There comes a time in life when it happens: The travel bug has hit, and there is a stomach-rumbling urge to cure it. Your body cells are vibrating away as you search the routes to your next destination. You need to get there. You just need that flight confirmed. You’re ready to hop on the plane; but then you see the price.
Don’t worry, there are enough cheap flights; you just have to know the methods to find them! Here are 22 secrets to finding cheap flights.
1. Opt for private browsing
If you repeatedly search for a particular route, then flight prices increase. This is a tactic to make you book quickly, before the price leaps. If you browse privately, then you won’t lose your sanity if flight prices change.
The way to get past this is searching in a mode of private browsing, or incognito, to be able to view the lowest flight prices. In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by pressing Command (or “Control” if using PC) and Shift at the same time, then hitting the “N” key. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control”) and Shift, then “P.” This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search.
If you have an older OSX version, open Safari and click on private browsing. Your cookies will then reset every time you open a window in incognito mode. This will be a clean slate for each search.
2. Check for changes in price after booking
Once you book a flight, remember to check the price the next morning. If the airfare lowered the price, cancel and rebook without a penalty.
3. Check for price cuts
Airlines usually cut prices when they cannot fill a plane for a weekend trip. Sign up for price alerts to be aware of price cuts.
4. Fly on Wednesday
According to FareCompare.com, flying on Wednesday is cheaper for domestic travel. The best time for a booking is the Tuesday 6 weeks before your flight.
5. Keep an eye on social media
Airlines experiment with social media, but you have to act very fast, as deals can disappear in a few hours. If you find one, grab it.
6. Frequent Flyer memberships
Frequent Flyer memberships allow you to build a relationship with an airline. You will be cozy in your personal choice of an airline with incentives and rewards.
If you are a member of a frequent-flyer program, or you have linked your credit card to a specific airline, you get automatic preference. The airline will tailor the price for you. Credit cards that are linked to airlines offer perks like free checked bags, and priority seating and boarding. This makes it worthwhile to dedicate yourself to one airline.
7. Keep an eye on airfare-watching sites
AirfareWatchdog.com is a site that can get you excellent deals on lower prices. Real people scout for the deals, not computers, so some good offers will turn up.
8. Know the flight search engines
Get familiar with sites that offer the best prices, such as Skyscanner, AirFare Watchdog, Momondo, JetRadar, Google Flights, and TripAdvisor. These are some search engines that do not include budget airlines, so do additional searches for budget airlines in certain regions. Use a combination of various search engines to ensure that you do not miss results.
9. Use a travel agent
Travel agents have special rates that are inaccessible to public domains; yet, this does not always ensure that you are getting the best price. Do your own research, find the cheapest flight you can, and present this to the travel agent to see if they can beat or match that offer. This could possibly lead to huge savings,
10. Look for airline error fares
Mistakes with postings can lead to huge discounts. These happen because of technical glitches, mishaps with currency conversions, or human error. Get in the know-how of searching for errors, and you could save yourself buckets. Secret Flying and AirFare Watchdog are great resources for sourcing mistakes in prices. Search Skyscanner for a full month and spot reduced fares.
11. Book with different airlines
Mixing and matching are worth a try. Airlines have one-way tickets at reasonable prices, so one airline may be cheaper for an outbound and another airline for the return. Check it out.
12. Choose the morning flights
The early bird hours are cheaper than lunch or dinner time flights.
13. Book 6 weeks in advance
According to a study by the Airlines reporting corporation, the best time to purchase a flight is six weeks in advance.
14. Search a variety of sites
Do not rely on just one site. Open up to options. For airlines, it is about getting you to pay the highest, which is not what consumers want, according to Joe Brancatelli, publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a travel website. On a single flight, he adds, there can be more than a dozen pricing categories; “On a 150-seat plane, there could be 50 different prices,” he says.
15. Be flexible with your trip length
Business Insider recommends adding extra days to the trip and be flexible. Adjusting around peak travel times lowers the fare.
16. Check the price on the actual airline site
When you get the listing of the flights, double check with the actual site of the airline. You might find better rates reserved on the website.
17. You will save yourself the most if you fly when nobody else does
Even though you aspire to dream away summer in Paris, everyone else does too. And the airlines? They capitalize on this. So holidays, festivals, major events, or school breaks need to be noted, as airlines will raise prices accordingly.
18. Do not always take direct flights
It is better to be flexible with destinations and dates on the route you plan to take. It may be cheaper to take a connecting flight. There are many budget carriers that will make your savings worth it.
19. Student discounts
If you happen to be a student under 26 years old, there are discounts available. Agencies like Flight Center help you find a cheap ticket.
20. Subscribe to a mailing list
No one likes their inboxes to clutter, but by joining airline mailing lists, you get regular updates and last minute specials and deals.
21. Do not search for group tickets
Airlines show higher ticket prices for group tickets. Search for tickets per single person instead of as a group.
22. Keep an eye on currencies
If a currency you have access to is stronger in comparison to others, search in countries where the currency is weaker compared to others around the world. This method may help you find a cheaper ticket.
If you think traveling is expensive, think again. There are insider tricks, and deals that can save you money. It is possible to afford trips with more time traveling, and less planning!