How to find cheaper flights
There is no bible to book cheap flight tickets, but there are many simple ways to save money.
After having travelled non-stop either for work or adventure for more then 10 years and having explored all 5 continents I have few secrets I ‘m here sharing with you. All that you are going to read is all what I did and I still do to get the best deals on flight fares. You can use just a few of this tips or try them all, the choice is yours. Some of these trick and tips I have discovered on my own, other I have collected from other well informed travel blogger.
#1 Use Flights Search Engines
this is the most important and easiest way to find the best flight tickets deals. There used to be very a few very search engines focused specifically on flights, but nowadays you can find probably a hundred of them, some like Expedia are very famous and advertised other less. Some are more used in Usa others in Europe. Below you can find a list I those website I personally use any time I have to book cheaper flights.
- Kayak.com (or dot/your-country-code as may others).
Kayak has a few useful filters you can use to narrow your search: credit card (each card has different booking fees!), number of bags you will check-in, flexible dates. For Kayak unfortunately you can only set +/-3 days. I like kayak, it generally works really good for me.
In this case…I’m confused. It used to be an algorithm created by a young startup, which worked really well to the point that google bought it all and renamed it Google Flights. Sometimes it give me incredible good deals, sometimes id does not. Still, it’s worth trying. I always look up on it too. Look it up also here at MATRIX ITA, if Google bought it there must be a reason. Runs the same or a very similar algorithm to google flights.
It’s been my favourite one for years, and then suddenly it started to be much more expensive then Kayak. So I now use it just for a quick view because it does have a very useful chart viewing modality that gives you the overall view of an entire month. I found it very useful, to get a quick idea how much flights are for that specific destination.
With Kayak is now my favourite search engine to find cheap flights. It was suggested to me by a French friend, who is an addictive traveller and nomad. She was right, it’s good! I fell in love with it immediately. It’s easy to use, there are plenty of options and filter, included a multy-city modality. What I really like is that you can be really flexible with your dates, instead of +/- 3 days as Kayak, on Kiwi.com you can select a wide range of date for your flight search, and it works.
There’s also another interesting feature: you know the place you wanna visit but not the dates? No problem, Kiwi will show you all the best deals in the next few months, so you are sure to find the cheapest flight fare. Kiwi also allows you to book your flight directly on its platform offering you their own guarantee on making connecting flights even when not with the same partner airlines. Pretty rare feature!
Beside search engines there are a few other aspects you must take in consideration to find the best deal on flight tickets.
#2 Check nearby airports
Often the biggest city and capitals have more then one airport, or they have other close ot iSometime there are secondary airports in the same city or where close to it. For example while using Kiwi to book my spot the best deal to Miami I discovered that very close to Miami there is another international airport, Fort Lauderdale and it is only 45 minutes from Miami city centre. The same for Milan in Italy, London in UK, Brussels in Belgium and so on. To discover if a city has secondary airports nearby use google maps.Open Gmaps, pick up the city you want to fly to or departure from and type “airports”. Remember to zoom out enough to view a area of about 50miles/75km around the city. You can cover that distance in about 45-60 minutes drive and often this secondary airports are good shuttle and bus services that connect the airport to the central train station.
#3 The “Trip/Roundtrip trick”
Toggle between one-way and round-trip as airlines sometimes charge different fares each way. If this happens to you, consider flying each way on separate airlines.
#4 Double Check Luggage costs
Remember to check the baggage allowance of the airplane company you are flying with. Some of them have cheap tickets but they charge really high rates for luggage and extra luggage. Be mindful, and make sure it’s worthy.
#5 Travelling light saves money!
I know you might need this and that, but trust me, often half of a average luggage stays un-used. So my tip is “travel light” and buy things during your trip when you really need them. Avoid heavy luggage and heavy baggage costs. Especially if you are not used to travel much you might think “what IF?… I can’t find my favorite shampoo, air conditioner etc”. The reality is that unless you are goin to the South Pole you will find anything you need pretty much anywhere, especially if you’ll pass by any big city or capital. If you travel wester countries most of the times you will find everything you need even in remote areas, miracle of globalization. Travel light has give you many advantages:
– You can save money ravelling only with a carry-on, avoiding checked-in luggage fees.
– You save time (and so money!) skipping the sometime long waiting time to pick up your luggage.
– It is easier, safer and faster to pass through the airport security controls. You will avoid the risk the security will ask you to open and investigate your main luggage which usually take a looooong time, stress, and God knows what else.
– You have more time and space for shopping local new products. This is something worth especially if you are visiting a foreign country.
#6 The currency trick
Sometimes booking the same flight from the website of the destination country it is cheaper due to the currency conversion exchange rates. So for example if you traveling to Europe, use the European extension of website like kayak or Skyscanner, basically they will look like something like this nameofthewbnsite.it/.es/,co.uk/.fr etc. Also check the price using any of the other European currencies, many European nations like Sweden, Denmark and many east Europe they still use their old local currency. And make your booking in the currency that gives you the lowest overall cost.
#7 Use Multi-Currency Travel Cards
Multi-currency travel debit/credit cards allows you to pay in local currency (even online!) at no fee and using the average market exchange rates instead of the much more expensive one used by card’s providers or banks. I have two of them and they work like a charm! They even allow you to trade crypto currencies. The one I own are both from European companies. These two are available mainly to citizens of European countries, find the list here I use Revolut and EasyFX (here a list of the citizen they supported by EAsyFX). For Revolut use this referral link to get extra bonus. The best part is that both cards are totally freeeeeeeee!!!!!! No charge of any kind.
#8 Browse Internet in Incognito Mode
Unless you are last minute and you have to book the flight right here right now you can try the Ubiquity trick. Most of us do look for flight deals over the spam of several days. What most of us don’t know is that the website we visit they keep track of our past visit using internet-cookies and recognizing the computer’s ip address. What’s the consequence? The more we visit one website and click on of one its destination the higher the price goes, in accordance to the market law of higher request-higher prices. These companies they are trying to do the same we are doing: get the best deal out of the same reservation, but for them of course it means make the reservation more expensive. It’s also a psychological trick, showing you that the fare is rising they hope to push to book asap and at a higher rate. Fortunately there’s an easy fix to avoid this: the browsing incognito mode.
This browsing modality is also known as private browsing mode. Everytime you will close the browser it deletes all the data the website would use, thus everytime you go back to it, it’s like the first time, and it will show you the best fare. It’s available for every internet browser, generally if you right-click the browser icon a dropdown menu will give you the chance to open the browser in private mode. If still don’t trust me check this Wikipedia article about it.
#9 The Ubiquity trick – VPN
Even if it looks like a trick for geeks it’s actually quite easy, you just need to use a VPN browser plugin, i personally found Hola-FreeVpn the easiest to use. You can also look up for it on Chrome Webstore.
These free Vpn services allow you to browse websites as you were in another country. What’s the benefit of it? Sometimes fare are lower for less developed countries or those part of the so-called 2nd/3rd world as for, India, Bangladesh, India and others. Of course you could use this trick together with the multi-currency cards one to get the most of it.
#10 Hidden city ticketing
I haven’t used this one yet but I have planned to. In brief: sometimes a flight that connects in a city you want to go to is cheaper than flying directly to it. So instead, you book that cheap flight which connects in your desired city and hop off there, not taking the ongoing connection. If this will save you money, why not? Basically it’s like if you are on a bus, and suddenly you decide that you will get out at a stop before the one you have planned to. Just remember that:
• If your luggage is checked, it may go on to the final destination, and then you must have is shipped back, saying you missed your connection flight. For this reason, with hidden city ticketing it’s best to have carry-on luggage only.
• You may not be allowed off the plane if the same plane is continuing onward to its final destination. This generally happens if it’s exactly the same airplane and it stops only for a very short time. So make sure you discover it in advance.
• Airlines may detect that you did not take your connection. The consequences of this are hard to say, especially since people miss flights all the time.
There is now a web search engine which finds hidden city tickets for you. It’s called Skiplagged. I haven’t used it yet but I will.
Use this trick at your own risk!
#11 Book in Advance
Book in advance and do it on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, statistics show that those for some reasons are the best day to do it. According to research done by CheapAir, 47 days out is the perfect time for booking domestic flights and 1-4 months out is the window for international flights. According to Forbes , Wednesday or Saturday are the best day to flight, while Sunday is generally the most expensive.
#12 Pay with PayPal or Bank Wire
Use PayPal or make bank wire if your bank doesn’t charge you for it, so you will save on credit cards fees.
#13 Join a frequent flyer program
#14 Use a student discount
So, all considered right now it’s the perfect time to book your flight to one my retreats or yoga vacations :). Enjoy your flight!