Traveling is invigorating. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, you can always learn something from your trips.
What’s not invigorating is the cost of travel, especially flights. Typically airfare and accommodations make up the largest expense of a trip. To help reduce your travel expenses and save money, you can find cheaper flights using a variety of interesting methods.
Here are some ways to find cheaper flights when booking your travels.
1. Incognito Mode
First and foremost, you should search for flights using the incognito mode of your browser. This ensures that airlines are not tracking your activity with cookies so they can raise the rates on a ticket if you exit and return to the page.
Incognito Mode Help
Find out how to use incognito mode for your favorite web browsers.
2. Airline and Travel Newsletters
Newsletters are your best friend when it comes to finding cheaper flights. There are two types of newsletters you should look out for.
Airline Company Newsletters
Start from the source. By subscribing to the newsletter of your favorite airlines, you can receive deals and discounts right from the company. These aren’t as frequent or huge, but can be a great way to save if the right deal comes your way.
Deals and discount newsletters are probably the #1 way I have saved on air travel in the past few years. I don’t subscribe to a ton of deals newsletters, but the few I do have sent me some incredible information.
I’d like to personally recommend the site/newsletter: Scott’s Cheap Flights
Almost daily I receive flash emails with massive discounts and sales for flights all over the world. Most of the time, they aren’t relevant to me, but when they are, the deals are great.
To give you an example of how good the deals are. In the last year, Scott’s Cheap Flights has helped me find:
- Round trip flights to Puerto Rico for under $200 (from Boston).
- Flash deals in the US between major cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, and Atlanta.
- Discounts on travel through Europe (savings of over $300 per ticket)
Keep your eye on Scott’s Cheap Flights and other travel newsletters to find some incredible deals.
3. Booking Errors
Sometimes airlines under/over book a flight or make an error with their scheduling. This is a great chance to save on flights.
The best way to capitalize on these is by:
- Knowing your travel plans ahead of time
- Searching frequently (once a week or so)
- Signing up for deals newsletters
- Follow @theflightdeal and @airfarewatchdog on Twitter
Having flexibility in your travel dates, which airports you fly through, and the airlines you use gives you a lot of room to save.
Oftentimes you can find drastic discounts just by checking slightly different dates in the same month. You also might be able to save more money by booking roundtrip rather than direct flights.
When using Google Flights, click the dates in the top right to view the prices for various dates around your travel time.
5. Pro Booking Tips
Typically this works best for domestic flights only and is most likely due to a scheduling pattern by airlines. Other sites and sources have argued that the best deals vary frequently so be sure to check outside of 3PM on Tuesdays as well. :)
Another pro tip is to check for Morning Deals. You’ll find the best prices available in the early morning, with tickets selling out as the day goes on.
Finally, try to avoid booking flights on Friday and Sunday as these are typically the most expensive days to travel.
Airport cover photo background by Skyler Smith.