Here are the best ways to find cheap flights, courtesy of some great comments that have been sent to us (click the link next to each point to read the full comment):
- Use search engines other than Google including Bing, Yandex and Duckduckgo (link)
- Check out Scott’s Cheap Flights (link) (EDITORS NOTE: This is a very popular service that monitors price drops) and sites like Dollar Flight Club and Cheap Fly Club (link) where users post great deals when they see them
- Fly when others aren’t (link)
- Skyscanner is one of the best flight aggregator sites (link)
- Use a VPN, since prices can be different depending on the country a website thinks you’re from (link)
- Browse in incognito mode (link) (EDITORS NOTE: There is some disagreement about this online, so results aren’t guaranteed)
- Sign up to airline email lists (link)
- January and Tuesdays may be the best times for cheap flights (link) (EDITORS NOTE: A few comments other than this one, which we haven’t published to avoid repetition, mention Tuesday as the best day for flights)
- You can save a ton by being flexible about where you go for a holiday (link)
- Create your own layovers (link)
- Book in reverse (buy a one-way ticket home first) (link)
- Book non-connecting flights (link) (EDITORS NOTE: This can save you money, but you have to consider if the extra time and hassle is worth it)
- Be as flexible as possible with your dates (link)
Have a tip for finding cheap flights beyond what’s already on this page? Make a submission here.
I travel the world constantly and despite being the CEO of a pretty small company, I still want to save as much money as possible. One of the best methods I use to find the cheapest flights possible is that I use different search engines.
Google may be the top search engine out there but it’s not the best at everything. Sometimes you’ll find much cheaper flights while using Bing, Yandex, and even Duckduckgo. If I find the prices are a little too high on Google, I use the search engines previously mentioned.
If no luck comes out, I use airline search engines to narrow down my search. Search engines like Momondo and Skyscanner are good choices if you really want to find the cheapest flight possible.
In the end, my advice boils down to what you use instead of where to search. The tools you are using to search are just as important as where you looking for as well.
--Keith Myers, The Hempire
The first tip that I give people reaching out to me for travel advice is to subscribe to Scott's Cheap Flights. There is a free version of the website but the paid version is gold. (And it's only $49/year.) All you need to do is put in the airport hubs that you fly out of, plus any destinations you're looking to travel to, and the website will start notifying you via email anytime a good price comes up for your criteria. It has saved me thousands of dollars in airfare over the years.
--Dani O'Brien, Culley Avenue
Flying when others aren't. The business flyers tend to make the prices of the best times of the day more expensive. If you are more flexible and happy to fly on the weekend or later in the day (or late at night) you can always get a cheaper flight. For me personally, Sunday night has been the cheapest option followed by Tuesday night.
--Kassandra Marsh, Lakazdi
My favourite way to find great flight deals is to use flight comparison sites like Google Flights and Skyscanner. I'm usually pretty flexible with travel destinations and dates so my favourite feature of these sites is the ability to just input my departure city and compare flight options for different cities and dates. Even better, Skyscanner even let's you select the cheapest month and it will show you flights during the cheapest month for each city.
--Juleen, Juleen Meets World
One of the best recommendations that I have for finding a cheap flight is to utilize a VPN such as Tunnel Bear and place your computer IP address in the country you are looking for. For example, in Peru when searching for a domestic flight say from Lima to Cusco to see Machu Picchu in Peru, the local airline companies charge a higher price to travelers outside the country rather than it's national citizens. It does this by looking at the IP address the computer is located and shows a lower price for computers that are located inside Peru. This will get you a cheaper price than if you are looking from inside the United States or European Union.
--Kevin Groh, Cachi Life
My secret travel tip takes less than a minute to do and has saved me over one thousand dollars from flying!
The best way to find a cheap flight is to only browse flight prices in an incognito window before you’re ready to purchase a ticket. Airlines track whether or not you’ve been checking them out, so if you’ve looked at flight prices a few times, they’ll raise the prices. Meanwhile, if you only use an incognito window, which doesn’t disclose your identity, the prices will remain at their lowest price. Also, make sure the day you’re purchasing that ticket is a Tuesday! That is historically the cheapest day to purchase an airline ticket.
--Cali Saturn, Pura Vida House
This probably isn't the most ethical of tips, but everyone makes mistakes, and you can benefit when airlines do.
From time to time for whatever reason, an airline will post a fare that is absolutely too good to be true. They usually catch it shortly after it goes live, but there are those few precious moments when you can grab the deal. To do so, you'll need to subscribe to certain flight deal notification websites like Dollar Flight Club or Cheap Fly Club. These are sites where users peruse various airline websites and post great deals when they see them. Case in point: about a year and a half ago, I was searching for a flight from Atlanta (where I live) to Tampa, where my family lives. It's usually pretty difficult to find a deal on that route because it's typically rather busy. However, by using one of those types of websites, I found and scored a deal where I got two round trip tickets for $99 each. Normally, those flights are in the low 200's, and that's if you get a deal. Again, I understand the ethical side of this argument, but it is a valid strategy and it does work.
--David Bakke, National Air Warehouse
My number one tip to find a cheap flight is to sign up for your favorite airline's email lists. Almost all airlines will send emails when they're having an overall or specific ticket sale, and buying during their sales is one way to get a large discount. Personally, I'm on the Southwest & Sun Country email lists, and every few months or weeks they will email out sale emails so you can pick up tickets at a discount.
--Stacy Caprio, Deals Scoop
Book in January
For some reason, January has some of the lowest fares of the year. I travel all over the world to attend marketing conventions and meet with clients, and I always wait until January to book my flights.
Book on a Tuesday
It’s not a myth, certain days of the week are cheaper to fly than others. Tuesdays always seem to be best for me. Fly out on a Tuesday and fly back on one. You’ll save hundreds.
One awesome deal I got was a direct flight from Calgary, AB to Dallas, TX one year for a convention. I monitored the flights all year, and they were always around $1500CAD. But Westjet’s “birthday” popped up ( I think it was April) and I got the same flight booked for $350CAD.
--Nicole Garcia, Most Craft
The #1 tip we can offer world travelers who want to get away and do it cheaply is this: stop caring about where you end up. The airline industry has made it very easy to use search tools to explore multiple destinations around the world, all sorted by price and availability. There is ALWAYS going to be a great deal for tickets from somewhere and going to somewhere else, so by being flexible in our chosen destinations we can travel just about anywhere at any time and save a lot of money doing so.
--R.J. Michaelson, West & Willow
We all know that you can usually save money by booking flights with layovers, however, I've found that you can save a lot more by creating your own layovers.
Here's how it works.
If I want to fly from Mexico City to Atlanta, I see where the cheapest flights from Mexico City to the US are. I pick a city that makes sense as a layover, in this case, it would be Miami. So I book a flight to Miami and then a book a separate flight from Miami to Atlanta.
This strategy has meant saving over 65% sometimes!
--Sergio Ocampo, moveBuddha
My all time #1 tip for finding cheap flights is to book in reverse!
My best tip for finding cheap flights is to book in reverse and buy one-way air fare home first.
I’ve found $39-$49 one-way airfare on JetBlue and Southwest Airlines this way. Then I keep an eye out for one way flight sales to the destination. This way, I'm not tied to one airline and can wait for a good deal on the flight out.
By booking flights in reverse, I’ve spent less than $100 round trip on premium airlines to Boston, New Orleans, and even Philadelphia!
--Erin Hendrickson, No Waste Nutrition
Book non-connecting flights. If you aref booking a flight to a destination that includes a number of stopovers, instead of booking a single ticket with one carrier from your starting point to your destination, it can be cheaper to buy the tickets individually for each segment. This does carry an element of risk, because if you miss a flight due to a delay then you aren't covered. It's also a bit of a hassle as you have to go through the check-in process at each airport. However, if you have time it can definitely save you money.
--Laurence Norah, Finding the Universe
The number 1 tip to finding cheap flights is to keep your traveling timeframe open and to be as flexible as possible with your dates. Typically it is cheapest to fly out on Tuesdays and to return back on Tuesdays, so travelling within the work week will save you money on flights. To find great deals, stay updated on local forums and use websites like Reddit and be on the lookout when deals come up. Airlines are always running with seasonal deals and promos, so checking subreddits like r/flights and using Skyscanner will help you find the best prices.
--Nick Le, Gridfiti
I’m a frequent traveller who like to travel with my travel gang. However, we always book the ticket separately (one ticket per purchase). The reason behind this is actually to save some costs from the system algorithm!
Here is the example: if 4 persons purchase tickets in the same time, it will be:
Believe it or not, some of the airplane website will choose the highest rate among all those 4 seats and the system algorithm will set to the highest fare ($300 each).
This tips is really useful for a group traveller and It has saved us bunch of money!
--Alexandra Stonem, Lifehack Solution