COVID airline prices are long gone and the world is beginning to travel again. With the large influx of frequent fliers, flying is becoming more expensive for everyone. In this post, I’ll share how I find the best flight deals, including a $350 round-trip flight from Chicago to Paris!
The most important thing to consider when searching for good deals is time. Shopping for flights is similar to shopping for hotels. Prices fluctuate frequently and are based on several factors like demand, fuel costs, availability, local events/holidays, and more. That means a flight can cost $200 one day and $400 the next. The trick is to consistently monitor prices overtime for your desired departure and arrival airports. The more time you have to watch, the better chances an attractive deal will surface. Here are my favorite flight price tracking tools:
- Google Flights is free and easy to use. All you need to do is select your departure & arrival airports, dates, and hit search! Then you can track flights and prices to receive email notifications when prices change.
- Skyscanner is also free and offers a wider scope for searching flights. You can compare prices, find flights with long layovers, and search entire months for the lowest price.
- Scotts Cheap Flights is my favorite on this list. With my paid Premium membership, I can select up to ten departure airports to receive daily, worldwide flight deals directly to my inbox. This includes a $350rt flight to Paris, $180rt flight to Cancun, and $80rt flight to Los Angeles.
- I highly recommend using the link to subscribe to a premium membership. It’s worth the cost.
- If you’re here from Instagram, it is not an app! This is the website I use for flight deals posted on my story.
The prices are the prices. There’s no “secret” place to find the cheapest flights & there’s no discount code. It’s a waiting game. The more time you have to track flight prices, the more likely you’ll find the deal you’re looking for.
Almost equally important to time is flexibility. Let’s say in March, you’re planning to attend South by South West in Austin, TX. If you start your flight search with ,”I need a flight to AUS on Friday evening to Sunday night out of ORD”, you’re doing it wrong & will be paying on the higher end for your flights.
Especially for large festivals and events, flexibility could mean the difference between a $560rt flight and a $300rt flight. In our earlier example, one thing I may do to lower the cost would be exploring nearby airports. If your destination is Austin, TX, you may look at other nearby airports like San Antonio or Houston. You can also explore other options for your departure airport. Large airports with heavy traffic are more likely to have lower flight prices. This is especially true for international destinations.
LAX, ORD, JFK, DFW, MIA, EWR, & ATL are the best airports to depart from for international flights.
Another trick you can use is to change your dates. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are the most expensive days to fly. While you can find cheap flights any day of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday tend to have cheaper flights. So, instead of flying in on Friday, I may choose to arrive on Wednesday and depart Sunday for a cheaper flight.
If your plans are very flexible, I recommend allowing the price guide you to the cheapest dates possible. You can use Skyscanner to search flights for an entire month and Google Flights will automatically recommended dates with lower fares.
Finally, I’d hate to state the obvious, but don’t expect Spirit prices on a Delta flight. Opting for budget airlines can save you a lot of money, but be mindful of extra fees for seat selection, bags, and early boarding.
You can go to the airport to find deals for Spirit, Frontier, & Allegiant flights only. For all other airlines, there’s no advantage to buying tickets directly at the airport.
A common myth is budget airlines own older planes that could potentially be more dangerous. Please do not let that deter you from booking a budget airline. You will see differences in seat space, customer service, and in-flight amenities, but your safety is not at greater risk for flying a cheaper airline.
Flexibility is key. Play around with airlines, dates, & airports to find the cheapest flights.
Usually, we plan trips in the following order:
- Pick a destination
- Decide on dates
- Book flight three months in advance
If you want the best deal, plan your next trip by:
- Settle on various destinations
- Decide what cheap destinations you like
- Select the cheapest dates
- Book flight
There’s so many more ways you can save money on flights. If you’re interested to learn more tips & tricks for your specific trip please reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a video chat. I will also be responding to comments.