Airfare is the most expensive component of most trips. While airfare costs have decreased in recent years, they may still put a significant dent in any travel budget. Finding a cheap flight deal might make or break your trip whether you’re on a budget as a solo traveler or with family planning a vacation abroad. After all, if the cost of your flight is prohibitive, you’ll likely postpone your visit indefinitely. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Yet every day, airlines provide thousands of fantastic offers—from unintentionally published fares to unique incentives to price cuts in order to compete with another airline. Cheap airfares are readily available, and they might make your fantasy holiday a reality — just keep searching.
Today, I’ll show you how to locate a cheap flight. These are the exact processes I’ve been using for a decade to get the lowest possible airfare every time I fly. You’ll never be the person who paid the most for their ticket if you follow these steps! 14 Easy Tips to Always Find Cheap Flights in 2022.
Use a Flight Tracker
If you want to be sure you’re getting the best deal on flights, use a flight tracker. There are many different flight tracking websites and apps available, but our favorite is Skyscanner. Just enter in your travel dates and departure/arrival cities and it will show you a list of all the flights available, as well as the cheapest days to fly. You can also set up price alerts so you’ll be notified when the price drops on your desired flights.
Be Flexible with Your Dates
If you’re not tied down to specific travel dates, then you’ll have a much better chance of finding cheap flights. For example, flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is usually cheaper than flying on a Friday or Sunday. And, if you have the flexibility to travel during off-peak times like shoulder season or winter, you’ll often find lower airfares as well.
Fly During Off-Peak Times
Speaking of off-peak times, one of the best ways to save money on flights is to travel during periods when there are fewer travelers. For example, flying during the week (as opposed to the weekend) or during shoulder season (the period between high and low season) can often lead to lower airfares. Of course, this isn’t always possible – especially if you’re traveling for work or to visit family – but it’s worth considering if you have the flexibility.
Avoid Busy Travel Periods
In addition to avoiding peak times, you should also try to avoid busy travel periods. These are the times when everyone is trying to fly, and as a result, airfares are often higher. Some examples of busy travel periods include holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, as well as summer break and spring break. If you can, avoid flying during these times or book your flights well in advance.
Compare Prices on Multiple Websites
Don’t just blindly book your flights on the first website you come across. Instead, take some time to compare prices on multiple websites before making your final decision. This is especially important if you’re using a travel agent, as they may not always have the best deals. Some of our favorite websites for finding cheap flights include Skyscanner, Kayak, and Google Flights.
Use an Airline Price Guarantee
If you’re worried about booking your flights too early and then seeing the price drop, consider using an airline price guarantee. With this type of guarantee, you can book your flights and then get a refund or credit if the price decreases later on. Not all airlines offer this type of guarantee, but some that do include Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways.
Join an Airline Loyalty Program
If you fly with a particular airline often, it’s worth joining their loyalty program. With most programs, you’ll earn points every time you fly which can then be redeemed for free or discounted flights, upgrades, and other perks. Some of the more popular airline loyalty programs include Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus.
Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card
If you don’t want to join an airline-specific loyalty program, another option is to use a travel rewards credit card. With this type of credit card, you can earn points or miles for every dollar you spend, which can then be redeemed for free or discounted travel. There are many different travel rewards credit cards available, so be sure to compare your options before applying.
Look for Flight Deals and Sales
If you’re flexible with your travel dates, one of the best ways to find cheap flights is to look for flight deals and sales. Airlines often offer discounted fares on specific routes or during certain periods, so it’s worth checking their websites or signing up for their email newsletters to stay in the loop. You can also follow them on social media, as many airlines will announce deals and sales through their channels as well.
Join a Travel Site or App
There are many different travel sites and apps that can help you save money on flights, hotels, and more. Some of our favorites include Kayak, Skyscanner, Google Flights, and Hopper. With these types of sites and apps, you can set up price alerts, compare prices, and find the best deals on travel.
Use a Flight Search Engine
In addition to using a travel site or app, you can also use a flight search engine to find cheap flights. A flight search engine is a tool that searches multiple airlines and websites to find the best deals on flights. Some popular flight search engines include Momondo and Kiwi.com.
Search for Error Fares
If you really want to save money on flights, one option is to search for error fares. These are flight deals that are usually published by mistake and can often be up to 90% off the normal price. While these deals are hard to find, it’s worth doing a search on websites like Secret Flying and The Flight Deal to see if there are any error fares available for your travel dates.
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you’ll have a much better chance of finding cheap flights. For example, flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday is often cheaper than flying on a Friday or Sunday. You can also try to avoid flying during peak travel periods like holidays and summer break.
According to CheapAir, the best time to book your flight is usually Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. That’s because many airlines release their fares for the upcoming week on Tuesday mornings, and then competitors will match or beat those prices later in the day.
Avoid Popular Travel Times
If you want to save money on flights, it’s best to avoid flying during popular travel times like holidays and summer break. Not only are flights typically more expensive during these periods, but they’re also often more crowded as well. If you have to travel during a peak period, try to fly midweek instead of on the weekends.
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