How to Snag the Cheapest Flight Every Time


Ah, the art of finding cheap flights. It’s a bit like finding a golden ticket, isn't it? Except, instead of a chocolate factory, you end up in far-flung places with the same amount of happiness and much less risk of turning into a blueberry. As a seasoned (read: slightly obsessed) flight deal hunter, I’m here to share the crème de la crème of tips and tricks that can save you money and stress. Who knows, with all the money you save, you might just be able to spring for that extra legroom or a fancy airport latte.

search flights using incognito mode

1. Become a Ninja of Incognito Mode

First things first, let’s talk about secret agent moves. Your browser is like that chatty aunt who can’t keep secrets; it tells airlines exactly how many times you’ve checked a flight and then, whoosh, prices soar! To avoid this, always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode. This way, each search is a fresh search, keeping those pesky price hikes at bay.

2. Flexibility is Your New Best Friend

If your dates are as flexible as a yoga instructor, you’re in luck. Flying mid-week or at less popular hours (think red-eye flights) can often save you an impressive stack of cash. Also, if you can manage a mean jig with your start and end dates, try the “whole month” search option available on most flight search engines. It’s like having a crystal ball that shows the cheapest days to fly out.

embrace layovers with sightseeing

3. Embrace the Layovers

While non-stop flights are convenient, they’re not always wallet-friendly. Opting for a flight with a layover can sometimes cut costs significantly. Plus, think of it as two vacations in one, especially if you have a long layover in a city you’ve never visited. Hello, impromptu sightseeing!

4. Loyalty Pays Off

Joining an airline’s frequent flyer program is like entering a secret society where points equal power. The more you fly, the more you earn, leading to discounts, upgrades, and sometimes even free flights. Airlines also tend to show their loyal customers a bit of extra love with exclusive deals.

don't miss a flight deal with alerts

5. Alerts Are Your Allies

Setting up price alerts through apps like Skyscanner, Hopper, or Google Flights and signing up for newsletters can be a game-changer. These nifty tools keep an eye on your dream tickets and let you know when prices dip, as well as keep you informed about any upcoming flight sales. It’s like having a personal assistant whose sole job is to watch flight prices, which, let’s be honest, is pretty fantastic.

6. The Early Bird Doesn’t Always Get the Worm

Booking too early can be just as pricey as booking too late. Airlines manage their inventory through a process that could rival rocket science. Typically, the sweet spot for booking flights is about 6-8 weeks in advance for domestic travels and 2-3 months for international. Keep this in mind, and don't jump the gun too quickly.

use your points for flights

7. Use Those Points!

Got a credit card that gives you travel points? Use them! Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses and points for purchases that can be redeemed for flights. Sometimes these points can even cover the entire cost of a ticket. Yes, it’s essentially free money—don’t let it sit idle!

8. Mix and Match Airlines

Who says you have to be monogamous with airlines? Booking your outbound and return flights with different airlines can sometimes lead to better savings. Various travel sites allow you to mix and match your airlines for the best deal, so play the field!

9. Consider Alternative Airports

Flying into a smaller, lesser-known airport can often be cheaper than flying into a major hub. These airports usually have lower landing fees, which can translate into cheaper tickets for you. Plus, smaller airports mean fewer crowds, shorter lines, and a more relaxed start to your adventure.

consider alternative airports and local airlines

10. Explore Local Airlines

When traveling internationally, don’t overlook local airlines not listed on major flight search engines. For example, if you’re travelling in Asia, carriers like AirAsia can offer rock-bottom prices that aren’t always visible on bigger sites. Doing a bit of extra research to check the local carriers can unearth deals that other travellers might miss.

11. The Greek Islands Trick: Piece Together Your Route

Here’s a secret weapon in the arsenal of any deal-hunting traveller—the Greek Islands Trick. This involves booking separate legs of a journey independently, which can sometimes save hundreds. For example, instead of booking a flight to a destination like Santorini, you might fly cheaply to a major hub like Athens and then snag a budget airline to the island. This method takes a bit more planning, but the savings can be substantial, making it a worthy adventure on its own.

12. Be Social

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Airlines often announce special promotions and sales on their social media platforms. So, follow your favorite airlines, and keep your eyes peeled for flash sales and last-minute deals. It’s like being in an exclusive club, but everyone’s invited.

Final Thoughts...

Remember, the quest for the cheapest flight might require patience, a bit of strategy, and maybe even a few sacrifices (like that extra hour of sleep). But the payoff? More travel for less money. And isn’t that what it’s all about? So, pack your digital tools, keep these tips in your back pocket, and start planning your next getaway. Safe travels, and may the fare be ever in your favour!