Best Sites for Cheap Flights!
Several times a week I search for cheap flights to random countries.
What can I say, it's what I do for fun. :)
I thought I'd just share with you guys the four sites I use for quick flight searches. Oh and this post isn't advertising anything for these flight websites - this is just me sharing what tools I use most.
Skyscanner does three great things:
1. You can search for flights from your city to "everywhere" - Skyscanner will bring up a list of cheapest tickets to nearly every country in the world.
2. You can search "cheapest month" rather than a specific date - there is a HUGE difference between flying in March verses in June. You can also search for the best dates of the month to fly. I saved hundreds of dollars flying out of Turkey the third week of September rather than the first. Trust me, you WILL save hundreds of dollars (but usually thousands of dollars if you're going to Europe or Asia).
3. You can search for flights from your home country rather than your home city - just type in "United States of America" rather than SLC in the "from" box and you'll see what cities provide the cheapest flights to a specific country. Then you drive, take a train, or fly on a cheap airline from your hometown to this international airport. Knowing which cities to fly out of has saved me hundreds of dollars. (Though I used to figure it out through trial and error before Skyscanner came along. :) )
This is a screen shot of when I searched "United States of America" to "Everywhere" on the "Cheapest Month":
I'm telling ya, Skyscanner is my new favorite tool - it gives you the flexibility to hop the globe whenever it's cheapest - and it broadens your perspective on where to travel. I have never considered traveling to "Martinique" (wherever that is), but now that I see it's a cheap $46 flight from the United States, I want to go!
Google Flights has three great things that I use:
1. The Interactive Map - this will allow you to explore different areas of the world with the costs right there. You will want to check those costs eventually - and probably bring them down - but the map will give you the general idea.
2. The Price Calendar - rather than the +/-3 days search found on most sites, you have access to a full calendar to see what day is cheapest.
3. The Price Graph - Google will let you know if this is a cheap time to fly or if you'd be better off waiting for a different time of the month.
4. Recommendations - finally, Google will let you know before purchasing how much money you will save by changing your flight by a few days. See below how you could save $120 on a flight from SLC to Yangon, Myanmar, by flying two days earlier than you planned.
All of Google's tools are to ensure you have every opportunity to take the cheapest flight available. While I don't always find the cheapest flights here (that is why I search all four of these major websites for flights), the tools are great and sometimes I score a great deal.
I still like to use one of the old-school airline searches, Kayak. I have found GREAT deals on this site through the years, simply by searching for flights through various departure cities and destinations.
I continue to search via Kayak - mainly to make sure the other sites aren't taking advantage of me with their fancy tools. :)
Make sure to click "Include Nearby Airports", "Anytime" and enable the "Flexible Dates" options. Also, I recommend searching overall flights to a country and then search each leg of the trip individually - trying a variety of layover cities if you really want to cut down costs (like me).
There are times when I've figured out that I shouldn't even be flying at all. I usually check Rome2Rio to see if there are cheaper options through busses, trains, or ferries. I hate their search engine for flights (not their strong suit) but their search for other transportation options is awesome.
For example, this is a screenshot of when I searched for flights from my current location in Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, Cambodia:
Hmmmm, flight for almost $200 or take a sleeper bus for $40 and see the countryside...which one, which one?
This is another example of a site that does all the hard work that I had to do on my own back in the day. Rather than searching through forums, making international phone calls, or asking people to book trains for you, you can just do it on your own. It's great!
CUT DOWN COSTS EVEN MORE
When I'm looking for flights, I usually search all four sites at once for good measure - it helps me get a feel for normal flight prices for a specific location.
If I'm serious about purchasing a flight then I use a variety of tricks to bring down the prices by a 1/3rd or even by a 1/2 sometimes. I'm currently working on a post about these hacks so subscribe to get updates.
Also keep in mind that there are cheap airlines for specific areas of the world, so if you're hopping from one part of the continent to another, check back next Thursday for my list of cheapest airlines per continent.
Happy travels, fellow nomads!!
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