We all want to get cheap flights, but oftentimes we don’t know how.
This guide will show you how you can get cheap flights, step by step.
I will also share with you the best tips on the topic.
If you want to get straight to the point, scroll down until you see the title:
“How to find cheap flights with Skyscanner”.
Otherwise, stay here, and take a look at these useful tips.
Tips for Finding Cheap Flights
The first tip is:
There is no unique and magical tip.
The good news is that a few tips will be enough to get cheap flights.
Nowadays, airlines use complex algorithms to sell their tickets as expensive as possible, based on passenger demand, the time of year, popular events, and much more.
This is exactly the opposite of what we want, which is to buy a ticket as cheaply as possible.
What can we do then?
They have their algorithms, and we have our tips.
Open Dates Equals Cheap Flights
If you want to fly when everybody else is flying, it’s going to be expensive – no surprise here!
Oftentimes, we don’t stop to think about flying during the low season, which can result in getting the same flight at 50% off the price or more.
In Europe, everybody travels in August, at Christmas, and during Holy Week.
In the USA, people travel on New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July.
Other countries have Ramadan, the Chinese New Year, and other festivities.
If you can’t choose the dates, I recommend you buy your tickets as soon as possible. It’s the only way to save money.
Are You Flexible About Destinations?
This is another thing that can help you a lot to find cheap flights.
Fortunately, we have the option to find our destination on a map. This way you can compare prices to different destinations.
Skyscanner offers this option. Later, I will give you all the details about it.
Other websites, such as Google Flights and Kayak, have this option too, but Skyscanner gives you the cheapest flights.
Nowadays there are many budget airlines. Almost every country has one. In Europe, I recommend Vueling.
Budget airlines offer cheaper prices in exchange for less legroom, food, drinks, luggage included, and other stuff.
It’s always worth the time spent checking them out. You may save some money.
However, watch out for the extra fees. Budget Airlines try to charge you for everything.
Pay attention at all times, especially to the conditions relating to the size and weight of luggage.
You will pay a lot at the airport if you exceed the limits.
Book and pay online for any checked-in luggage – again, not at the airport.
I selected a list of the most popular budget airlines around the world.
Check it out!
Sun Country Airlines
Some countries have some cheap, decent airlines. The best way to find out about them is by asking local people and searching online.
By the way, also ask if they’re safe!
The point is that sometimes local airlines are not included in airline search engines.
I guess you know this tip. The sooner you book, the cheaper your tickets will be.
Some people talk about last-minute deals. Well, it’s possible but improbable.
If you already know where and when you want to go, don’t think twice – buy it.
This is especially important in peak season.
Flying on Weekdays or Weekends
There is no right or wrong answer to this. It depends on your destination.
Some places are popular on weekdays because of business, others on weekends because people from the cities go there.
Fortunately, Skyscanner shows you the prices for the whole month. You can easily find the cheapest day to fly.
Carrying just what you really need will save you money. You will not have to pay extra for your luggage.
Although it’s difficult to travel light when you’re away for a long time, just do your best.
Be Careful About Extra Charges
Some airlines charge you for:
Choosing seats: extra money
Meals: extra money
Extra Luggage: extra money
The possibility to change your flight: extra money
Donating to their favorite NGO: extra money
Pay attention while you’re booking your flight. You may notice an increase in the price without knowing where it came from.
Recheck the details.
Airline Safety Rating
Not all countries have the same safety standards.
When you are dealing with local airlines, it’s always a good idea to check the airline out if you have doubts.
Nevertheless, airplane accidents are rare.
The Best Search Engines for Finding Cheap Flights
There are several flight-comparison websites. If you don’t know which is best, you can get confused and tired.
Among all the search engines, we have selected the best two to find your flight.
Number one: Skyscanner
Number two: Momondo
Plus: Budget Airlines/Local Airlines
You will find all the details about them below.
Use Skyscanner, Momondo, and some Budget/Local Airline, if any.
Then you can compare which flight is the cheapest or which has the best schedule for you.
Skyscanner vs. Momondo
I compared ten different flights from ten different cities and destinations. Every single time flights were cheaper on Skyscanner when I compared them monthly.
However, on certain dates, Momondo showed cheaper flights than Skyscanner.
This website has an extremely useful option to get cheap flights.
First of all,
On the top menu, set up your language, country, and currency.
Save it and move to the next step.
Second, if you don’t have to fly on a specific day, choose a whole month to find the cheapest flights.
In this case, we chose flights from San Francisco to Toronto in May 2020.
When you select a particular month, it will show you the prices on each day of that month, as you can see on the next screenshot.
Now you can compare different cheap flight for different days. It’s easy to find one that suits you and is the cheapest available.
Click on the day you want, then click again on the green button “Show Flights”.
In the next step, you can organize the flights by prioritizing three different categories:
“The Best”, “The Cheapest” or “The Fastest”.
We chose the cheapest. That’s why we’re here!
Now, take a look at the flights.
On the screenshot, you can see only two flights, but there are many more.
See which is the best for you and start the process of buying the ticket.
You have done the main selection. In the next step, you will be redirected to the airline’s website.
The details might be slightly different, depending on the company.
Just pay attention to avoid extra charges.
Go ahead and buy it! Don’t wait! Don’t Think! Do it!
I found that it’s better to search for a one-way ticket and the return ticket separately.
You will have more options and cheaper options, especially for the return flights.
I will show you using images. This is a screenshot of a flight from London to Paris in June 2020 – a return ticket.
The next screenshots are from a one-way ticket from London to Paris in June 2020.
And the next …
This is a screenshot of a one-way ticket from Paris to London in June 2020.
There is an incredible difference, especially between the return flight from Paris to London and Paris to London one way.
When you search for one-way tickets, it’s not just much cheaper, you also have more options.
Skyscanner: Find Cheap Flights Using a Map
If you don’t know where to go, and you are open about your destination, Skyscanner has something for you.
On the main webpage scroll down until you see the next title:
Click on the link. It will bring you to an interactive map with the following options.
Flying from: Choose city
Depart: Choose month
Price: Choose Maximum price – the lowest is $100.
Nonstop routes only: Click for on/off
We choose flights from Los Angeles in May 2020.
When you click on the city you want to travel to, it will open a window with the prices on each day; in this case, from Los Angeles to Cancun.
Now choose how many nights you want to stay.
Flights available and prices will change depending on the length of your stay.
We decide to stay seven nights, and this is what we get.
You will get different options. We choose to fly on May 5. You see that you can get flights from $293.
Click on the green button “from $293”. On the next screen, you will have several cheap flights.
We notice that the cheapest flight actually costs $295, not $293.
Close enough, I guess.
You can sort them by the “Best”, “Cheapest” or “Fastest”.
Also, you can compare the prices in each category.
“The Best” costs $398 for a 4 hr 54 min flight.
“The Cheapest” costs $295 for a 9 hr 38 min flight.
Would you pay $103 to save 4 hrs 44 mins?
In this case, the answer is probably not, but sometimes it can be worth paying a bit more to save some time.
We choose the cheapest price. We get four cheap flights at $295 with different schedules.
Plus, there are other flights at slightly more expensive rates.
Choose the flight you like the most, and go ahead and click the green button, “Select”.
On the next screen, you will see a list of websites to buy your ticket.
Let’s take the first because it’s the cheapest. Click “Select”.
Now, you will be redirected to the website to buy your ticket. Fill out the passenger details and confirm the booking.
You got yourself a cheap flight.
When you enter a date into Momondo’s website it will show you a chart of 20 days – nine days before that date and ten days after.
That gives you an idea of the cheapest day available.
If you click on the arrows at the beginning or end of the chart, you will see 20 days earlier or later.
You can also click a single day on the chart, and then click a button below that says, “Search These Days.”
Doing so, the day you chose will be taken as a reference, and it will search for days before and after that date.
You have some interesting options. You can choose if you want a direct, nonstop flight; a flight with a maximum of one-stop; or any other.
Take-off and landing time.
For example, between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
This is useful when you don’t want to arrive late at night. Maybe after a certain time, there is no public transportation, or it’s not totally safe.
Other options include:
Choose your day and favorite options. Momondo will show you a list of flights with different prices and flight legs.
In this case, it shows you 16 flights between $26 and $56.
In the first positions, we have:
The cheapest flight at $26 dollars for a 15 h 35 min flight.
Another one at $31 for a 2 h 35 min flight.
What do you think?
We had better take the $31 deal. By paying an extra $5 we avoid almost 13 hours extra on our trip.
Click “View Deal” on the one you like, and you will be redirected to the airline’s website.
Double-check all the details and proceed if everything is correct.
You got yourself a cheap flight.
You can also try Airfarewatchdog. It’s a search engine for special deals.
So it’s more like once in a while thing. But you can get lucky!
Would you share other tips? Leave them in the comments section.