Travel is addicting. There is something really special about getting on a plane, heading to either a brand new place or an old, familiar place, and spending time away from your "real life" for a bit.
Unfortunately, travel also costs money. If you wish you could travel more but aren't sure there's room in your budget to do so, it helps to be aware of tricks to help you save on some of those travel costs.
Looking for cheap flights is a huge way to cut costs. If you find yourself dreaming of a trip but are held back by the price of a plane ticket, keep the following tips in mind and see if they open up any possibilities for you.
You can get alerts if the price of flights to your dream destination drops, so you are able to snag a great deal as soon as it becomes available.
Flexibility is Key
To land a cheap flight you will almost certainly have to be flexible. If you have a specific destination in mind, you will probably not be able to be too picky with your travel dates. If you have a specific window of dates that work for you, there is a chance you will have to be flexible with your destination if you want to get the best prices.
Know Your Budget Carriers
Budget carriers can be an excellent, more affordable way to get from point A to point B. That cheaper price tag, though, is going to mean a bare bones fare. You are basically just paying for a seat to get you where you want to go. If you want to bring a bag (even a carry on), have a beverage on the plane, or choose a specific seat, these will all cost extra.
Budget airlines don't always show up on general flight search engines, so know which budget carriers operate from your local airport and head to their actual site to search for flights. Be sure to read all the fine print so you know exactly what you are (and are not) paying for.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
There are certain times of the year when many people are traveling all at once. Summer and holidays top this list because families with children are often limited to travel only when their kids are out of school.
If you can, try to book travel during your destination of choice's off season. Not only are you more likely to find a better deal on your flights, you are likely to find better deals for your stay, as well. Many hotels will offer lower prices for traveling outside of peak times, as will some attractions.
Be Okay with Layovers
Nonstop flights are likely to cost more than a flight with a layover or two. If you are looking for a cheap flight, it's probably a good idea to just go ahead and accept the fact you will more than likely have layovers. If you find a cheap, nonstop flight, book it as quickly as you can.
Use Your Travel Card Points
What is better than a cheap flight? A free flight! Use your travel card to earn points, then cash those points in on nearly free flights (you will still have to pay some fees and taxes). If you are booking an international flight, you might be surprised how far your points will take you.
Search Ticket Prices for Individuals, not Groups
If you are traveling with your family or a group of friends, don't search for all the tickets at once. If you search for five tickets to find out how much it will cost your whole family to fly, you are likely going to be quoted a higher price than if you search for an individual ticket.
Search for individual tickets, then choose your seats during the checkout process if it is important to you that your group sits near each other on the plane.
5 Apps to Consider
As with everything these days, there's an app or that. In this case, there are 5 for you to take a look at. Each one has something a little different to offer, so check them out and pick which one is going to fit your situation the best.
Skyscanner's app is a great resource for good deals on all things travel. If you're flexible, you can also find inspiration for destinations you may not have ever thought about with their categorized suggestions. Use Skyscanner to find good deals for a trip you already have in mind or to plan one from scratch.
Hopper is a great resource for finding the best deals to a specific location. If you have a dream destination in mind and want to know when to pack your bags, Hopper helps you explore predictions for prices over an entire year. You can get alerts if the price of flights to your dream destination drop, so you are able to snag a great deal as soon as it becomes available.
Skiplagged helps you look for loopholes in ticketing that can lead to cheaper flights for you. With Skiplagged you are looking for flights that make a layover stop in the destination you are headed to that are cheaper than booking a flight to the destination itself.
This isn't the ideal way to travel, especially if you want to check a bag (it will be checked to the final ticketed destination), but it is an option.
Use Kiwi's interactive map to get a quick look at how much flights from your local airport to various destinations would cost you. This is a great tool to use when you are flexible on your destination. Kiwi will also help you break flights down by suggesting the cheapest option, which is very useful for budget travelers.
Hipmunk is all about clarity and ease when it comes to booking a flight. You'll be able to see the important details about each flight, as well as details about the airplane itself, and make a decision from there.
Travel can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. If you know how to look for cheaper flights, you might be able to lower the cost of a trip for you and your family significantly. If traveling is important to you, but your budget prohibits you from doing it as much as you would like, start using the above tips to search for cheaper flights.