As a couple who has lived abroad for the last 2 years and has traveled internationally for 7, we’ve learned several cost saving tips and tricks to snag great and budget friendly flight deals. We are by no means rich, and although travel is important to us, so is budgeting, quality of life, and liquidating debt. If you’re budget travelers, budget-minded, or haven’t yet built up enough treasured flight miles to score a deeply discounted or free flight…read on my friend.
Our first step in finding cheap flight is our go-to flight search engines Google Flights, Skyscanner and Matrix ITA.
Google Flights is our favorite for many reasons. You can search for one way, round trip, and multi-city trips which is great for finding the right combination for an affordable ticket(s). Their ”Explore Destinations’ feature lets you look at destinations all over the world and how much it would cost from your destination. You can also track flights which alerts you of price increases and decreases for your desired travel route.
The Matrix-ITA software is a search engine, now owned by Google, to find the lowest price tickets around. The main difference between the matrix and google flights is that you cannot book directly from the matrix. Although it has more filtering options than google flights.
Have you heard of Skyscanner? They’re pretty great as well. Skyscanner operates similarly to other flight search engines. If you’re not sure where you want to go, you can enter the destination ‘Everywhere’ and they will pull recommendations from your departure city. Scroll through the list of destinations starting from the lowest prices on up.
OTA (Online Travel Agency) sites like momondo, agoda, expedia, orbitz, kayak… are popular to find cheap flight deals as well. You’ve probably had experience using them as they show price comparisons. They work with third party agents to resell travel related services.
Flexible Travel Dates: It helps immensely to have flexible travel dates! You can use this feature on Google flights to explore cheaper fares during different time frames.
Alternate Departure/Arrival Cities: Another point is to find alternate departure and arrival cities. Some low cost carriers may fly into the smaller airports at a much better rate.
Flexible Destination: What’s even better is if you’re flexible on your destination. If you’re just open to traveling, this is a great opportunity to explore a place that may not have been on your radar. Google flights has an ‘Explore Destinations’ feature that will open you up to loads different destinations aligned with your time frames and departure city/cities.
Low Cost/Local Carriers: If traveling light, it’s worth it to check out the best domestic airlines in your region. Before moving abroad, we were #TeamCarryon and relished any opportunity to not risk lost luggage or pay checked baggage fees. Prepare to pack your own snacks.
Low Cost/Local Carriers
*Although some people might never consider Spirit Airlines, you can make a cheap ticket even cheaper by buying your ticket at the airport.*
Stops & Layovers: Don’t be afraid of stops and layovers. In this case it’s either time or money. We usually opt for the longer flight if time isn’t an issue and if it saves us considerable money.
Fare Deals & Errors: Be on alert for promos and error fares. SecretFlying is a site that promotes the latest deals and error fares, hotel mis-prices, and other trending travel fares.
24 Hour Cancellation: Don’t forget about the 24 hour rule. This rule allows a cancellation of your flight/hotel purchase up to 24hrs. So if you see a deal, jump on it. But if you catch a better deal within 24hrs, cancel your first one, and get your money back.
Informative Flight/Travel Blogs: are often a great information resource for travelers. There are a few big names that have been in the game for quite a while and are known for the value of their travel expertise.
Try out these tips & tricks to book a lower fare for your next travels.