focusing on their real lives rather than planning to chase their dreams. Who knows if I am right, but I have found that Tuesdays are great times to buy tickets though. I have found that Fridays and Saturdays are the most expensive times to book tickets. These rules also apply to actual flight days as well. If you are trying to save money, fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday rather than Friday-Monday. Those are the cheaper days for tickets as less people travel during the middle of the week.
Try Not to Fly on a Sunday
This one I have learned the hard way. We all have to get back to work at some point in our lives. Because I am a teacher, I live off of weekend flights and short trips until summer rolls around. What I have found is that I can find a cheap Friday ticket no problem, but a cheap Sunday ticket can be near impossible. This is because many people are doing the same thing that I am trying to do: Get back to work on time Monday morning. If you can avoid buying a plane ticket on a Sunday, it may save you some money.
Clear Your Cookies
This is a BIG one that most people don’t think about. Big brother is always watching. Airline companies READ your cookies, and Google wants to know everything it can about your spending habits. What are cookies? Cookies are essentially mini-versions of your internet history. If your cookies show that you have been doing a lot of research on flights lately, sites can read that and assume that you will be buying a ticket. They will then raise the price because they know that your demand is high. It’s sick really, but it’s life. Go to your google history and click the “Clear Cookies and Cache” option, and this will keep your online extortion from these companies at bay.
Read More: 5 Travel Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier
6 Week Rule
Experts also say that six weeks out from your intended departure date is the best time to buy tickets. Has this proved to work for me? Not really. It is a proven fact so it’s definitely worth looking into. However, I track flights through ALL of the systems listed above, and so I know what is a great deal. As soon as I see that magical deal for cheap flights, no matter how far out it is, I grab it, and you should too.
Be Flexible with Dates if Possible
Now I don’t mean go out and date a random person off of Tinder. I mean, you shouldn’t flex on your standards in that case. What I do mean though is that if you don’t ABSOLUTELY have to fly on the exact dates you are looking for, shop around for a bit. Use the Google Price Graph to see if there are cheaper days to fly your same route. Sometimes I change a Friday flight to a Saturday flight because of this. I may lose a day of my vacation at the place, but saving $100 dollars sounds worth it to me.
Fly During the Off-Season
Flying during the Off-Season for that country is the Number One way to save money on that flight. In the end, airlines are run by supply and demand the same way the general economy is. This means that prices will drop when less people are flying into a country. Do your research when you want to visit a country and see whether or not it is the off-season. This is how I got a $390 round trip, DIRECT flight from Miami, Florida, to Milan, Italy. Not bad if I do say so myself. You can read more about this trip in these blog posts: Venice in 24 Hours and Hiking in Northern Italy. I have also gotten an 87$ one way ticket from Fort Lauderdale to Ecuador, a $370 round trip ticket from Orlando to Reykjavik, and many other cheap tickets this way. Traveling during the off-season is one of my best tips for finding cheap flights and tips for cheap travel in general.
Read More: Ways to Earn Money Traveling
Tips that are Basically Free Money
Airline miles. Airline miles. Airline miles.
I love airline miles. I just got back from my trip to South Korea where I flew round trip from Orlando, Florida, to Seoul, South Korea for $50. That’s right, FIFTY DOLLARS. That includes fees. My husband is the luckiest person in the world, one because he married me but also because his company will fly him to countries to do business. They fly him in Business class and he gets to keep the airline miles for his own rewards program. This means that we get insane miles between my travel and his. Also, becoming a frequent flier to get a greater chance of being upgraded for free which is how I flew first-class from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Save up your airline miles. They may not seem like much, but if you book with the same company a lot, they will make a HUGE difference one day.
Personally, we like United’s points program the best. This is one tip for finding cheap flights that anyone who travels frequently will recommend.
Ask Me How to Find Cheap Flights For You!
No really, ask me. It’s my goal in life to one day become a Personal Travel Planner that customizes itineraries for the individual based on everything they could ever want in a trip while finding the cheapest, most efficient way to do it. If you ever have a travel-related question or need help planning a trip, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get in touch with you! I hope that these tips for finding cheap flights were helpful to you!
Join My Facebook Group!
Did you know that I run a Facebook group where I post AMAZING flight deals? If you don’t know how to find cheap flights then this group will find them for you! It’s simple. All you have to do is join and you will have access to incredible deals. Here’s the link.
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LOL, I always find myself playing chicken with the six-week rule – holding out and daring myself to wait and see if things get cheaper… then completely losing my nerve and probably buying overpriced tickets just for peace of mind. 🙂 Thanks for the comprehensive post, there are loads of great tips here!
Great post 😁
These are all great tips! Thank you! I didn’t know about Sky Scanner. Will definitely check this out. I also love Scott’s Cheap Flights!
Great tips for everyone as we all want to travel more, but can’t always afford to do so!
So glad more people are singing the praises of Google Flights, it is my absolute favorite. Great tip about buying at the airport, though, never would have thought of that!
Wow did I need this in my life! Thank you so much, such valuable information in here. I’m gonna be sharing this with people because they need to know too!! Also pinning so I’ll never loose it 🙂
These are great tips! I have never heard of any of those websites to look for cheap tickets – I am definitely going to check them out next time I am travelling!
Awesome tips, most is which I knew nothing about. I’d say you are well on your way to being a personal travel planner!
I use Skyscanner and Hopper!! I had NO IDEA you could still buy flights in person at the counter– might have to try that!
Wow! These are amazing tips and I had no idea about most of them! I’m sharing this!
Great stuff, Shannon! Looking forward to see more!!
Hey, thanks for all the tips! Will come in handy for future travels.
Love the price graph for google flights. And Kiwi sounds really cool! Great way to really plan a budget-friendly trip!
This is phenomenal! So many great tips o can’t wait to try!!
I will have to try these tricks while we plan our flights for this year! I definitely like traveling in the off season when I can.
This is jam-packed with info! Thanks girl! I’ve been traveling more so this was super needed.
I love these tips…some of the companies I have never heard of. Just got back from Spain and I know how much I paid. Wish I’d read your article first!
This is GREAT! Me and my other half have been planning a trip for August and have started looking around. These tips will definitely help!! THANK YOUUU
This is an amazing resource, thank you! I already knew some of the points you mentioned like booking directly with the airline and clearing your browser history, but booking at the airport is a new one. I’ll definitely be checking out Kiwi.com as well. Thanks so much!
I am always in the looking for affordable flights to SEA from Canada to visit my fam every year, and this is useful. Thank you so much.
Love these tips! I love Google Flights too. Everyone talks about these other sites, but I’ve always had the best luck there!
I have pinned this we use a ton of the same Advice but I’ve have never put it to paper(blog). Thank you for this helping other save money.
These are great tips! I hadn’t known about the nomad mode! I’m a HUGE fan of Amex Platinum for getting a lot of points added up on flights – 5X points with any airline so long as you buy directly from the airline!
Hmm I’d never thought at booking right at the airport, interesting tip! Maybe a bit risky but would be worth it to save a buck! Love the tips on deleting cookies so they don’t track you looking too!
Wow! I had no idea about the Tuedays and about WOW Air. I wanna go to Iceland so badly!
Great tips! I’ve actually never used Scot’s so I am going to give that a try! Also going directly to the airlines website to book. I usually just book through the 3rd party company, but it sounds like I am doing it all wrong! haha. I can’t wait to try these on my next flight.
I’ll take note of your Tuesday tips! It was interesting to your other ways to get cheaper flights.
I use Skyscanner to look for my next flights.
What a great informative article, I learned a few new things about finding cheap flights. Thank you for sharing
You have just gathered a great list of tricks here and tips. Truly, this is a great help because finding a cheap flight is somehow hard enough to hinder you from traveling, hence, this is a big help.
Almost always use sky scanner but will have to try out the other suggestions here!
I am so glad to found your post! I use the old fashion ways to get “cheap” flights, but never find any deals anymore. I am excited to try these new places and tips!
I actually rarely fly since 9/11, but I did go to Alaska this past winter. And it was super expensive. I would have loved to take advantage of some of these tricks. Thank you for the valuable information. I hope to use it another time.
Oh nice, I always love to save. I’ll keep these in mind when we can travel again!
When I start traveling again I will remember these websites. I do like saving money
I will definitely save this for when I can book a flight again! I can’t wait for things to go back to normal.
You’ve got some great tips here! I have always talked about just packing our bags and having my husband and I head to the airport with no idea where we’re going for a week some day… I think it would be a super fun adventure and a great way to check out somewhere new, wouldn’t it?
This is very helpful especially to those who have no idea about booking flights online. 🙂 Thank you for your tips… I will share this to my friends.
I always use Sky scanner for cheap flights. That being said I use one airline in particular the majority of the time because I trust them. I’d rather pay a bit more to use them than get fleeced.
I use a couple of these but not all, will have to try these next time I book a flight. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!
You won’t believe, but I’ve never been on the plane! Maybe your tips will help me to find an affordable flight and I’ll change that in the future ! 🙂
This is perfect! I am always on the search for cheap travel, and I hadn’t heard of a lot of these sites!
wow…! Such an amazing tips ….. before reading it i wasn’t aware of such things…. seriously inspired….. Thanks for sharing it with all of us….
These are all great tips. Right now, travel is so scary with the virus but I cannot wait until we are able to travel again.
I haven’t heard of one dollar flights! Thank you for sharing… I can’t wait to check it out.
I always use these tips while flyting, And secondly I use skyscanner. They are good.
These are some great tips. I actually heard about clearing cookies a while back. I never knew it would make such a difference. But it really did.
Great ideas to use after the virus is over
Great tips for finding cheap flights . We are a family of 4 so flights cost a lot , so these tips are very handy. Thanks for sharing.
I have never heard of dollar flights? or even 40 dollars for a flight. i do a lot of flying so that is dirt cheap! i will have to really check into that!
I use Hopper. Never heard of Kiwi, which is perfect for me because of the multi-city capabilities. Thank you sooo much for this article!!!
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