Don’t we all love to travel for a good deal, especially at prices equivalent to that of a combined metro ticket and dinner? Budget airlines have broken the industry and to a certain extent have reinvented flying. Whether good or bad is a different discussion. So when it comes to travel, we all want that amazing deal. That one crazy offer, that if we came across we would instantly book without hesitation.
How often have you experienced the arduous night after night searching and browsing through search engines trying to find a cheap flight, at a date that fits your schedule? Search engine here and search engine there, with fluctuating prices on a non-stop bases and price differences for the exact same flight and airline across all those tabs? With a few thoughts and tips below we might be able to help you end your night on searches for cheap flights, saving you stress, frustration, sleepless nights and most importantly money, when you book your next flight.
All your searches should be incognito
We are being tracked. Everyone and everything. Do you have that paranoia? Well, you sure should when it comes to flight searches. Have you ever noticed how prices fluctuate and rapidly change after each search in your web browser? Albeit it being the exact same search perhaps within a few minutes or half hour of each search. You see, web browser store cookies, hence flight searches in your web browser will increase after you have searched a specific route multiple times. The reason this happens is that most sites want to freak you out and get you to book before the price increases exponentially. As odd or weird as it may be, you want to search for flights in “incognito mode” or “private browsing” mode so that you are always able to see the actual lowest prices.
You ask yourself how?
- Google Chrome & Safari – to go incognito with hotkeys, use the combination “Control” (“Command” on a Mac) + shift + N
- Mozilla Firefox & Internet Explorer – go incognito by hitting the combination “Control” + shift + P
This combination will automatically open a new browser window in an incognito mode where the browser does not track your information, hence prices with each search (even the same one) do (should) not increase with each search.
Additional tip: In incognito mode, your cookies are reset each time you open a window. If you want to start from scratch for each search to ensure your previous searches really are not being remembered, then close each tab, open a new one and start your search again. This should avoid an increase in prices for the same searches.
Use trusted search engines
There are literally thousands of websites out there that offer you the ability and possibility to book flights, including our own. The way these websites generate revenue is through advertisements, commissions, affiliate commisions, etc. There are websites however that purposefully increase prices, higher than other websites, in order to scare you into immediately booking with them. Don’t panic. Our tip is to get used to sites you trust and know the purpose behind each one. Every travel search engine, in theory, do the same, however, most execute fairly differently from each other and hence, results will vary accordingly (as will prices).
We have taken the time to list a few search engines along with a few inputs. You may think why would we share information about our competitors and make them look good? Hey, we’re all neighbors, no? You may like using myciity for one type of search while using another service for something else. Keep in mind that no search engine is 100% perfect, includes every result there is, or even if it claims to be, is the best. As we previously mentioned each has its purpose.
Here a list of a few great search engines:
- myCiity – yes, we wouldn’t leave out our own. myCiity searches a database of over 500+ airlines and travel websites, that include low-cost carriers and traditional long haul airlines. The price you see is the price you get.
- Momondo – is a very generic travel search engine that originally started in Denmark, was acquired and is now part of the Booking holdings group. The same group that runs booking.com.
- Skyscanner – is a broad travel search aggregator that originally was started in Edinburgh, Scotland and is now owned by the largest Chinese travel company, Ctrip.
- Google Flights – a search engine that really quickly allows you to easily compare flight dates with a variety of nifty little tools. Great way to do comparisons for specific dates. The only real setback is that they usually do not have the best prices.
- Kiwi.com – takes a look at every airline there is and combines them to create routes that are typically cheaper than just booking with one airline.
The cheapest day
There are a lot of opinions and theories about which days to fly and when to book, however, the reality is different. There is no specific or single day that consistently ranks as the cheapest to fly. Ticket prices depend on various factors like season, route, destination, travel time, travel date, number of passengers your booking, etc. Nonetheless, we still find that mid week at nonpeak hours is the cheapest times to fly. The best way to go about finding out the cheapest day for your destination is to quickly do a few searches.
Go to Google Flights;
- Top left-hand corner click “main menu” and select the item “explore map”.
- Next select “one way” even if its a round trip, then 1 passenger, and economy class.
- Input your departure airport and airport of destination.
- Next, select a specific month and search.
- Click on the city you would like to go to and then select the price graph option. Here you will then see what days are the cheapest to fly.
Kiwi.com, Skyscanner, and myCiity all have similar functions. Here on myCiity simply browse down the page to “Low Fare Calendar” and enter the required information. Select a month, and then you will be shown all the dates and prices available for travel to and from your destination.
Fly for free with points
Okay. It’s not really free. You still need to do something to obtain points and often times accumulate enough points through additional purchases, but if you pay for your flight with points, then hypothetically your flight is free. One of the easiest ways to accumulate points quickly is to sign up for a travel rewards credit card. There are lots of them out there, so do your homework. We soon will include a guide on these. However, in the meantime we do recommend the American Express Gold card for most people. Its free for the first year and typically comes with over 20,000 bonus points (membership reward points) which can be converted to airline miles, hence points. The initial bonus is already enough for a domestic flight in your country of origin.
Who said finding a cheap flight was hard?
They aren’t called budget for nothing
Budget airlines are exactly that, cheap. If you have ever flown one, then you know they are thrill-free plane rides with only the basics. A seat on a plane. That’s it. That is what you are paying for. Yes, you’ll have to compromise if you want to fly cheap including less legroom, no drinks or food, and a rush to get in and out of the plane on a first come first serve basis.
Nonetheless, sometimes budget airlines pay off. They are a good alternative to classic airline companies if you are looking to reach a specific destination cheaper and quicker. Do note, however, that cheap doesn’t always mean great. Make sure you read the fine print of any low budget carrier.
Here a few things to watch out for:
- Often times your basic ticket price will just include a small bag. A carry-on or any other additional service will cost extra.
- Check the airport location as low budget carriers typically utilize similar airport names of big well-known cities only to fly to small off-site airports an hour away from the actual city.
- Print your own ticket or have it mobile ready. Every airline has its own terms. Ryanair will charge you a few Euros to print your ticket.
If you read the small print when you book then you should be good to go. Aside from booking and searching through travel search engines, follow low budget carriers on social networks or via newsletters. Often these carriers offer out of this world prices for specific destinations, just because they can. Whether Ryanair, Air Asia, Jetstar, each have their own special offers section. Many of these airlines also have, like their big brother counterparts, reward programs. Sign up and receive bonus miles or other specific offerings catered to loyal customers.
Now, these have become fairly rare, however, they still do occur. myCiity does not specifically search for error dares, nor do our special airline deals include these, however, if you look at the right time in the right places you just may stumble across a great airfare deal. These happen because algorithms by computers align in a certain manner that a specific flight from and to specific locations suddenly cost a fraction in business class of what they would originally cost or because of human error. Then it’s up to the airline whether they cancel the booking or honor the flight. So just keep searching and who knows, you may come across a great fare for near to nothing (example: a business class flight usually worth several thousand euros for only a few hundred).
Another tip is to search the web specifically for these flights, but it’s really time-consuming. A great place to start is Secretflying.com.
Book stop-over flights individually
Perhaps you are looking to travel from Germany to Singapore. In most cases you may have a layover in the UAE if you fly with Emirates. When you book your ticket the price will be automatically generated based on the legs (number of flights – from Germany to UAE, and UAE to Singapore) you need to fly. However, a way to potentially make it cheaper is to book these so-called legs individually not as a layover, but a stop-over.
The difference? A layover is a few hours, a stop-over is anything from a day or so. If you book flights individually you may find better deals than when booking the whole flight as one ticket. You can use the myciity multi-route feature, or use Kiwi.com who specializes in this are in finding the best connection flights out there.
So it might not be the first destination on the top of your list, however, it beats sitting around wondering what’s out there. What we mean is to check what countries and locations are currently the cheapest to fly too. Be flexible and find the most cost-effective place to travel too so that you can save a few extra Euros. Plus on top of that you may just find, learn and like a new place you would have otherwise never visited.
This is a travel hack some people use, however, we in no way support it. Use at your own risk. This is for informational purposes only. There are travelers who, in order to reach their destination for the cheapest possible price, utilize the so-called hidden city hack. In short, sometimes you book a flight to another destination with a layover in the city you actually want to go too. This may be cheaper than flying directly to your destination of choice. Then once you arrived at the layover city, which is the actual intended destination you just miss your connecting flight. Now, this is a risky strategy due to a variety of factors:
- You can only have carry on luggage. Check-in luggage will typically continue to your final destination.
- You may be stuck on the plane. Some destinations leave airport A, arrive at airport B, only to then continue to airport C. If you are on such a flight you will not be able to get off the plane. Only passengers with end destination airport B will be allowed to leave the airplane.
- Airlines keep a list. If you miss flights often, you may be blacklisted. You may not. It’s hard to say.
There are services that try to find these types of tickets, however, one of these sites was in legal issues with a specific airline who was angry about this “hack”.
When you plan your trip, think about the potential local airlines. Search engines are always great, however, most don’t include small local airlines. Do a search of airlines in the region you are going to and see if any local airlines fly in the area and connect with them. It often pays to utilize the large global network to go to popular destinations, however, there are places that known carriers will not go to, where a local airline might.
If you know, book.
If you know where you want to go and when do a quick search and book. Airline tickets rarely get cheaper as the departure dates get closer. Don’t wait for some unknown sale. Book as far in advance as you can.
There are lots of ways to save money when booking a flight, it’s just about knowing how, where, when.
- Utilize a variety of search engines to do your homework.
- Search incognito to ensure your cookies are not raising your prices.
- Fly free with bonus points.
- Take into account in booking longer layovers, or multiple flights for cheaper tickets.
- Return and multiway tickets are usually cheaper than one way.
- Buy now. Don’t wait.
If you are simply looking for cheap tickets, then have a look at our list of the cheapest 250 destinations right now. This list displays the departure, arrival, dates, and prices LIVE, from around the globe. Perhaps you might just be lucky enough to find a great deal that suits your schedule.
What other tips and tricks do you have or use when it comes to finding great deals and ticket prices? Let the community know below.