Researching and planning an upcoming trip is all part of the fun and adventure of travel. It helps build up the anticipation and excitement of your next journey!
One of my favorite aspects of travel planning is searching for flights and trying to find the best deal. Find out my five-step no-fail strategy on how to save money on flights!
How to Save Money on Flights
There’s something enjoyable and rewarding about searching for the best possible price for a flight. It’s like winning a contest or cheating the system somehow.
When I research my flights, I go through several steps before deciding that I’ve found the absolute best flight possible. Because I travel long term and have a flexible schedule, price is my priority and my flexibility helps me to search for the cheap flight deals.
One thing for you to know is that I don’t like buying flights in advance. In fact, I prefer to buy flights 2-4 weeks before a trip and take advantage of last minute specials. I’ve even booked international flights and flows the same day because prices suddenly dropped and I didn’t want to miss out on a good opportunity.
This is my personal strategy on how to save money on flights:
As soon as you know you’re going to be traveling, research prices and determine what you feel is a fair price for you to pay. Research the average flight costs to your destination finding the lowest and highest price.
Keep in mind that high season tends to have higher flight costs so have realistic expectations of what you believe will be a fair price. Generally speaking, travel is more expensive during peak summer months like July and August; the two weeks around Christmas and New Years; and within Spring Break.
CHOOSE YOUR PRICE
Once you have an idea about how much you’d be willing to pay for your flight, start your search. Focus your travels days on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to see if you can find your desired price.
The weekends tend to be the most expensive days to travel and days next to big holidays. On the other hand, flight prices tend to drop on holidays so if you don’t mind flying on Dec 25th or Dec 31st, that’s a good strategy, too.
DETERMINE YOUR DATE OF TRAVEL
The first search engine I use in my strategy on how to save money on flights is Skyscanner because they allow you to search for flights during vast periods of time allowing you to determine the cheapest dates for you to travel. If you want to travel in March, for example, Skyscanner gives you the option to search the entire month and shows you the average prices for each day.
If your travel plans are extremely flexible, you can even search for pricing the entire year to figure out the cheapest month available. To make your searches for successful, allow for flexibility in your time of travel, airlines, and the number of stops.
While Kayak is also a popular price research tool, I find them to be overpriced when I compare their prices to other flight search engines.
Once you’ve done your research on Skyscanner and know the cheapest dates to travel and the ideal airline to fly with, use other search engines to find the best deal on the flight you found. Unless they specifically recommend an airline’s website, I don’t like the travel websites offered through Skyscanner so I never book directly though them.
My two favorite travel booking websites are Travelocity and Cheapoair. I’ve book almost all my flights through them and Travelocity even has a 24 hours money back guarantee which I’ve had to use at least once.
Fly.com also has awesome deals, too. I’m signed up for their fare alerts from my home airport and sometimes the prices are incredibly cheap.
VERIFY PRICE ON AIRLINE’S WEBSITE
It may seem a bit overkill, but the last step on my strategy on how to save money on flights, is to double-check the prices directly with the airline you’re considering traveling with.
Once you’ve use Skyscanner’s monthly search tool to find the cheapest dates to travel; then checked those rates on Travelocity or Cheapoair; head over to the airline’s website to see if they have an even better fare.
Rarely does an airline’s website have a cheaper fare but occasionally they do. This happened when I booked my flight with Oman Air to the Maldives!
Make sure to look for the same flight numbers and itineraries to see which method of purchase gives you the best bang for your buck.
Once you’ve used these five steps on how to save money on flights; you’ve successfully determined the best dates to fly and the best airlines to use. It’s time to book!
Don’t forget to sign up for the airline’s frequent flyer airline program. I can’t even tell you how much I regret losing out on the points for the first year of my travels.
What are your best tips on how to save money on flights? Please share in the comments below!
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