If you love to travel you know the excitement of finding a great deal!
You also know the frustration of looking through all of the deals, the dates, the different websites only to have prices change within minutes.
Cheap flights book fast. But you can still save money on flights if you know where to look.
I have read tons of these posts myself and have found that the best way to find cheaper flights is by using search engine sites (Travel Sites) and clearing my cookies regularly.
I have also figured out that the “cheap airlines” nickel and dime you, so if you need to take a bunch of luggage or even a carry-on, this won’t be the best route to take.
You also have to watch out for the “cheap airline ticket” sites because they usually list their prices for one way…then charge you separately for return flights. This is a marketing tactic…and it works, but it wastes a bunch of the travelers time because it’s misleading.
Use these strategies to save money and get the best deals on flights to anywhere in the world.
(This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you make a qualifying purchase. See the disclosure for details.)
Be flexible with your travel dates and use the best search tools to save money on flights:
Check this out, you can choose ANYTIME and this app will look for the best deals on flights to anywhere in the world. If you don’t see your destination listed just click on it and the best price will appear.
Just choose how long you want to stay and it will provide the best deals for the next 6 months or so. Dates are a huge factor in pricing, sometimes changing your dates could save half of your airfare.
We love France and I have been looking at tons of websites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Kayak Explore.
So far, this app has found some great prices for me.
I am shouting about this tool from the rooftops. It has more flexibility to choose date ranges and find deals than any other website out there (I have looked far and wide).
You can check it out to see how it works. There is no obligation and just for fun you can leave dates and the destination blank….
You might find a great deal to somewhere you have always wanted to go…Just try it already. Enter your departure city and your destination (or not) and see what comes up for you. I have found some great deals this way and you can too.
Look for off peak days and times to find the best deals:
Red-eye flights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are often going to be the cheapest tickets that you will find. I understand that sometimes it is just impossible to make it work with the 9-5 grind schedule but if you are flexible, choosing one of these days is worth it.
If you have to fly on the weekend, Saturday is usually going to be less expensive. Fridays are budget killers (most of the time).
Check out local prices:
If you are traveling abroad, make sure to check out the local fares in their currency.
If you are checking prices on a foreign airline make sure you check out their fares in the destinations currency. Check the exchange rate and see if the prices are less expensive.
Sometimes you can save a lot doing this…I saved over $200.00 per ticket doing this! Make sure to check your credit card for fees.
American Express doesn’t charge foreign transactions fees.
AND, make sure you are being safe and using a VPN connection while doing this. I use the free version of TunnelBear and love it. They have an app and Windows extensions.
The account is free up to 500MB per month and you can get another 500MB for free if you share TunnelBear on Twitter.
Check out return tickets even if you are only flying one way.
Sometimes flying one way is much more expensive but make sure you check your airlines policies on “hidden cities” or not using your return flight. Some airlines prohibit it and can cause you a headache. I have never had an issue but…just check.
This goes vice versa for round trip tickets as well. If you are flying round trip make sure to check out single one-way tickets.
The airlines have their own algorithms and we are not privy to them so check, check, check.
Don’t feel like you always have to choose your destination first.This is part of the fun….
With Kiwi.com and Kayak Explore you can decide on your departure airport and dates (or not) and let the app show you the best deals.
My family was set on Ireland last year until we discovered how much less expensive the flight to Paris was.
We gave it a go and fell in love with the city. You just never know and it is exciting to travel to new places. Check out this Top Ten things to see in Paris video. Sadly this video was made before Notre Dame burned and luckily we got to see it before. But when we go back I will visit again.
Shop like a stealthy deal hunter:
Clear your cookies and cache if you are searching around over a period of days.
No travel website will admit to doing this but you will start to notice price surges if you check the same airline or site more than once or twice.
They know you really want that destination because they are tracking your searches with cookies and try to force you into booking faster because they trick you into believing that the price is going up overnight.
They are less expensive, allow you to live like a local and possibly meet some great people.
I started using VRBO and Airbnb to travel and to rent out my own space to make extra income in 2013 and have rarely used a hotel since. The spaces are so much more personal and are often better equipped.
Want to make some money renting out your space or even just a bedroom with AirBnb? This gig has earned me tens of thousands of dollars each year for the last five years.
Avoid the summer months if you can:
The Summer is when everyone travels and supply and demand reign.
June, July and August are often the most expensive months to travel unless you are trying to come to Colorado at Christmas and Spring Break.
Choosing shoulder seasons like May and September often provide you with great discounts and not much difference in weather if you want to travel when the weather is warm.
In fact, our daughter is in junior high and her school encourages it.
I think that most kids learn a great deal about our world through travel and it is a very important part of growing up. Don’t feel guilty about it as long as you know they can keep up.
This is not a hard and fast rule but try to start looking for your tickets 145-ish days prior to departure to save money on flights.
For domestic flights 1-3 months in advance is a good rule of thumb to get the best deals on flights.
International Flights 2-11 months in advance depending on the season you want to travel.
Avoid searching for flights on the weekends.
I know that is when you have time to look for tickets but so does everyone else.
Its also a sales strategy. Again, no travel website will admit to this tactic but travel experts say that booking flights on Tuesday or Wednesday will help you save money.
Now you have the tools you need to find the cheapest flights get packing!
Make sure to check your credit cards to see if any of them provide trip insurance! My American Express offers free trip and rental car insurance. Plus they have a no foreign transaction fee policy that will save you big time. Check it out!
For a quickie (cheap) vacation the chances are that you won’t need insurance it but for big vacations…like when we went to France, I made sure we were FULLY covered.
Let me know if you have any great tips you want to share, we would would love to share them in the comments below.
Do you like saving money?
Check out how you can save big on baggage fees….