Travel has become synonymous with a certain social status. Thankfully, travel freaks have found hacks and travel apps that are trying (and succeeding!) to make flight, hotels, and car rentals much more reasonably priced so every person, regardless of wealth status, can go on his or her dream vacation. Here is the complete guide on how to book cheap flights. Extremely cheap flights!
There are hundreds of flight search and reservation engines available today. The problem is that the vast majority of them do the exact same thing. However, we found a couple of unique ones that offer an added value so you can find and book cheap flights using at least one of these tools.
4 tools to help you book cheap flights
A fan favorite tends to be Skyscanner, which uses its self-built technology to find the very best flights for the very best prices within seconds of you typing in your starting point, destination, and travel date.
Being flexible with your travel itinerary will allow you to advantage of two of Skyscanner’s best features.
- The “Going Everywhere” option- this option allows you to find the cheapest mid-point location between your starting point and desired destination. All you need to do is see which location is cheapest to travel to from your starting point. After you find this location, book your next flight from there to your destination.
- The ability to search by calendar month- this feature allows you to conduct a search based on a whole calendar month (if you know you have a full month off of work or school to travel) to find the cheapest prices during the month. You can also plan accordingly to what Skyscanner determines is the cheapest month of the year.
We actually wrote a very detailed post on how to save up to 45% off flight costs using all the unique features Skyscanner has. We go into detail about how to use the “midpoint” trick when flying long distances. This trick alone will shed a few hundred dollars when you book cheap flights. For those interested, check it out here.
Another great online travel agency is Kiwi.com, which uses innovative technology to find customers the cheapest and fastest flights by combining flights from airlines that typically do not collaborate. Although this may seem risky, Kiwi.com has you covered with its “Kiwi.com Guarantee,” which covers you in the event of flight delays or cancellations.
It´s important to remember that flexibility is key if you want to book cheap flights. Consequently, Kiwi.com works best if you are flexible with your travel. If you are, then you can book cheap flights (extremely cheap) using the following tips:
- Search by date range – you can let Kiwi.com know that you have “flexible travel dates,” which allows you to search dates before and after your desired departure and return dates so you can see which dates are cheapest to fly on.
- Use the Interactive Map feature – this feature allows you to check the flight prices of places that are close by to your destination, even if they are not in the same country. For example, you might find that it is cheaper to fly into Frankfurt and take another flight or train to Berlin rather than to fly directly into Berlin.
- Be willing to travel anywhere (within reason, of course) – put “anywhere” into the destination box. That way, you can find the cheapest options of places to travel to for your preferred vacation dates. I would suggest altering the way you plan your vacations based on this feature alone. Instead of asking for vacation and then planning your trip, see to which destinations you can book cheap flights to and when, and based on those dates ask for vacation.
- Total flexibility in time? The “Anytime” feature is for you!
- Search by time of stay – let´s say you are flexible with dates, as long as they don´t surpass your yearly amount of vacation days. You can tell Kiwi.com to find you cheap flights for a maximum stay of a certain amount of days.
These unique features can only be found on Kiwi.com, thus it is a great tool for those seeking to book cheap flights. Here is a complete guide on all of Kiwi.com´s unique features.
Those of you who try to save money on flights know that booking online tends to be cheaper than booking through a travel agent. However, booking online requires time and knowledge of how and where to search/book (as shown above) in order to truly book cheap flights. Then, there is the hassle-free option of letting a travel agent book for you. Very convenient, but usually more expensive. But what if I told you that there are 2 cheap and convenient options even for those of you who are lazy (but would still like to book cheap flights)? You would probably be more inclined to take that Caribbean vacation you’ve been planning for so long.
2 Tools That Save Money on Flights If You Are Lazy
Flystein is a “human-powered flight search” that tracks down the lowest fare flights for you. I see it as a hybrid solution of having the convenience of a travel agent, while obtaining the best online prices. It has two options: Build My Trip and Beat My Price.
If you choose “Beat My Price”, then you can have Flystein find you a cheaper flight than the one you already found (found, not booked). If you choose this option, Flystein will assign you a personal travel expert who will update you when he/she finds a better flight deal after you fill out some information about the flight you already found and about your trip in general.
The US$49 fee (for most trips) you have to pay for the service is totally worth it if your flight is above the US$600 range. Most of the time the savings will be much larger so it will definitely payoff. Plus, Flystein will not charge your credit card unless the Flight Expert finds you a flight that is significantly cheaper and is greater than the $49 fee. There really is nothing to lose by using this service.
OR, you can have Flystein find you a cheap flight without having to do any of your own research by choosing the “Build my Trip” option. For a fee starting at US$49 for a round trip, Flystein will assign you a travel expert who will find you the best flight deals. As you can see from the picture below, the only thing you need to do is enter in your travel information and preferences.
Be sure to tell Flystein about any airline loyalty programs you are part of and any miles that you want to use beforehand.
If you are not sure which option to choose, Flystein recommends using “Beat My Trip” for straightforward itineraries and “Build My Trip” for more complex ones.
Regardless of the option you choose, you are responsible for booking your own flights. Flystein will send you the best flight deal and website to book it on, but the rest of the process is your responsibility. The Flight Experts will get in touch with you about four hours after you send in your request. So, be sure to be prepared because Flystein cannot predict how long the new fare will be available for. Flystein is a simple, hassle-free, risk-free tool that will allow you to save money on flights.
Scott’s Cheap Flights takes advantage of the fact that airlines make mistakes and sometimes suddenly offer great deals will will save you money on flights. After you sign up by entering your email, Scott’s Cheap Flights will begin to email you whenever one of these special deals becomes available. The email will tell you how to book in order to get the deal they found. Here is an example of some of the flight deals Scott’s Cheap Flights has found recently.
What´s great about Scott´s service is that you can personalize the offers you receive based on your country/region of preference:
When you sign up, you can either choose to be a free member or a premium member. Premium members have to pay US$39/year but get a lot more benefits. These benefits include:
- 3x the amount of deals than a free member
- Alerts for all mistake fares (sometimes even up to 90% off original price)
- Deals ONLY from your favorite airport (otherwise you hear about all deals from the region you live in)
- Priority access to the flight deals
Right now, Scott’s Cheap Flights sends deals from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Brazil for flights that are about 2-8 months in the future. Most of these deals are for international flights, but they might start sending out more domestic flights in the future. You can’t specify where or when you want to travel, but this isn’t a huge problem. Since Scott’s Cheap Flights sends you so many deals that are available for a variety of dates, you will most likely be able to go on your on dream vacation.
The flight deals are not available for too long because most of them come from mistakes made my airlines, so be sure to actively check your emails and book immediately.
You really have nothing to lose by using either of these services as both of them offer full refunds if you’re not satisfied by what they offer.
This guide provides you with useful tools, regardless of how much time and knowledge you have to dedicate to planning your next vacation.