Cheap Flights when you have Flexible Dates: The Best Websites & Tips
Prices for airfare have increased drastically over the past several years. Sometimes, cheap flights can only be found when you are flexible with travel dates. Other times, you can find cheap flights anywhere, anytime. The secret is knowing where to look.
If I am not getting sponsored for a trip, I tend to go through several channels to get the best rate. Below, I will talk about the best websites to find cheap flights and some tips & advice from my personal experience.
I’ve been using Skyscanner for the longest time. Whether it is to find the cheapest rate for my next trip or just to goggle at potential destinations through their ‘Flexible’ option, the possibilities are endless. If you are flexible with your date, flights will be cheaper. There is also the option of selecting the cheapest month to travel.
Try the search option above, or download the Android app here or the IOS app here.
Rome2rio gives a glimpse of several possible routes to the final destination. Though their flight choices are limited when compared to Skyscanner’s, they do deliver a rather detailed public transportation profile with bus numbers, departure times and even photos for clarification.
Secret Flying is an excellent site with loads of discounts for destinations around the world. Their entire website focuses on error flights and cheap flight deals, especially if you are flexible with your dates. While savings are incredible, choices are limited due to the nature of these deals. Error flights are generally fixed within a short time, so they may be gone when you log onto the actual site for purchases.
Even if you don’t use Couchsurfing for living arrangements, you can access the website just for local tips & advice. A discussion group I found extremely helpful when booking tickets are “Airlines (low-cost, budget, cheap flights)”
Aside from a list of useful websites, there are several other things to keep in mind when booking flight tickets:
- Put your browser in incognito mode (better yet, use VPN).
- Use a different currency when looking up flights. For example, when I used Indian rupees on one of the sites as opposed to CAD, the flight price dropped quite a bit.
- If you have a set destination and travel date, book 2-3 months before the trip.
- Sign up for newsletters and mailing lists.
- Sign up for a frequent flyer program- aeroplan, airmiles etc.
- Leverage transit flights. Use key search words on Google such as ‘transit flights, cheap, UK-CA’, etc. to discover possible transit flights. This will not only give you the option to fly cheaper but may also provide short stops in cities of interest.
- Take advantage of airline deals. E.g.: In an attempt to boost tourism, Icelandair provides a free seven-day layover in Iceland. As a result, I was able to stay for a few nights in this beautiful Scandinavian country en-route to Paris.
- Leverage package deals- Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. Sometimes, guided tours can be cheaper than a roundtrip flight.
- If you are in the military or in school, look for cheap military flights or flights with student discounts.
And there it is! Some of the best websites to find cheap flights, so you can find them anytime, towards anywhere.
Need some motivation to get you off your feet? Read these traveler’s inspiring stories!
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