The Best Way to Book Cheap Flights
Once you have a destination in mind, it might be time to find a flight. If you’re like most people, you’re probably looking to find the best deal. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
Below are the best options for finding the cheapest flight.
Skyscanner is my go-to tool for finding cheap flights anywhere in the world. Skyscanner does a good job at scanning different booking engines, which enables you to search multiple sites in a matter of minutes. If you value things like flight duration, flight times and so forth, there are features that bring these options into the results. If you find a flight you like, you’ll simply be redirected to the site that’s offering the fare. No charge. Not ready to book? No problem. You can also choose to get price alerts, which means Skyscanner will email you when a better deal comes up.
If the flight is offered through one airline (not multiple airlines), consider checking the price on the airline’s website first.
Kayak is another popular search engine and one that I’ve begun to take much more seriously. Keep in mind that it’s worth checking both Skyscanner and Kayak as prices can vary from time to time. Kayak also searches a variety of booking engines to find you the best deals. If you’re not in a rush, set yourself up with their daily email alerts so you can see when the price drops.
TripStreak is a new flight booking engine that also helps you find hotels and car rentals. However, what truly makes TripStreak unique is that it shows you exactly how many frequent flyer miles, status miles, and segments you’ll earn per flight! They’ll even show you how many hotel points you’ll earn per hotel stay. In addition, TripStreak ranks and saves your flight priorities (lowest cost, fewest connections, favorite airlines, etc), and is completely ad-free.
Momondo is another popular site for finding cheap international flights. While I personally haven’t used it yet, many travelers do and enjoy the service. Some popular features include a price calendar and airport suggestions, which inform you on cheaper airports to connect through. Momondo does essentially the same thing as Skyscanner and Kayak and is certainly worth adding to your flight research. However, Momondo is known to include more airlines than other search engines so make sure you check this one before booking anything.
This is a website that monitors for cheap deals on flight tickets and unadvertised fares. They will alert you when they find a great deal. You can sign up for their newsletter to stay up-to-date.
While I haven’t used Google Flights for booking a flight, I have used it as a secondary source for making sure I found the best deal. The main benefit to Google Flights is that it’s very fast.
Hipmunk is new to the flight search game but has some really cool features worth checking out. For example, it’s particularly good for finding flights based on departure times, arrival times and layover options. Their “agony” feature sorts flights by the least painful in terms of flight duration and price.
Travel hackers are people who use the frequent flyer mile industry to their advantage. I have been a travel hacker for about four years now and have used it to travel around the world in business class for $750 and to fly to South America for $27. Travel hacking can truly help you turn your dream trip into a reality. If you’d like a free quick start guide, sign up by clicking here. I also offer a number of services for turning you into a travel hacker.
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For Canadians, I also offer Canadian Free Flyers, which is a Canadian travel hacking course just like Zero to Dream Trip except that I also send you frequent flyer mile deals throughout the year.
Small discount airlines are almost never included in the flight search engines above so it’s a good idea to visit those sites separately. For example, Air Asia is not always included in these engines but will likely be your cheapest option for flights within Asia. Ryanair is another popular discount airline in Europe.
For a list of discount airlines, check out these wiki sites below.
List of all discount airlines: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_low-cost_airlines)
Asia’s discount airlines: (http://wikitravel.org/en/Discount_airlines_in_Asia)
Europe’s discount airlines: (http://wikitravel.org/en/Discount_airlines_in_Europe)
When I know the exact dates and destination, I follow this strategy:
1. Kayak is always my go-to source for finding the cheapest flights.
2. Compare on Hipmunk to see the flights organized by flight agony.
3. Be aware of airlines that are excluded on both platforms. In the US for instance, Southwest is not searchable by meta search sites so you have to go directly to the airline’s website.
4. Skyscanner is another great option.
When I have open-ended plans (ex: I know I will be departing from one city but am open to arrival cities and dates), I follow this strategy:
1. Check Google Flight’s or Skyscanner’s calendar feature.
2. Search by countries and continents.
3. Discover which dates and/or cities are cheaper than others.
Best Ways to Book a Cheap Flight
As you can see, there are many ways to book cheap flights these days. Thanks to the Internet, you can almost guarantee you’re getting the best price, as long as you know where to look. Now you do!
If you have other tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or to email me at matt (at) livelimitless (dot) com and I’ll include them above