This is what everyone wants to know, how to score cheap flights. Our heads are filled with dreamy destinations from around the world and we’d love to travel to them all but it’s just not cheap, right? Wrong! Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m going to show you how to cut down on your single biggest travel expense, flights. Because if you can score a cheap flight, the rest of the trip basically plans itself.
Pro Tips for Booking Cheap Flights
Find Your Flexibility
First of all, I need to explain to you biggest my travel planning secret. This idea is the backbone of all my travel plans and it allows me to go further than I otherwise could have. When we’re planning a trip, we have 3 main considerations: Location, Timing, & Budget. You can’t have all three work in your favor, so you have to pick one that you’re going to be flexible on. You’re reading this article so I know your budget isn’t flexible. That leaves location and timing. Let me give you an example. Last year I went to Ecuador, but Ecuador was never even on my radar. I wanted to go to Peru and see Machu Picchu (of course), but Ecuador is right next door and cost $1000 less. It was a no brainer. Ecuador was an AMAZING trip (read more about that here) and I was able to take that trip because I was flexible with my location. Last year I also was able to visit Barbados because I was flexible with timing. I wanted to go a certain week but then it turns out that was school break week so everyone was trying to go then and the prices were up. I pushed the trip back one week and saved $800 (and it was an awesome trip, check it out right here). I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise! So please, think about your budget, location, and timing, and then decide which can be flexible.
Do Your Research
Good things take time. If there was just one website that had every cheap flight deal, I wouldn’t need to write this post and you wouldn’t need to read it. Start your search on Google Flights, they do a nice job of compiling information from many sites (duh, it’s Google). Then check out cheapoair.com they have loads of cheap flight options, and I actually am flying to Korea for only $450 on a flight booked with them. You also want to check cheaptickets.com and expedia.com. And then, be sure to look at the airline’s website directly. Some airlines (like Southwest) don’t work with any of these flight search websites so you can only book directly on their website. And sometimes they’ll be offering special deals on their site. Search on different days of the week and at different times of the day while you’re researching the trip, to see what’s the cheapest rate you can get (but be sure to clear your cookies so the search is actually new!).
Sign Up For Rewards
Sign up for rewards programs with every airline you use so that you can earn frequent flyer miles. Sign up for rewards programs with every search engine website you use to book (like CheapOair and Expedia) so you can earn points with them. And sign up for a credit card that specializes in travel purchases (I use Blue Sky from American Express). Then, use all three of these reward systems with every flight you purchase, therefore TRIPLING your reward points earnings! The best way to maximize the rewards systems is to stay as loyal as you can to one or a few. As much as you can, try to always fly the same airline and book using the same website, so you can build up points with them. But if you need to fly a different random airline, be sure to sign up for their rewards program, you never want to miss a points earning opportunity!
My last piece of advice for you…be spontaneous! Sometimes the absolute best cheap flights deals are last minute bookings because the airline has spots they need to fill. Check out lastminute.com for cheap last minute flight deals. Also, download my favorite app called Get The Flight Out! It tells you the cheapest flights leaving your home airport in the next 24 hours. It’s actually a great tool for scoring cheap flights, and at the very least it will get you dreaming about all the different places around the world that you could fly to TONIGHT! It’s a lot of fun.
There are my four biggest recommendations for you to score cheap flights! Now go forth and travel, you have no excuse not to see the world!
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