Anyone who has ever booked a flight knows that this process can be very complicated. There are thousands of websites to compare, endless possibilities, and so many additional options…. If you’re like me and you want to find a cheap flight to save for your trip, it can get overwhelming very quickly. That’s why I’m sharing my top 5 tips with you here!
1. Go Incognito!
By that I of course don’t mean chasing someone with sunglasses, baseball cap and black jogging suit… That probably won’t help you find a cheap flight 😀
Instead, you should turn on private mode on the device you are searching with. Alternatively, I would compare prices on different devices just before booking.
The search engines use your cookies and search history to see how many times you have already searched for the flight and change the prices accordingly. By deleting your search history and deactivating cookies, you can’t really save much, but a nice meal at your destination could be paid with this trick.
2. Be flexible!
In most cases, you book a flight with a specific destination and for a fixed period of time. But if you want to save money, it’s worth being a little more flexible in your planning, especially in terms of time and location.
If you haven’t decided where exactly you want to go and you just want to get away from your daily life, it’s worth selecting “somewhere” as your destination when searching for a flight. Most websites already offer this option, and you can often filter by certain criteria, such as continents or whether it should be a city or beach trip. This way, you can not only find incredibly great deals, but also discover completely new places that you might not have thought of otherwise.
Another point regarding the place is the location of the airport. Usually, you only search for flights from the airport that is closest to you. But for me in Germany for example, it’s often worth looking for other major airports nearby. That way I can get on the train early and after one or two hours I’m at an airport that might have had better deals for my destination.
Also in terms of travel time you have several options to save money by being flexible.
You should always try different combinations of your flight dates and adjust the setting on the website accordingly. As you know, traveling over Christmas, New Year and summer vacations is especially expensive. So it’s smart to look outside the peak season. What you should consider in your preparation too, is that local holidays, fairs, concerts and sport events can also increase flight and hotel prices.
And last but not least, your flexibility also shows in the departure times or flight duration. Different times have different pros and cons, but in the end you can save a bit of money here too by not sticking too much to usual behavior. Night flights have the advantage that you have plenty of time to arrive the next day. Daytime flights are often less tiring, but then you have half a day less in your destination.
So over all it always depends on your perspective and how flexible and optimistic you are.
3. Use a good search website!
As with so many other things, there are endless options and websites to search for flights. One site that I have been using for years and that I can highly recommend is momondo.com.
Momondo searches through many other sites for the cheapest flights, you can see at a glance which date is the best to save money, you can choose open destinations and Momondo also gives you a recommendation whether you should book the flight now or wait a little longer.
Of course there are many other sites for searching…. Skyscanner, Expedia, Kayak and many more. I recommend you to check the prices on different sites and if you have already found your desired flight, also check the prices of the airline on their own homepage.
4. Start early and get notifications!
The early bird catches the worm…. Or in this case: The early bird books cheap flights. As soon as I know that I want to travel somewhere, I start looking for the right flights. The sooner the better. Even if you don’t book directly, it helps you to get a good feeling for a low price.
It also helps to check prices regularly and activate the price alert offered by many sites for your flight dates via email. Then you will never miss a top offer.
5. Look for Special offers!
My last act before finally booking a flight is a quick search for discount codes. Many websites, airlines or affiliate programs offer small discounts on flight bookings. So I can often save another 10% on my trips!
If you want to travel on short notice, then you can also look for super last minute trips and pay attention to special promotions of the airlines. There are special pages or Facebook groups for this… Just try it out!
In conclusion, it´s really hard to find a brilliant offer… But already 100 or 200 €/$ can then be invested in great food, clothes or souvenirs on your next trip.