It’s no secret that the flights are often the most important part of the trip. I think that’s why the most frequently asked question we see is how to find cheap flights – It’s something we all want, and we want them as cheap as possible.
While I can’t promise that these few tips will cut the costs in half; they will, however, go some way to making them as cheap as possible.
An important thing to remember is the prices vary a lot due to the destination, season and customer demand. If a country becomes really popular all of a sudden, flight prices will skyrocket. So take a look at our tips for finding cheap flights and let us know what works for you!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase from a site we’ve linked to, we make a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Secure your browser
Before you even consider searching for flights, you need to make sure your browser is set up for the task.
It’s long been accepted that searching incognito with cleared cookies does miracles for your search results. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t.
Maybe 5 years ago, but not anymore. Search engines are far more complicated than that these days so we need to up our game a little.
While it doesn’t hurt to use incognito, there’s another method that we’ve found to be even more reliable – a VPN.
What is a VPN you ask? It stands for Virtual Private Network and it protects your data from being seen by the sites your browse on.
You’re basically putting your browsing and personal data into Alcatraz – that shizz isn’t going anywhere unless you let it.
Not only does using a VPN stop flight companies seeing your searches and bumping the price on you (which does happen), it also allows you to browse from other countries to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere.
Eg. Our flights from Australia – England for a visit home were cheaper if we booked them from England. Before signing up for Surfshark, we relied on family to book our flights, now we can simply change the country we’re in via the desktop. See more here.
Not having a set idea of where or when you want to go away really increases your chances of finding a good deal.
Using search engines like Skyscanner, you can put in a month and it’ll tell you where is the cheapest to go during that time frame. Flip it and it can also tell you what month is cheapest to travel to the destination you chose.
Being flexible is the best way to find cheap flights. Combine it with our other tips, and you’re on to a winner.
Find the right search engine:
These days there are hundreds, if not thousands, of search engines that claim to find you the best deals for flights. I’m not going to list them all – we’d be here days. What I will do is list the ones we used, and what for – as it wasn’t as simple as ‘search and buy’. If only it was.
Google flights – Start here if you’re not sure where you want to go, as not only does it search through destination, but you can also search through interests!
So you want a holiday that includes glorious beaches? Fear not – Google will narrow it down for you!
It also shows you flights loosely around the dates you put in OR for any time over a month. So if you’re really flexible and a little bit spontaneous, google flights might be the one for you!
Kiwi.com – This is another great search engine for if you’re unsure where to go but have dates in mind. Pop in your dates and it’ll give you approximate prices for flights all around the world within that time frame. All you have to do is
Skyscanner – This is a great app for tracking monthly changes in prices. With their month search, you can see on average what the prices are.
Again, if you’re flexible this makes choosing when to fly a little easier. You can also select multiple airports so you can roughly compare prices between those, too.
Once you have a rough idea of where you’re flying from/too, and when, don’t rush into booking just yet…
Momondo – Some people laugh when I say I compare the comparison sites against each other – but you really should!
I found there to be up to £50 difference in prices between Momondo and Skyscanner. That’s why we booked through Momondo.
Its search process isn’t as straightforward, but thanks to Skyscanner we had a rough idea of what we wanted anyway.
Hold your horses though… found the perfect flights? Just one more step until we’re ready.
Other favourites include Kayak, Expedia, jet2, Opodo and TripAdvisor – although we don’t have any direct experience with these beyond a quick search.
RESEARCH THE THIRD PARTY
So you’ve definitely found the perfect flight, you have your card ready and the money there waiting.
One word of advice though – check out the reviews for the third-party first.
The reason search engines can get different prices for the same flights is because they use different third party companies.
Remember, Momondo and Skyscanner are only search engines. You’re not paying them a penny.
It isn’t often that you’ll get cheap flights with the airline direct (although you should always check, just in case!) so what will usually happen is you buy the tickets from a third-party company.
That’s all well and good if it means cheap tickets, but what you have to remember is not every T.P.C has your best interests at heart. All they want is the money from your purse.
It’s common for T.P.C’s to ‘forget’ to update their prices on search engines like Skyscanner and Momondo.
This means when you come to buy the prices either jump up or worst still; They let you buy, but then email you to say the cost has actually increased and you need to pay more to confirm your booking.
To avoid this we used TrustPilot, A website that has reviews for thousands of companies – not just airlines and ticket websites. We understand no company is going to be perfect. It’s hard to please everyone, and mistakes happen, so we usually look for ones with 3* or higher.
Split the journey up
If you’re doing a long haul flight, chances are you’ll have layovers. In these cases, we’ve often found it a lot cheaper to book the journey in two halves.
Eg. Australia – England usually means Australia – Singapore – England. So instead of booking it as one journey, we’ll book a budget flight Australia – Singapore, then another Singapore – England.
Obviously you have to make sure you allow plenty of time between these flights as you’ll have to collect your luggage and check-in again. We recommend this hack mostly for those of you who enjoy a long layover of at least a full day!
Look for mistakes!
Mistakes happen all across the internet, and flight prices are no different. Whether it’s a miscalculation in currency conversion, a technical glitch or simply human error, mistakes on airfare often leads to some mega discounted flights.
It’s not a case of being at the right place at the right time either!
Sign up to websites such as AirFare Watchdog or Secret Flying and you’ll get an email notification whenever they detect an error. Or you can use Skyscanner’s monthly price checker and look for any anomalies yourself.
So that’s it, you’re all booked and ready to go!! We hope this post helped you a little. It certainly helped us cut the costs down a bit for our flights. Do you have more tips and tricks on getting cheap flights? Let us know, we love hearing from you.