I don't know about you, but I never plan to pay full price for a plane ticket. There are a plethora of resources for finding travel deals so why not save if you can? Sure, it may require some time and research, but in the long run, you can save hundreds of dollars!
Here are my go-to strategies for finding crazy cheap travel deals!
1. Use Google Flights
My personal favorite search tool is Google Flights because it is extremely user-friendly and reliable. I love how you can enter your destination and it will show you the cheapest flights every single day. The green prices are the lowest fares.
Occasionally, a little tip will pop up informing me that the price of my flight is expected to drop in a few days. You can opt to turn on a tracker for your flight and Google Flights will email you as soon as the price drops.
If you know you want to travel, but don't know where you want to go, Google Flights has an explore option with suggestions of popular destinations you can travel to for the best value. All you have to do is enter the airport you plan to fly out of.
You can check out other neat Google Flight features here.
2. Play Around with Dates
I read that the best time to book tickets is 2-3 months from the time you want to depart. There's nothing wrong with booking earlier than that, but be sure to play around with dates to find the cheapest combination. With the trip I am currently planning I found that staying one extra day would save me $200 dollars. Say no more!
Take advantage of Airbnb’s price range filter to rent a room, couch, apartment, or an entire home on a backpackers budget. One of the keys to picking a place is reading the reviews. If you do your research, you'll be able to find an awesome place for a great value. My favorite Airbnb ever was only $16 a night!
4. Be Flexible
Try to be flexible with what airport you fly out of. If you’re willing to take a bus or drive to a major international airport you may be able to find a significantly cheaper flight. For example, I live in Virginia, but I drove to NYC to catch a flight to Thailand that was $500 cheaper than if I were to fly out of Virginia. It was totally worth it.
Another thing I like to tell people is not to pick a specific place you want to travel, just pick the deal!
Here are a few of my favorite websites that post deals daily:
- Secret Flying: this site has so many options to find a cheap flight. You can type in where you are departing from, flying to, and/or the month you plan to travel and it will provide you with all types of flight deals.
- Scott's Cheap Flights
- Travel Pirates
- The Flight Deal
5. Follow Travel Deal Accounts on Social Media
6. Sign up for Notifications
If you don't have the time to check flight prices every day, here are some websites that do the work for you! You can set up email alerts to be notified every time a specific flight has increased or decreased. Here are some of my favorites:
- AirefareWatchdog: you can set up alerts for low fare and hotel deals
- Hopper: this app alerts you when there is a price drop or increase
- Expedia: they will email you when there’s a price drop for a specific flight you’re looking for. Also, if you book your flight through Expedia, you can earn cash back on Ebates.
It's important to note that you should act fast once you come across a deal. Flights are unpredictable and can change in an instant. Just book it! Let's have less what ifs this year and more adventure!