Our Travel Routine: Finding Cheap Flights
“Go enjoy life while you’re young” they say. “Spend the money on travel and experiences” we constantly hear. “Just go!” But how? How do these people we see constantly travel afford to live such seemingly unbelievable lives? The answer is, they know the secrets to cheap travel, particularly finding good deals on flights. This means they have learned the in’s and out’s of budget traveling and finding the cheapest flights to or near any destination.
Not only do you have to have the right resources and websites to find the cheapest flights, but you also have to know what you are doing. You have to know the tricks to going about it the right way and at the right times. Slight changes will make all the difference to your wallet.
There are many things that you can do before looking for flights to ensure you have the easiest experience and also get the best pricing. Little tricks such as changing the status of your web browser can dramatically affect the prices of the flights that come up on your search. It is so important to have an all-around solid traveling game plan. This includes a well-planned-out routine as well as the BEST websites to find the ultimate deals. With all of these factors put together, finding great prices for great flights will be a breeze.
Before Searching for Cheap Flights
The key to finding cheap flights, for the most part, is to be flexible. This means a few things. For one, be flexible with the dates that you can plan your trip. If it is available on the website, choose “anytime” as the flight dates so the website can search for the cheapest flights available of all time! This feature really makes all the difference in my favorite websites Sky Scanner and Travel Pirates.
It is also great when you can be flexible with your destination. This can be beneficial in more than one way! First of all, flying to an airport near your dream destination can easily save you hundreds of dollars. It is always cheaper to travel within a country so once you are already in the country that you want to be in, you can easily take a bus, train, or cab to where you need to be. Make a day of it and explore! If you plan strategically it can add so much unexpected fun to your trip. One of my favorite websites for this is Air Wander. They find you flights with layovers so you can add another city into your itinerary, and save loads of Mula.
Another thing people often forget to do is be willing to travel a bit from your home airport. It is usually easiest for me to fly out of Tampa, but it is worth it to check surrounding airports. I check Clearwater, Orlando, Ft Lauderdale, and everything in between. We save hundreds of dollars by driving an extra hour or two to the airport. It is usually worth it, although Travis and I do not enjoy long car rides.
Ultimate list of websites to compare the cheapest flights
Sky scanner – I have watched countless videos and read countless blogs on booking cheap flights. Everyone swears by different sites, but there is one website that almost everyone has in common: skyscanner.com. If you aren’t comparing sky scanners’ prices on airfare, you are really missing out on huge savings!
Matrix ITA Software – This website is pretty cool. This is actually the database that a lot of online websites use to find cheap flight prices. You actually can’t buy a flight through Matrix ITA. You have to go to a travel agent such as Expedia or the actual airline to find your itinerary and match your cheap flight findings. WIN!
Secret Flying – Secret flying finds all of the best flight deals as soon as they are posted! They are on the secret flying site right away. When you find the deal you like, just click it and book it with a third-party agent. The deals usually sell out quickly and there are many short-term flash sales so keep your eyes peeled.
Airfare Wacthdog – Another amazing website! This one allows you to compare airfares from multiple airlines but what makes it especially cool is that it find mishaps in airfares that may for some reason make them lower. Sometimes this is a conversion mistake or just a human error, but the airfare watchdog will find it for your benefit!
Student Universe – Student Universe offers great discounts not only for students, but also people 26 years old and younger. You can find some really good deals on this website if you are in the age limits.
Air Wander – This is a cool site to make your trip a 2-4-1 special! Type in your destination city and Air Wander recommends layover that save you a lot of money, and give you some time in another city to explore! WIN-WIN!
Momondo – This is another one that I see a lot of travel bloggers and frequent travelers use to find good deals on flights.
Travel Pirates -founded in Germany by a traveling student. travel pirates finds amazing flight deals and price drops. Like any airfare search engine, your best bet to finding the BEST flights are when you are flexible with when and where you are flying to.
Dunhill Travel Deals – Dunhill Travel Deals is the bomb(dot)com when it comes to last-minute travel. They find all the last-minute deals and flash sales before they run out. They not only have last minute flights but also cruises and vacation packages with crazy deals.
Jet Radar – This site is awesome because it includes budget airlines that some other search engines don’t include. Sometimes these prices are too low for other search engines to make money off them so they don’t post them. Ding ding ding. Don’t forget to add jet radar to your list of websites to check for airfares.
Groupon – I don’t use Groupon but there can be some very good deals on there! They may not be 5 star resorts but we still love traveling on a budget. Not everything has to be perfect to be an amazing experience. We often browse the travel section in Groupon. Sometimes we can add on a few days at a destination by finding a cool Groupon deal.
Living Social – This is also similar to Groupon, and we don’t really use it but you can find some good deals on there. These are more for resorts and things to do but some vacation packages include flights. Go take a look.
I love the convenience of having an app on my phone rather than the web browser. Here are our favorite apps for checking cheap flights on the go.
Go to your App Store to search for them. Their websites are linked but not the app.
Hopper (no website) – Uses data to let you know the best time to book flights. It is an “airfare prediction” app that we haven’t used personally, but have heard many good things about.
Trip Advisor – I am a bit of a review junkie. Trip advisor has reviews for absolutely everything! I love checking the recommendations before going to a place and comparing it to our experience.
Full Glass – This app doesn’t directly help with travel, but it is a necessity nonetheless. Find all the best deals and coupons for local bars and restaurants. It is no secret that finding new drinks and food are some of our favorite things to do in a new city. Check out the deals on Full Glass before going out.
Rome 2 Rio – This app helps you navigate anywhere in the world easily. Type in your location and your future destination, and it will tell you your travel options. You can choose the best route or the cheapest. Whatever works for you. I NEED this app because I hate feeling lost somewhere. Now I never have that feeling … as long as I have wifi.
Agoda – This is a hotel booking app, which is owned by the same company that owns Priceline.com and Booking.com. You can instantly book hotels with great deals right from your smartphone and read current reviews.
We are not sponsored by any of these websites or apps and this is not an ad. This is the routine we go through for booking cheap travel, and these are our best resources. Travel is super affordable if you have patience, flexibility, and an awesome list of websites to cross-reference. Enjoy your flight search!