Flight tickets are usually the biggest expense of the trip. Over the years we’ve learnt a few tricks that helped us save hundreds of dollars. Learn how to find cheap flights and book your next trip!
All these tips came from our experience and are proven to work really good.
Did you know? Using incognito window to get cheaper prices is a myth. Apart from reading this from CEO of CheapAir.com, we tried comparing prices on the incognito window and a regular window and it always showed the same price.
Before you even start to look for tickets for a certain destination, set the price you would pay for your trip. Sometimes you want to go somewhere so much that you start doing compromises about higher prices and in the end, you won’t fit in your budget. Start by searching your “from” and “to” destination on Skyscanner and in “depart date” choose a whole month or cheapest month. That will give you a good idea about the price of your flight.
Our best tips on how to find cheap flights:
Be flexible with dates and destination
The basic rule of finding cheap flights. The most expensive flights are during holidays if you can avoid them. If you plan to fly during the holidays, you might want to book a flight as soon as possible. A study by CheapAir found that the best time for booking:
- Domestic flights is 7 weeks in advance
- International flights is 12 weeks in advance
Booking flights on a certain day of the week or hour of the day is a myth, it’s completely up to you.
If you have a list of countries you want to visit, sign up for price alerts on any website mentioned below. Or try alternate destination – is it too expensive to visit a Caribbean Island? Then visit the Caribbean mainland, there is so much to choose from Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Good websites for finding best deals and occasional error fares are:
You might end up changing your destination after all.
Check the price on more than one flight search engine
There is a lot of sites that can find you the cheapest flight. Every time we are looking for a cheap flight, we check all of these:
We usually book through Skyscanner because it finds us the best price. For most of the tickets we bought through Skyscanner, the actual seller was Kiwi.com, especially for international flights.
Browse for cheapest destination to fly
Lately, we find ourselves checking flights on Kiwi. Probably because right when the website opens, it gives you options for the cheapest flights from your location. Just zoom out the map and you’ll see flights from your nearest airport to the whole world!
It gets better! When you buy a ticket, they will send you ALL the information you need – visa requirements and information about a proof of onward travel (most of the countries in South America require this).
Know the price
Always find out prices for the next day, next week or in 6 months. This will give you an idea what is the average price for your flight. Don’t expect to get price cheaper than 70% of the average (if you do, you are very lucky). For example, a flight in Peru from Lima to Cusco costs 80-100$. But on busy days it can be around 300$. In this case, you won’t find a flight for 50$.
Calculate the hidden cost
The Hidden cost is something not many people are aware of. Let me explain: if you need to take a half day off from work to get to the airport and loose 100 dollars from your salary, is really saving 25 dollars on flight ticket worth it?
Same goes for long flights: if you find a cheap ticket but duration of the flight is crazy long, ask yourself if you really want to travel 12 hours more and save 50$. Is it a good idea to spend so many hours on a plane when you could rather spend more time in your destination?
How to search direct flights
Very useful if you’re short on time and want to fly direct. How to do it: type in google.com “flights from ***” and it will show you direct flights from your airport. You easily skipped the step of finding out where you can fly directly, google did it for you.
Use alternate airport/city
When we were looking for a cheap flight from Venezuela to Colombia, we didn’t like the prices all search engines found for us. Because they found the easiest and most used option. Instead of flying with 1 stop, we used the previous tip and through direct flights from one city to the next, we found a great alternative. We ended up with 2 stops and saved almost 50% on the tickets.
Bonus tip for a cheap transportation in general: Try a different form of transport
Don’t get stuck with only one choice. Try another option such as bus or train even if it sounds ridiculous at first. Once, we had to get from one part of Chile to another and they are 1600km apart! We had 3 options:
- flight the next day for 400$
- flight in three days for 150$
- bus that day for 150$ – although it would take 36 hours, the bus had a full bed, a private screen with movies, air conditioning, toilets and served snacks
We chose the bus and had 2 extra days to do better things in Patagonia than waiting for a cheap flight.
If you like to do more research, check out this comparison of the best websites for cheap flights.
I hope you found these tips helpful and they will save you some money. In fact, why don’t you try our tips for your next destination? Start browsing and let us know where are you headed next!
Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.
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