Have you spent hours and hours on search engines and websites trying to find the cheapest possible offer for your next flight?
There are so many places to search, and with prices changing in minutes and many options to search, finding cheap flights has become a stressful experience!
If you have been to this blog before knows how much I love to travel. And what I like more than traveling is to avoid throwing money, especially if there is a way to do something cheap.
This is how, during many years of investigation, trial and error, I have put together a list of all my tips and tricks to find the cheapest flights, no matter where in the world you are.
How To Find The Cheapest Flights in 2020
#1. Use the best search tools
All search engines earn money with a commission added to the cost of admission; therefore, you must be attentive to the less greedy. Also, not all airlines are shown on all search engines and comparison sites, which means that it is always better to check some.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single search engine that surpasses them all, wouldn’t travel lovers be too easy for us?
But my favorites are these 5:
- Skyscanner: one of the main search engines in the market and definitely what I check first.
- Momondo: get the cheapest option 99% of the time, taking rates from less expensive agents.
- Google Flights: a very useful calendar option to find the cheapest days to fly. Once you find the cheapest date, use one of the other sites to book your flights.
- Kiwi.com: Much more flexible than Google Flight or Skyscanner in the number of options you can find.
- Jetradar: includes some low-budget airlines that other sites do not have, so it is always worth checking out.
Check them all before making a reservation.
There doesn’t seem to be a constant winner (and I book many flights a year!), but the two sites that seem to reach the top repeatedly are Momondo and Skyscanner. I love you both and I always see you first.
#2. Hide your search!
You are looking for your flight to Paris and you find an excellent price. But you are not ready to book yet. You just want to think and go and prepare dinner.
You come back 2 hours later and you’re done! Your $ 500 flight is now $ 750. The same day, the same airline, the same flight!
This used to happen to me all the time.
Some sites claim that this is not true, but I have seen it with my own eyes: if you keep looking for a specific route, prices will go up!
Always look for cheap flights in incognito mode or private navigation mode for the cheapest prices.
NOTE: Will anonymous browsing generate cheaper offers? Not really! But it will prevent your plane ticket from increasing as soon as you find a good business!
But what is the incognito mode?
Incognito mode, private browsing, and InPrivatebBrowsing do the same: they only use different names. Incognito Mode ensures that nothing in your session is recorded in your browser’s history, search history, temporary Internet files or cookies. All data entered during a private session will be forgotten by the computer when you close the browser.
So how can you find your cheap flight in incognito mode?
Go incognito in Google Chrome
- Open Google Chrome and click on the wrench icon in the upper right corner.
- Click on “New incognito window”.
- Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + N.
You can find out if you are browsing in particular by looking for the logo of the person in disguise in the upper left corner of the window. He wears sunglasses and a secret agent hat.
Incognito in Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and click on the Hamburger Menu button: they look like three parallel lines.
- Click on “New private window”.
Incognito mode in Safari on Mac
- Open Safari and click on “File”.
- Click on “New private window”.
- Alternatively, click Command + Shift + N.
Become anonymous in Microsoft Edge
- Open Microsoft Edge and click on the “More” icon; It looks like three points.
- Click on “New InPrivate window”.
Open a new incognito or private window between new searches, as cookies are reset and deleted between each session. By doing so, you will have the best chance of finding cheap flights without being scammed by airlines.
#3. Grab error fares super fast!
Have you heard of error fares?
Airlines occasionally make mistakes due to computer failures, human errors or currency conversion errors, which leads to cheap flights with incredible discounts. They are known as error or error rates.
Among thousands of flights, ticket pricing errors are inevitable. And, since airlines would take too long to correct any “incorrect price,” they often respect those reservations.
You can try to detect errors on your own, but it can take a long time. In addition, some of these offers are only available for a few hours before the airline identifies the “error.”
The easiest approach to find “error rates” is to follow expert hunters for special offers.
Here are my favorite features:
Secret Flying is one of the most popular sources for error detection on flights to all destinations in the world, with more than 3 million visitors per month. You can simply check the website, subscribe to the email and follow it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find the best deals.
Cheap Scott flights are one of my favorites for cheap flights worldwide! The cheap subscription is quite good, but if you are a frequent traveler, I recommend the paid subscription. Not only is it ridiculously cheap for all additional updates (and if you subscribe to the free version, you’ll get 20% in your inbox for a fee!), But MORE than you pay for 1 reserved ticket!
Jack’s Flight Club is my favorite for the cheapest flights and error rates in Europe. You can subscribe to receive alerts by email or by downloading your application. For example, today I receive an email for a return flight from London to Venice for only 30EUR.
Airfare WatchDog lists the “Best Rates Today” on the home page of the website. If you do not have a specific destination that you are looking for, this list alone may be full of bargains. When you subscribe to their email list, they also allow you to create flight alerts for specific destinations. This is one of the best features that differentiates Airfare Watchdog from other sites.
This site is ideal for global flight offers and offers discounted rates not only for flights but also for hotels, cars and major offers for credit card purchases. You can subscribe to their newsletters and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
There are many other excellent “error rate” sites out there! Rose, for example, saved more than $ 600 on her flight using Thrifty Traveler!
#4. Price alert!
Do you know how to find cheap flights with a price alert? I love this tip! Do you want to know how to do this?
There are several websites that allow you to configure price alerts.
My favorites are:
- Google flights
In Google Flights, you can select “track prices” to search for fares on specific routes. You must log in to your Google account.
- At the top, choose the number of stops, the cabin class and how many tickets you need.
- Choose your departure and destination airport.
- To track prices for this route, activate the switch next to “Track prices”.
- Tip: You can also track the prices of a specific flight: simply select the flight you want to track and click on “Track Price”.
Google will send an email every time your tracked flights change the price.
In Skyscanner, you can select “receive price alerts”. To set up an alert, search for your specific route and dates, as usual, then click on the “bell” and enter your email address. You will receive an email to confirm. Simply click on the link in the email and everything is ready!
And in Kayak, you will be automatically asked if you want to set a price alert as soon as you search for a flight!
You will also always see the website tips in the upper left corner, which suggest buying now, waiting or looking. Kayak will provide an estimate of how much the airfare will increase or decrease, helping you assess whether the risk is worth it or not.
#5. Be flexible
In your search to find cheap flights, you must be ready to be flexible in:
When to book
When we book our vacation, we usually choose a destination first, decide when to leave and then check the price of flights for those dates. This usually leads to finding more expensive flights than necessary.
If your top priority is to get cheap flights, you should change your approach.
It is like this:
Stop flying when everyone else is! If you fly during the summer holidays or during Christmas, it will always be more expensive. Try to be flexible with the day of the week you fly. Many people fly on Fridays to avoid having to take an extra day of vacation, but it can cost hundreds of dollars in airfare.
By changing your mindset, you can save a fortune.
Where: find the cheapest place to fly
If you like to travel and want to explore everywhere, you may not have limitations on where to go. If you don’t care where you are going and just want to find the cheapest place to fly, there are some tools that will be useful.
Access Google Flights, click on flights and then on the map:
Enter your specific dates and the airport of origin and find your best option!
Kiwi.com works the same way as Google Flights. Simply access the site by clicking here, select your departure city and a range of data to fly and click on the “Explore” button. You will see prices to fly to hundreds of destinations. You can simply choose the cheapest flight to one of the places you have always wanted to visit!
Skyscanner doesn’t have a map view, but its search engine is very good, so I recommend you always check it to find great deals.
- Enter your departure city
- Type “Anywhere” in the destination field.
- Enter the dates you want to travel. Or you can even search by month!
Now you can see a list of all the destinations to which you can travel by country. You can click on each country in the list and search for the best offer.
Another favorite that uses map search. The option I prefer here is to explore everything.
- Simply click on “Explore All” in the upper right corner of the map.
- Select your home airport and your preferred flight schedule. You can leave it blank if you are not sure. Now you can set your flight time (depending on how close you want to stay or how far you want to go) and your budget.
- Move the map until you find the destination you want to explore.
TIP: Always check airports that may not be the obvious option. Smaller airports or an airport that is only an extra hour away from home can save you hundreds of dollars!
#6. Go local
If you are booking with an airline from another country, always check the price in the destination currency. You can find differences closer to hundreds of dollars!
Many airlines offer cheap rates for locals but check your credit card rates for transaction fees and exchange rates or you could lose all your savings!
Be sure to use a VPN connection when accessing local websites.
A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel for your Internet connection, keeping your online trip safe from prying eyes. All your online activities are protected by the encryption layer and you can select in which country you are browsing.
#7. Find the best time to book
If you want to find cheap flights, you should avoid peak hours.
There are two factors to consider here:
- Cheapest time to fly
- The best time to book
Cheapest time to fly
The cheapest time to fly is:
- From January to mid-May
- From September to early December
The most expensive time to fly is:
- Summer Peak (mid-June to mid-August)
- Christmas new year
How cheap or expensive a flight will be can also vary slightly depending on the destination. For example, if you want to visit Kyoto in Japan during the cherry season, you cannot expect to find cheap flights, even if you book months in advance!
Cheapest time to book
There are different theories about the best time to book depending on the type of flight you are looking for. If you need to fly during the high and festive seasons, the best time to start searching is as soon as the airlines clear the flights (usually 11 to 12 months in advance).
At other times of the year, the “optimal point” varies widely, but generally, it works best:
- Domestic flights: 1 to 3 months in advance
- International flights: 4 to 8 months in advance
Is there a better day to fly?
Years ago, airlines added more fares on Tuesdays, so you’ll find many websites that request a reservation that day. Today, airlines offer new fares all the time, which means there is no perfect day to book.
Generally, flying on Fridays and Sundays is more expensive, since most people book these days and airlines and hotels tend to raise prices. So, if you can book your mid-week flights, you will probably find cheaper tickets.
#8. Master travel hacking and fly free
If you are reading this, you want to find the cheapest price for your flight.
But what if I told you that you can get the same free flight? You can, using the magical world of travel hackers!
Travel piracy has been around for some time and can help you fly for free or get the amazing international executive class seat at an affordable price. It’s what frequent travelers and travel bloggers use to save a lot of money.
#9. Low-cost airlines are your best friend
They are called low-cost airlines for a reason! If you are seriously thinking about finding the cheapest way to travel, you may have to sacrifice some comfort to save some money.
So what are you giving up?
You will usually have:
- Less legroom
- There is no free food and drink
- Luggage is not allowed
Always check the fine print with low-cost airlines. And consider all the extras you will have to pay before buying your ticket.
Some of the extras you should keep in mind:
- documented baggage charges (and now also for hand luggage, see Ryanair)
- fees for using debit or credit cards to pay
- print your boarding pass (yes, thanks to Ryanair, again!)
Also, remember to check the location of your departure and arrival airport. Most low-cost airlines fly to smaller airports, further from the city center. Saving on air tickets is not a good business if you need to spend the extra money to get to your real destination.
|Flair Airlines||Air Asia||Eurowings|
|Swoop||Hong Kong Express||Aigle Azur|
|Air Canada Rouge||Vanilla Air||Easyjet|
|Air Transat||Nok Air||Flybe|
|Spice Jet||Wizz Air|
|United States||Australia & New Zealand|
|Sun Country Airlines||Jetstar|
|Allegiant Air||Tiger Air|
You can find even more low-cost airlines worldwide here.
TIP: If you subscribe to airline newsletters, you will get sales information before others and you can make a deal. Also, by subscribing to Facebook or Twitter pages, you can hear about great deals.
#10. Mix and match
Flying with different airlines (or to different destinations!) You can offer the cheapest option.
Some of the more traditional flight search engines, such as Expedia, show only a return flight with the same airline. But using sites like:
- Google flights
When you perform a search, they automatically search for the cheapest route, even if that means booking your return with a different airline.
TIP: Normally, buying a return ticket is much cheaper, but you should always compare the price of two one-way tickets, instead of opting for a return flight immediately! You can find a good deal!
Choose a different destination
Another great tip in the “Mix and much” category is to book a flight to a different destination. Yes, it is correct!
#11. Become a social media guru
Did you know that if you follow the airlines on Facebook, Twitter on Instagram, you can get amazing deals?
When an airline opens a new route or has a discount, it can first reveal offers on its social media channels.
Another great way to be the first to know cheap plane tickets is to join Facebook groups in your area that specialize in travel or follow some of your favorite travel bloggers. They always seem to know about cheap flight prices before anyone else.
#12. Travel light
You may think that packing only a few items is not possible on a long flight. I used to be like you I always packed a big suitcase, no matter where I was going: if I was gone for more than three days, I needed everything!
But since I started traveling more, I have learned the importance of traveling light!
Carrying a few items with you not only helps reduce the number of things you need to carry (have you ever tried to carry a large bag in the desert? It’s not fun!), but it can also help you save a lot of money on your flight.
Now you know how to find cheap flights!
Ready for your vacation?
Follow these strategies and the next time you need to find the cheapest plane tickets, you will save time, money and irritation!
Do you have any other advice you want to share? I’m always open to trying new tricks!