A pretty common question among everyone who visit this blog is: How to find cheap flights? In fact, the main reason why a lot people that I know don’t travel is because they don’t know how to search for a cheap airfare properly. Its for this reason that I decided to give a top 5 basic steps to learn something and make a better search.
Everyone has their own way to make their searches or search engines that they prefer in order to find cheap flights. Here I try to explain some basic steps that could be applied almost to any engine.
1. Start with your favorite search engines
I must admit I’ve been testing my cheap flights search skills for a long time now. My favorite search engines and the ones I use the most are Skyscanner, Google Flights and Kiwi. In my case, I always start with Skyscanner, since its the one that gives the most options when you’re looking for cheap flights, such as finding flights anywhere from your home airport and the option that allows you to see when you can find the cheapest flight. The other engines I use also helps to do what comes next…
2. Subscribe to Price Alerts
When you subscribe to price alerts you will receive e-mail notifications of the price changes that your flights suffer. This helps to have a record to know when is the best moment to buy this flight. There are some myths that says you should buy on specific days, weeks or months to get a cheap flight. My experience since I use price alerts is that all these myths are false: I bought a roundtrip ticket from Barcelona to San Juan, Puerto Rico for 399€ (cheapest price registered) a Friday night (when the myth says that Fridays are the worst days to buy and that the best price can be found close to midnight.) I found these flights thanks to Skyscanner price alerts.
3. Compare among search engines
Usually, I compare all the prices that appears in all my search engines. For example: In the case of Kiwi, this one always brings up really good prices because it shows results that include low costs airlines, create its own layovers plus some difficulties making these layovers long sometimes. When you search and compare with other search engines you can consider facts such as if its really worth it to buy a Kiwi cheap flight with all its difficulties or if its better to pay a little more for your comfort.
Among the alternatives that search engines such as Google Flights, Skyscanner and Kiwi offer you can find how to make your dates or destination flexible. This is one of the reasons why I prefer Skyscanner. On this engine, if I want to find a destination just because I want to travel but I don’t know where, I can use the “Anywhere” option and the “Cheapest Month” option to find results that help to save a lot of money.
My advice always is that, if you have some particular dates to travel but you haven’t figured out your destination, use the “Anywhere” option on Skyscanner to know how you can maximize your options and save. In the other case, if you have a dreamed destination you want to visit, you can use the “Cheapest Month” option to know when is the cheapest time to travel there. Doing this, you can make an efective saving plan once you have those cheap tickets.
5. Sign in to Airlines newsletter and Miles programs
Airlines have new deals to different destinations everyday. If you sign in to their newsletters, or even better, to their miles programs you will be able to receive all the offers and will have more opportunities to find good cheap flights. Doing this, you will always be updated on the ways to earn miles that help you travel for less or to get upgrades for your flights.
Some of my favorite airlines miles programs are the ones from Avianca, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, TAP Portugal, Iberia y Air France, Air Malta, Brussels Airlines and Swiss Air (both parts of the Miles and More programs shared with other airlines).
Using Avianca LifeMiles, I was able to find a flight from Guatemala to Bogotá, Colombia for which I only had to pay taxes.
Want to learn some other tips to find cheap flights?
Subscribe to our cheap flights tips weekly news letter, so you will know the latest deals and tips on airfares. Every week you’ll receive an e-mail with all the news about search engines and airlines to make your search a lot more effective.
TRAVEL PLANNING ON A BUDGET 101
TRAVEL PLANNING ON A BUDGET 101 is an online course that I’ve developed from the topics discussed on my Travel Planning workshops. On this course, besides optimizing your capacities on searching for cheap flights, you will also learn how to manage other travel planning areas such as land transportation, searching for tours, travel insurance, destinations for which you need a visa among others. For more information, check the following link.
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