Top Tips to Find Cheap Flights

It is well-known that flying can be one of the most expensive parts of traveling. This can make it frustrating for budget travelers. I have accumulated a few tips over the years to help you save money on long trips.

Register for the Rewards Travel Credit Card

Since signing up for my first credit card with travel rewards, I have been able to travel more and be able to afford flights that were completely out of my budget. You can earn miles by using your credit card for everyday purchases and expenses.

Combining your sign-up bonus and a few months worth of expenses will allow you to cash in your points to purchase tickets to your dream destination domestically or internationally.

A travel reward credit card is a great option if you are looking for one. I suggest applying before making a major purchase or trip. One of the greatest benefits is earning points that can be used to book flights or hotels. Many cards also offer extra points for travel purchases. You can also get travel protection if you use your card to pay for a vacation.

My personal favorite is either the Chase Sapphire Reserve for frequent travelers or the Chase Sapphire Preferred for those just starting out. Here are my top travel reward credit cards.

Fake Location

There are some airlines that sell tickets at a lower price depending on where they are sold. This is particularly true if you are trying to book domestic flights, such as a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It will be more expensive if it is purchased in the USA than it would be if it were bought in Thailand.

This can be avoided by using an easy internet hack: Change your country location via the airline website.

Sometimes you will need to navigate the site using the local language. Other times, however, that is what google translator does! More information on how to change your location and the science behind flight pricing can be found here.

How to find Airfare Deals

To keep track of discounts and deals, sign up for different airfare alerts — I use Google Flights to compare flights and get alerts (more details below). The Hopper app is a great way to keep track of flight prices for dates and specific trips. You should always grab the best deals as they are often very popular.

Scott’s Cheap Flights newsletter is a great way to get amazing flight deals. You can choose your own airport and they will do the research. These specials usually last for 1-2 days, so it’s worth having some flexibility.

Social Media

Social media is being used by more airlines to promote their web-only fares, promos and two-for-1 deals. To receive the latest offers, subscribe to their email list and follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Consider Extra Fees

Be sure to consider all costs and fees before you make a purchase. Many airlines offer low fares but charge additional for extra seats, meals, luggage and extra legroom.

If Airline A sells a $150 ticket and Airline B sells it for $200, and you end up purchasing seats and paying for your checked luggage on Airline A’s trip, you will end spending more than the other flight.

When purchasing tickets, be thorough!

Know when to buy

Although some people believe that Tuesday afternoon is the best day to purchase tickets, there is no fixed time when tickets are cheaper. It all depends on the demand.

You can also see which dates are the cheapest for any particular route. You can see a monthly view of prices to help you find cheaper days on a route depending on season and demand.

However, I will state that airlines will raise the price if there are fewer seats available. But, there are special cases when you can get a great deal last-minute, one to two weeks before a flight. This is because airlines want to sell the last few tickets.

Use Search Engines

Search engines can be used to compare prices for different airlines. However, they can add hidden fees to their advertising revenue.

Skyscanner, Google Flights and iFly are my favorite flight comparison websites. You can search for the cheapest flights to your destination from both of these sites.

How to use Google Flights to Find Cheap Flights

Google Flights, out of all the flight search engines available, is my favorite for finding the lowest flights. You can search for multiple airports or choose a departure destination to find the cheapest places to visit within a certain time period.

These are some tips to use Google Flights.

Search Multiple Dates. After you have entered your departure and destination cities, click the calendar icon to see the prices for each day. You can also use the tool to find the cheapest round-trip tickets for your trip if you are flexible about your travel dates.

Google Flights allows you to search multiple destinations simultaneously. You can search up to seven departure and seven destination locations at once. This is a great tool for people who live in cities like New York that have multiple airports. It also allows you to search prices for all airports within a country or region.

Flight Insights can help you save even more on airfare. You will find tips in four boxes to help you improve your search. These include changing your dates, analysing price trends, finding a lower airport, or booking accommodation with your flight.

Google Flight’s Discover Destinations tool: To plan a trip but aren’t sure where to go, you can use Google Flight’s Discover Destinations feature. Search by date, place or interest to get travel inspiration instantly!

You can try different combinations

You can pay a lot for your flight tickets if you take the fastest route to your destination. If you are looking to save money, consider other routes that include one or two stops.

Sometimes, booking one-way flights on different days can be cheaper than booking a round-trip flight. It is always cheaper to book two legs to my destination than one. You might also be able to use the stopover time to visit a new place.

Do you not know when your return date is? Nonstop one-way flights are generally more expensive than roundtrip flights. Consider purchasing a roundtrip flight if you are not sure when your return date is. Then, pay the $200-300 change fee to change your date.

A helpful tip: Even if you aren’t roundtrip, if you plan to fly on two separate days, make sure to purchase them on the same ticket.

Hamad International Airport

You can also check out alternate airports

Low-cost airlines often offer lower fares to less popular airports. If you are not able to afford flights to your destination airport, consider looking at smaller, nearby airports. Consider flying to Orange County, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, and Washington DC instead of LAX.