How to find cheap flights to anywhere is the million-dollar question!
The airline industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world – with airline’s direct websites, flight comparison platforms, and travel agencies – choices to buy flight tickets are endless.
Airlines take factors such as passenger demand, the time of year, and events in the world to price their flight tickets.
You could save some bucks here and there by trying your luck and booking in advance, but there are several hacks you can put into practice to always find cheap tickets wherever you’re going.
Let me tell you everything you need to know about how to get cheap flights to anywhere no matter the destination.
SHOULD YOU BOOK FLIGHTS IN ADVANCE OR LAST MINUTE?
Traveling requires preparation, and the most essential part of the trip is a cheap flight ticket. But where to find cheap flights, and should you purchase them in advance?
The reality is that, while you definitely have better chances to get a deal when booking in advance, you may be lucky enough to find dirt cheap flights last-minute. Of course, the latter option is pretty risky if you book your hotel or day tours.
But, if you’re heading to the airport with no travel destination in mind and haven’t booked anything before going, then you should try your luck and find last-minute deals.
For instance, after getting to the airport and talking to the airline’s cashier, they could potentially find a passenger canceling their ticket at the last moment and, for this reason, allowing you to travel very cheaply.
In plain words, while the best way to find cheap flights is to book ahead of time, the riskier option could open the doors to incredibly affordable fares.
WHEN TO BOOK YOUR FLIGHT FOR THE BEST FARE?
We’ve seen that booking in advance can lead you to find better prices, but when exactly should you book?
The best period of time to secure your domestic flight ticket is one to three months ahead of time. However, it is advisable to book 2 to 8 months before the departure date for international routes.
Of course, there are exceptions and finding good deals during Black Friday or other holiday events is a great way to find cheap flight tickets.
WILL YOU FIND CHEAPER FLIGHTS ON THE AIRLINE’S DIRECT WEBSITE?
With so many online platforms to find cheap flights to anywhere, it became less and less trendy to book direct. Typically, you will find better deals on websites like Skyscanner or Google Flights – unless you buy on selected dates like Christmas, Black Friday, and so on.
But, keep in mind that most flight booking platforms will not allow you to reschedule or cancel your flight unless you purchase a flexible ticket which can cost you a lot more.
Also, after buying your ticket, if the price changes, airlines are more likely to refund you the difference.
You should know that some online platforms don’t show some airlines and, therefore, you could miss some deals from cheap airlines such as Ryanair.
ALL THE HACKS TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS TO ANYWHERE
When you want to find cheap flights, there are a few tips and practices you should do in order to get the best possible rate.
By using one of the hacks I’ve listed below, you will save lots of money, so let’s dive right into it.
SEARCH YOUR NEXT FLIGHT USING INCOGNITO MODE
Have you ever noticed that the flight’s rate increases right after checking it out the first time? Well, this isn’t a coincidence. In fact, this is a standard strategy used by flight comparison sites.
The more interest you show, the higher the price will increase.
However, when searching for your next flight using incognito mode, your browsing history is clear, and they have, therefore, no way to see if you checked that same flight before.
Naturally, don’t expect to save hundreds of dollars with this strategy but rather only some bucks. If you want to save more and find cheap flights to anywhere at the best price, use a VPN – we’ll discuss this in the following paragraphs.
USE A VPN AND CONNECT TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS TO ANYWHERE
A VPN is software that tricks website platforms into thinking that you are located in another country. For example, you could be browsing the internet from the U.S. or Canada but making Skyscanner believe that you are in India and, therefore, display cheaper fares.
Yes, that’s right, flight tickets are generally cheaper when booking in “poorer” countries like Indonesia, India, or even Estonia.
On the other hand, browsing from the United States or Europe could be a little more complicated.
For example, I tried to book a flight from New York LaGuardia (LGA) to Cancun (CUN) for June 1st. The cheapest one-way fare was $164 for one person when trying to book from the US.
But, when using a VPN and setting it to Indonesia, the price dropped to $152 for the exact same flight, as you can see below.
You’ll tell me, “It’s only $12”, and I agree, but $12 can go a long way in Mexico.
Also, note that some flights will be much cheaper than that, and you could save hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars if you travel a lot.
SUBSCRIBE TO CHEAP FLIGHTS’ NEWSLETTERS
Some websites specialize in finding the best ever deals for you, so you don’t have to, and they love sharing what they have – error fares or genuine discounts.
The best newsletters you can subscribe to are:
These will allow you to save up to 90% on the flight’s regular price, and I can’t recommend them enough.
Lastly, you can also check HolidayPirates as they have endless deals and error fares that could be interesting to you. Note that HolidayPirates also offer hotel deals, cruises, and holiday packages.
BOOK AHEAD OF TIME
As mentioned previously, booking in advance is one of the best ways to lock the best price. Ideally, you’ll want to book your flight one to three months before the departure dates when flying domestic.
The best timeframe is two to eight months before flying for international departures.
Moreover, according to a report by Skyscanner, Tuesday is the best day to find cheap flights to anywhere within Europe, America, or even Asia.
In fact, airlines typically start their sales campaign on Monday, so Tuesday morning is the best day to book and save between 15-20%.
USE YOUR FLIGHT POINTS
It goes without saying that collecting and using miles points can enable you to travel cheaply and sometimes even for free.
Before continuing, you should consider that debit cards do not give you any points, and you’ll essentially only spend your money. But credit cards do offer something in return, and this is with their help that you can find cheap flights anywhere.
Most credit card companies have points programs while airlines have miles programs, and I highly recommend using them.
Some of the most popular miles programs are:
- Delta SkyMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Lufthansa Miles & More
- United MileagePlus miles
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles
- American Airlines AAdvantage
On the other hand, the most famous credit card companies to issues points include:
- Capital One miles
- Citi ThankYou Rewards
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Barclaycard Arrival Points
- Bank of America Premium Rewards
- American Express Membership Rewards
When it comes to credit card point programs, it’s worth noting that the more premium card you have, the more points you’ll collect. For instance, if you go for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll receive 180,000 as a welcome offer!
DEFINE A CHEAP LOCATION TO FLY TO
When traveling, may it be for business or leisure purposes, you should know that some destinations are cheaper than others. Sure, the departure airport must also be considered.
To give you an idea, CNBC listed the cheapest U.S airports to fly into, and the cheapest domestic ones are:
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Orlando (MCO)
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Detroit (DTW)
- Austin (AUS)
Also, Scott’s Cheap Flights listed the cheapest travel destinations to fly to, and the coolest ones outside of America are:
- Alberta, Canada: $259 on average
- Panama: $271 on average
- Venice, Italy: $473 on average
- Lisbon, Portugal: $479 on average
- Singapore: $498 on average
THE BEST WEBSITES TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS TO ANYWHERE
If you’re one of the many people who are constantly frustrated with finding dirt cheap flights, here are the best websites that will save time and money.
While some of them are very famous, such as Skyscanner, others are less known but still extremely useful for finding cheap flights anywhere.
Let’s go through all the best platforms you should know when booking a flight.
If you’ve ever researched cheap flights online, you’ll know that Skyscanner is by far the most popular comparison website. I especially love the platform’s ability to search by the month.
Sure, we’ve already seen that the cheapest day of the week to fly is on Tuesday, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, Mondays are cheaper, sometimes the weekend.
To use Skyscanner, simply head over to their website or download their mobile application – available for both iOS and Android.
Once on the main page, enter your travel dates and departure city. When clicking on the dates, you can select the option “whole month” then “cheapest month” and the website will display the best flights in terms of price.
You can either choose an airport or city for the arrival point or “Everywhere.” This function will allow you to see the cheapest countries to travel to.
After that, choose whether you want to travel roundtrip, one way, or multi-city. Once done, select the number of travelers, the cabin class, and click on “Search Flights.”
While you will find deals from most airlines around the world, not all of them are listed and you’ll need to check their website or other platforms to see their flights.
Google Flights is another incredibly efficient website to find dirt cheap flights, and I can’t recommend it enough. Skyscanner is my personal go-to when I travel, but Google Flights is great for several reasons.
First, more airlines are listed compared to other platforms, and this is great when traveling to certain parts of the world. That being said, some airlines aren’t promoted.
Secondly, you have a list of things to do in your travel destination and this is a fantastic feature for the ones that don’t know the best attractions in each city.
Of course, Google Flights also have the option to see flights everywhere, but you’ll see a map that adds a layer of entertainment for the users.
To sum up, Google Flights is one of the best websites to find your next cheap flight ticket as well as see the activities and vacation rentals.
Momondo is an easy-to-use, nicely-looking website that offers great deals to fly all around the world. The advantage that Momondo has compared to other platforms is that they provide car rental services and packages, which come in handy, especially for busy people or first-time travelers.
Simply insert your travel dates, your city of origin, and destinations, and click on “Search.” Following this, you will be prompted with the best routes and flights available.
The Momondo system also rates the routes from 1 to 10 based on price and duration. The shorter the flight and the better the deal, the higher the score. This is an excellent feature for those looking for a reasonable price but with no idea about the standard rates.
While Momondo is an excellent flight search engine, its competitors are often slightly cheaper, and that’s why I’d recommend checking Skyscanner and Google Flights first.
Kayak was introduced back in 2005 and was, at the time, one of the best search engines for accommodation. Fast forward to 2022, it has become a one-stop shop for all things travel and it’s arguably the best way to find cheap flights online.
You can search for flexible dates, you can choose your destination by price on a map, and you can search by trip purpose to find the best route and destination.
Kayak also gives you the possibility to choose between City, Beach, Family, Romantic, Outdoorsy, Foodie, and even more to please everyone.
On the flip side, it’s essential to highlight the downsides of Kayak. It’s quite a slow website compared to other platforms, and this is something to take into consideration if you’re in a rush.
Also, it doesn’t list the smaller OTAs and, therefore, you may miss out on great deals from the smaller agencies.
Expedia has been on the market for a while, and it’s easily one of the most famous travel websites for hotels, flights, cars, and packages.
As a whole, it’s one of the most complete and active travel websites in the world despite the thousands of reviews on Trustpilot. Thousands of customers use Expedia on a daily basis to book their next flight or holiday package, and these reviews don’t really define their business model.
The cool things about Expedia are its user-friendly interface, the basic yet aesthetic design, and it’s a reliable company in spite of not being ATOL or ABTA protected.
Oppositely, they don’t have an interactive map to show the available flights and their rates, but that isn’t a deal-breaker and, rather, just a small thumbs down.
Just like the other companies on this list, Orbitz is another giant in the travel industry, and they are your best answer to how to get cheap last minute flights.
It’s important to note that some airlines are not included in their deals, such as SkyBus, USA 3000, or even Southwest which is a shame. But, as a general rule of thumb, deals on Orbitz are sometimes even better than other platforms.
Moreover, they have a special section on hotels under $99 and flights under $199. Needless to say, Orbitz is one of the best options when searching for how to get cheap flights last minute.
Lastly, while some users may find it overwhelming, they have many different sections on their homepage, and I think it’s a great way to attract different types of people – with no ads!
Kiwi is one of the most recent travel websites – launched back in 2012 – but it has quickly become significant in the industry when it comes to searching for where to find cheap flights.
They also implemented a great function to compare alternative travel destinations in the area you searched flights for.
The multi-city option is a practical feature that allows you to find several flights depending on the route you’re taking and it adds a layer of convenience, especially when in a hurry to travel.
That being said, I’m not too fond of their average loading time, which makes the platform slower than some of its competitors, which can at times be an inconvenience.
But, I can disregard the last point when I see the advantages that Kiwi Guarantee adds to your trips. When adding it to your flights, they take responsibility for unexpected carrier changes. They also pay for your accommodation, give contributions for the airport transfer and you can enjoy their 24/7 assistance when on the road.
Did I mention that their mobile app is super cool, too!?
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about where to find cheap flights and if you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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