How and where to find cheap flights

Cheap flights is something we always want, but airfares can be expensive, depending on the route, available airlines & comfort you are looking for. However, is well known that flights have decreased its prices in recent years, connecting the world even more and allowing more people to travel.

Regardless of that, paying less and/or finding the cheapest option will always be our priority (as long as the flight meets our requirements, of course).

Nowadays, with an incredible amount of airlines and deals in the market, there is always an affordable/cheap option available, if you know where to look.

I have created a list of the tips and steps I take when booking a flight, and my favorite places and pages where to look when planning your trip to find cheap flights.

1. Try to be flexible

Airlines prices are based on season, demand, holidays and many other factors. If you decide to travel in popular dates (like Christmas or Summer) your flights are probably going to be more expensive that if you book any other day. The same apply for weekends (more expensive) VS weekdays (cheaper).

Traveling in off season and during weekdays will always be the cheapest way to go.

2. Search for smaller airports

Nowadays, many of the biggest cities will have not only one but two and even three airports. These airports might not be the principal ones or the closest to the city, but they will for sure have a better price for you. It also depends on the airline.

Companies like Ryanair and Spirit flight  to these secondary airports as they allow them to offer lower prices and allow you to buy cheap flights.

Skyscanner has a really great tool that allows you to search for more than one airport, expanding the search and the options. Under “destination” just click on the checkbox that says “Nearby Airports”.

2. Budget Airlines with cheap flights

Budget airlines are very popular nowadays, as they offer extremely affordable prices and cheap flights. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay for every extra service (like extra hand luggage, checked baggage, seat selection, snacks, and so forth).

This is a list of the most popular budget airlines:

3. Stop overs

When I was young, I was also broke but had time, so making a 32 hrs trip from Germany to Venezuela was not an issue. I actually enjoyed sleeping at the airport.

Today, I have a little more money to book a flight, but less time. It all depends on what you value the most at the time. Sometimes, longer trips with more stop mean cheaper prices.

Although this might not always be the case, just keep it in in mind when booking your flight, as it will allow you to book a cheap flight.

4. Sign up to the premium airline programs

Being a loyal customer comes with rewards the majority of time. Airlines tend to offer you discounts once you become a “member”. Sometimes it’s enough to get you free flights, others is just some money off the price, but I’m sure those couple bucks will make a difference.

5. Use search engines

There are many search engines and websites where to find cheap flights and good deals. All of them will come with different perks and advantages, but my favorite is for sure Skyscanner. 

It is extremely flexible, allowing you to choose the amount of stops, budget, nearby airports and would even give you the cheapest destination to flight to if you are not sure where to go. Momondo is also a very good search engine.

6. Book in advance

The majority of companies in the travel industry have something called “early discount”. They will usually give you a decent discount when you book at least 40 days in advance, as they want to make sure their hotel/flight have enough occupancy and seats sold for that date.

Planning your trip in advance is another good way to save money; especially if traveling off season.

7. Search for errors

Airlines make mistakes. We all humans do. Sometimes their fares will come with errors, whether is due to currency conversions, errors, technical glitches or any other reason, nowadays there are a couple websites specialized in finding these mistakes:

8. Mix and match airports

Sometimes it might be cheaper to flight one route with one Airline and another with a different one. For example, I recently had to flight to Portugal from Miami. I went to Madrid and then booked another flight to Porto.

Flying with the same company would have been around $500. Instead I did Miami-Madrid with Iberia ($250) and then Madrid-Porto with Ryanair (only $24!).

Identifying the cheapest days first and then buying the separate tickets would be the easiest way to go. Something that I will usually do is to search for my flights as “one way”, even if I’m traveling roundtrip.

This will display the daily fares on the calendar, something that won’t happen if you search for the roundtrip or multiple destinations.

Once you have identified the cheapest days, it’s just a matter of selecting the days and buying your tickets!