No matter what type of traveller you are, we all like to find cheap flights! And let’s be honest, if that flight for your planned trip is too expensive, there is a good chance you are going to question whether to go or not.
There are heaps of ways to find cheap or discounted flights out there, you just need to know how to find them! I have written this blog post to help other travellers find cheap flights so they can explore the world too. I use all these methods when searching for flights on my travels and will keep using them when I am searching for flights on my World Tour.
So let’s get into it – here’s 10 tips for finding cheap flights all around the world.
Table of Contents
1. Be Flexible with your flight dates
Airline prices vary depending on the day of the week, time of year and any major holidays; such as Christmas, New Years Etc. You will usually find that flight prices are the most expensive during the peak periods of the destination you plan on visiting.
The best solution for finding cheap flights is flying during the off or shoulder seasons. Airline ticket prices are usually a lot cheaper during these times.
Flights are usually cheaper on week days rather than weekends and after major holidays. Early morning or red-eye flights are also cheaper, as less people want to fly during these times.
I find my flights by using Skyscanner. On the Skyscanner app or website, you have the option to choose the cheapest month. This will automatically show you the cheapest months to fly to your chosen destination.
If you also choose the whole month option when looking for flights. Here you can see the cheapest days to fly during that month.
2. Be Flexible with your destinations
Being flexible with where you fly can help save money and you might find a new destination you never thought about going! If you want to find cheap flights, you do need to either be flexible with when or where you fly. Even better if you can be flexible with both!
Skyscanner has great options to find cheap destinations to fly too. When you go on the Skyscanner website or app, simply write in ‘everywhere‘ in the ‘to’ area. This will show you all the places you can fly to from the airport you have chosen, and the cost. If you want to be extra flexible, put in the ‘cheapest month’ option mentioned above.
You can also do this by using Google Flights. Simply go to Google Flights and click on the map (shown below).
This will show you all the places you can fly to from your destination and how much. Next you can either put in your departure dates and city or you can search via to “Flexible Dates” option. With the flexible dats option, you can choose a month or within the next 6 months and your duration (if its a return trip).
3. Use different Search Engines
To find cheap flights you are going to have to look at different search engines. Not all are created equal. Major search engines don’t always list budget or foreign airlines, typically because these airlines don’t want to pay those search engines commission.
If you are going to choose a search engine, I recommend these below.
- Skyscanner: This is the main search engine I use to find all my cheap flights. They list budget and foreign airlines – plus everything in between! Plus their mobile app is very user friendly!
- Google Flights: Easy to use and lets you see prices for multiple destinations.
- Cheap Flights: Similar to Skyscanner.
- Hopper: I have only just recently started using this app as it has been recommended by other travellers. They also usually off vouchers when you first sign up to the app.
4. Use Frequent Flyer Points
If you want to save money on flights or even get a free upgrade, I would look into getting a frequent flyer membership. There are multiple types on the market, so do some research into which one is best for you. I personally have a Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, as they are connected with a lot of the airlines I regularly fly with.
No matter how much you fly, I recommend you join a Frequent Flyer program. You can earn points just by your usual spending habits. For example, I have a credit card linked to my frequent flyer program, and earn points on my everyday purchases. I earn thousands of points a year. If you are with Qantas, you can also earn extra points by using ‘Qantas shopping’.
If you are in Australia and you are not sure which credit card or frequent flyer program to join – have a look at Point Hacks.
5. Fly with Budget Airlines
I will start off by saying that flying with budget airlines might not always be the best experience, however you will save some cash! Budget airlines usually service short or medium hauls. Budget airlines mainly operate regionally, especially after COVID.
Here’s a list of some budget airlines around the world.
6. Search in other Currencies
If your countries currency is strong, try searching in a currency that is weaker. This doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try if you. If you have VPN access, its also worth setting your location to another country is a weaker currency.
7. Book Early
Flight prices usually rise the closer you get to your departure date. So it’s usually best to book flights early – but not too early! The best time to book your flights is usually around 2-3 months before your departure date, 6 months if its during the peak periods.
Although, sometimes you can get cheap flights last minute, especially if they are trying to fill up the flight! This is guaranteed though so it’s up to you on what you choose to do. You can also use Skyscanner to find last minute deals!
8. Use Fair Alerts
If you are searching on a search engine such as Skyscanner, you can set alerts for flights. You will receive an alert if the price you originally viewed has lowered. You can usually do this for every search engine or airline website.
This is a great option if you have a little while till your desired departure date.
9. Be Flexible with Airports
Similar to dates and destinations, if you are flexible with airports it can save you a few dollars. When searching for destinations make sure you look at the surrounding airports. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly into smaller airports, rather than the main ones.
You may need to travel further than the main ones, so keep this in mind when booking – as it might not make a difference if you have to spend $200 on a Uber or taxi to get to your accommodation.
10. Don’t always Fly Direct
Although flying direct is the preferred route, if you want to save a bit of money – fly with layovers. Flights can be hundreds of dollars cheaper if you have a stop over. Another option is to fly into a city on a major airline, then fly to your destination on one of the budget airlines I mentioned above.
This not only applies for direct routes. For example, on my searches to fly from Kilimanjaro to Perth, I could save $500 if I don’t fly with one stop over, instead with two. Yes the fly back home would be A LOT longer, but this Is something I would look into if I needed to save some cash.
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