How To Find the Best Flight Deals
What’s the biggest thing that keeps you traveling?
For a long time, money has gotten in the way for me. It’s not like I’ve gotten any richer these days; I’ve just gotten a lot smarter.
For instance, did you know that you can buy dirt cheap tickets by using rewards points? One of my friends actually bought round trip tickets to Costa Rica for a week for only $80. No kidding.
Using some of the tips below, I was able to find tickets to Lisbon, Portugal for $400 (normally $1350); I've found tickets to Havana, Cuba for $300 (normally $400) and $400 tickets to Dublin, Ireland (normally $800+) all round trip from Kansas City, MO. And, if you're from any city not named New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, you know how crazy expensive it is to find even domestic prices that low.
CHECK FARE AGGREGATORS RELIGIOUSLY
Fare aggregators are websites that compile and compare millions of flights across different carriers to try and find you the best flight deals. My personal favorites are KAYAK, Google Flights and Skyscanner. If you’re not particular about where you want to go, these sites all have an “Explore” or “Anywhere” option where you can enter in the city you’re leaving from and then look around to see where you can find the cheapest flight options. This is actually how I found tickets to Cuba, a country I’d never thought of visiting!
If you want to go to a specific place on a specific date, you have to pay for that convenience. It’s sorta like buying toothpaste from your local Walgreens instead of making the longer drive to Target. You’ll end up paying more at Walgreen's than you would at Target. That’s just economics.
Same with flights—if you want convenience, you’ll pay a convenience fee. That’s why you should try to be as flexible as possible. The flight aggregators I’ve mentioned above actually have a feature that tells you how much you’d save if you leave a couple days before or after your desired dates. Sometimes, this simple act will end up saving you hundreds of dollars.
I’ve definitely been guilty of checking flights all the time. Have you ever noticed how flight prices always just seem to go up? Well, you’re not crazy. It’s actually a thing! Websites want to scare you into purchasing tickets before they become too expensive. They do this by tracking how many times you look at ticket prices and then making prices go up to encourage to buy before it’s too late.
Instead of searching for flights on your regular web browser, open up a private or incognito page to search. This ensures that the cookies from the sites you visited reset each time so that site doesn’t know that you’ve been looking up tickets.
FLY ON HOLIDAYS
Holiday flight prices keeping you away from your family and friends? It doesn’t have to! Most people usually have a day before and after the holiday off and try to use those days to fly and that’s exactly the reason why those tickets are so expensive.
It may not always be ideal to travel on a holiday, but again, convenience will cost you. You can save hundreds of dollars if you travel on a holiday, in fact, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day tend to have some of the lowest flight prices of the year!
SIGN UP FOR ALERTS
I have several airlines, hotels and apps that send me alerts and/or emails whenever they find good fight deals. Finding a great deal takes some work, so why not let the internet work for you?
I have accounts with Delta and Southwest, my preferred airlines, and they always email whenever they have sales on flights (that’s how I found the $400 tickets to Lisbon!) A lot of times when airlines have sales, it’s usually for a day or two and if you don’t go on their website or receive their emails, you’ll miss out on some great deals.
I also receive alerts from AirfareWatchdog.com and Hopper. I love both of these services because, I put in my departure city and they send me alerts whenever good deals arise. I particularly love Hopper because it gives projections on whether it’s a good time to buy a flight ticket and when ticket prices drop.
You don’t need to have a lot of money to travel and if you take advantage of all the tools the internet provides, you can also find great flight deals. Do you have your own methods to find amazing flight deals? Let me know in the comments!