Flights can be very expensive, especially long-haul flights. Despite the number of sites all promising to find you the cheapest flights, the whole process can still be confusing.
So what can you do to save money on your ticket? Here are some tips for searching for flights that will ensure you get the best deal.
Use a Search Engine Like Google Flights
Google Flights is one of the best search engines for finding cheap flights. It is quick and easy to use, and you can instantly find the best-value flights for your route. But it also offers a number of bonus features that make finding a cheaper flight easier.
You can use it to make your dates flexible and find a better-value flight for different days, or choose a region as your destination rather than a specific airport to find cheaper alternatives. You can even follow your flight so you can find out about price drops and snap them up to get a bargain.
You can find a detailed review of Google flights here, so check it out for more tips on getting a better deal.
Check a Range of Search Engines
Google Flights is a great place to start, but there are other flight search engines that can be useful too:
These are just a few, and they all have their pros and cons. Momondo makes it very easy to see the prices for dates surrounding your date of travel, and it is very fast to change dates and see how much the price drops. Skyscanner makes it easy to choose flexible dates for travel.
Try them out and see which you prefer. They are not all the same, and you will often find prices that are better on one site than another, so it certainly pays to keep looking.
Use Private Browsing when Searching
When using any of these flight search engines, there is one thing to be careful of: Your browser history. If you keep on searching for a site, the cookies might be stored on your browser, you may see the price start to rise.
It’s a trick. The site wants you to think that you must buy now to stop the price from rising higher.
The answer is to search from flights using private browsing on your browser so the cookies are not stored. This is easy to do on any browser like Chrome or Firefox, so make sure you don’t get caught.
Start As Early as You Can
Starting early gives you more time to find a bargain. Prices change on a daily and hourly basis, and you need to keep looking to find the best deal.
Don’t buy the first you come across, and don’t assume that buying early will always save you money. With budget airlines, this may be the case, but not so much with long-haul flights.
Keep on looking for prices for weeks or even months until you find one that you know is the cheapest. Then you will never have to pay more than you should.
Book a Budget Flight When Possible
Budget airlines are great for cheap flights. Rather than using a search engine like one above, go straight to the budget airline’s website for your destination. These are found all over the world, like Ryanair or Easyjet in Europe.
Book Different Legs of the Journey Separately
You may want to buy different legs separately, and sometimes this can save you money. It is less convenient, but perhaps worth it when the saving is significant. If there is a transfer involved, check the price of the separate flights, and you may be surprised.
Be As Flexible As You Can
Always be flexible with your dates if possible. Flying out one or two days earlier could save you hundreds of dollars. Also be flexible with times and routes, because the more flexible you are, the better.
Sign Up to an Airline’s Email List
Visit an airline that you know flies your route, and sign up to their email list and follow them on social media. You will then be the first to know about special offers on flights, and you can act quick to get the bargains. It’s a great option if you are flexible or you just want to go on holiday somewhere.
Save Money on Your Next Flight
Flight search engines are fantastic for finding cheaper flights all over the world, so use them and take advantage of all their tricks and special features to get the best prices for your flights. But also keep the other more general tips in mind, such as being flexible with your dates, so you can find the best possible price for your next flight.
Erin Nicholson spends a lot of time travelling for business as well as taking numerous personal trips each year. She has a lot of useful tips and tricks, and has taken to sharing her knowledge with others through her articles.