6-Step Quick Guide to Cheap Flights
October 21st, 2016 by Lauren Tharp
Planning your next adventure can be a total blast! Planning your flight to get there…? Not so much.
By taking the time to snag a cheap flight, you’ll have more money to spend on the fun part of your trip. However, getting cheap flights isn’t always easy. This is why we’ve put together this quick guide to help you get started.
Step One: Search in Incognito Mode
It’s long been known that flight prices change after you’ve searched for them a few times in your browser. Due to the cookies in your browser, flight prices increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched. This is a tactic flight sites use to scare you into buying your tickets more quickly. Pretty dirty trick, huh?
In order to avoid this, search for your flights in incognito/private mode.
In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Control (or “Command” if using a Mac), Shift, “N.” For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Control (or “Command”), Shift, “P.” This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search.
Step Two: Use a Flight Search Engine
Keep in mind that no single search engine is consistently perfect. You may need to try a combination of search engines to ensure you’re not missing any results.
Step Three: Look for the Cheapest Day to Fly Out
There are a lot of theories as to when to book flights. A lot of people think that flying out on a Tuesday is the best. However, the truth is, there’s no “100% cheapest” day to fly out. You’ll have to check for yourself.
The best strategy is to take a look at the prices for an entire month and then see which days are the cheapest for your preferred route. Here’s how you do this:
- Get on your preferred flight search engine.
- Enter your departure & arrival cities
- Select “one-way” (even if flying round trip – you’re just determining the cheapest days to fly out first)
- Click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month” so you can see which date is cheapest.
- Repeat these steps for your return flight if applicable.
Step Four: Use a Budget Airline
Budget airlines really are cheaper. By booking a flight on Jetblue, Southwest, or one of the many other budget airlines, you’ll keep a lot more money in your pocket for buying souvenirs once you get to your destination.
However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind about budget airlines before you book your flight:
- You’ll likely need to pay for luggage weight.
- You will likely pay extra for in-flight food and drink (it’s not included).
- You may need to print your own ticket.
- The airport could be outside of a major city (check first!).
- The customer service is actually pretty good (on par with “regular” airlines!).
- The aircraft may be more basic inside (don’t expect a luxury trip).
Step Five: Don’t Wait to Book
If you know where you’re going and when, don’t wait to book your tickets. Airline tickets almost never get cheaper the closer you get to your departure date – in fact, they tend to increase!
More often than not, you’ll save more when booking as far ahead as you can.
Step Six: Check If It’s Cheaper to Pay in Other Currencies
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. Often budget airlines will make you pay in the currency of the country you’re departing from, but this isn’t always the case.
It can be a little tricky to pay in another currency, but it could be worth it if substantial savings are involved. Just make sure you’re using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees, otherwise your attempts to save money doing this will be lost.
By using this guide, you should be able to save a few hundred dollars on your next flight. 🙂
And if you’re having trouble deciding where to fly to, check out our guide on how to choose your next travel destination!