In the last couple of years we’ve been enjoying some fairly low priced airfare, but taking a few minutes and putting in a little extra effort could potentially save you even more on your next flight. With these few hacks, you can look forward to savings of up to hundreds of dollars!
5 Secrets to Finding the Best Flight Deals
Using Hopper, the popular fare predictor app, should be your first step before searching for flights. Hopper’s prices are MUCH higher than almost every other app or website so I would never recommend actually buying your tickets here, but their calendar showing which days are the cheapest (and most expensive) to fly can be very helpful in planning your trip.
The Flight Deal
The Flight Deal does not have an app, but if you’re willing to navigate their website you’ll find it’s definitely worth it. Flight Deal finds amazing ‘mistake’ airfare deals that often slip by unnoticed by airlines for a day or two, so you can find some great steals if you’re willing to pull the trigger on buying tickets immediately.
This is a great option if you don’t have a particular place you’re looking to go, given most of the departing airports and destinations – domestic and international – are pretty random. There are a few cons: there are almost always blackout dates, you generally have to buy more than two weeks in advance, and these deals only last 1-3 days; however, roundtrip flights for as low as $70 (taxes and fees included!) are hard to pass up!
KAYAK Flight Predictor
Although you should aim to book tickets 54 days before a flight when prices are at their lowest, listen to KAYAK’s ‘farecasting’ advice if it tells you to wait. Frequent flyers have experimented in the past and found that they were more likely to save money using the ‘wait’ or ‘buy’ feature, so double check the fare predictor before booking.
KAYAK also has an Explore feature that lets you limit your airfare budget and gives you destination options that are within your price range. It’s a fun visual tool that makes planning budget travel easy!
Another great option for those spontaneous travelers, Skiplagged only requires a departing airport and travel dates to give you an inexpensive getaway. This is the only travel app/website I’ve found that lets you choose “Anywhere” as your destination, so take advantage of three-day weekend and jet off somewhere unexpected!
The catch? Skiplagged uses “throwaway” tickets, where your destination is a layover en route to a cheaper airport, and you get off on this layover rather than continuing your flight. Because the final destination on your plane ticket is NOT where you will be staying, you cannot check bags.
The practice of using throwaway tickets is frowned upon by airlines, so only bring carry-on luggage and don’t let on that you ultimately will not be continuing the flight. If saving money is your ultimate goal, then take advantage of this loophole and bend the rules!
Most airline search and comparison sites (except Skyscanner — which does include discount airlines in their searches!) don’t include discount airlines, so don’t forget to take these flights into consideration in your search.
Southwest offers awesome prices on popular domestic flights, but don’t forget about Allegiant; they travel to and from many smaller airports (nonstop) for a fraction of the cost of standard economy-class flights. Keep in mind that many of the discount airlines have hidden fees, so read the fine print before booking!
If you’re traveling internationally, check to see which airlines use that country as their hub or which discount airlines fly there. Iceland’s WOW Air offers up some serious deals on international flights all over Europe, some with stopovers in Iceland – giving you to the opportunity to explore another country on your trip.