1. Utilize Private Browsing Mode
You can also choose 'incognito' mode in Safari, Chrome, or Google which works similar to private browsing. To Activate incognito hold 'Ctrl' while pressing 'Shift' and 'N'. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox also have an incognito setting that can be activated by holding 'Ctrl' while pressing 'Shift' and 'P'. These key combinations will result in a new window opening where one can browse for information without being tracked. Keep in mind that cookies are reset each and every time you re-open a window utilizing incognito or private browsing. Thus, you will want to open and close many windows for separate searches in order to start with a clean slate each time and not have your search history 'remembered' which can potentially inflate the prices you are probing.
2. Utilize Top Flight Search Engines
While flight tickets are alway inflated on search engines like Expedia, some search engines cost less than others. It literally pays to know which sites offer better prices. Skyscanner is the top recommended search engine to utilize but if you can not find a flight that works for you there, check out AirFareWatchdog, Momondo, JetRadar, Cheapoair, TripAdvisor, Budget Airlines or Google Flights. Keep in mind that no search engine is perfect and you will want to look at a couple of different engines before pulling the trigger on your purchase.
3. Fly Out on a Cheaper Day
There are several theories that suggest flying out on Tuesday is a sure fire way to save money but in all honesty there is not one clear cut answer on which day is the cheapest to fly out on. Flying out on weekdays has shown a trend to be cheaper, but your best strategy will be to look at a visual of the entire month's worth of pricing to see which days are truly cheaper for your particular journey. Read the 5 steps below to see how to execute this task.
#1 Pull up the SkyScanner search engine.
#2 Enter your particular journeys details including departure and arrival locations.
#3 Always select the 'One-Way' option, when searching the entire month's worth of pricing as it matters not as this time that you are flying round trip.
#4 Click 'Depart' and in place of selecting a date, instead choose the 'Whole Month' option which will allow you to view the entire month's worth of pricing.
#5 Lastly, click 'Search' and checkout which dates are the cheapest. Every now and then a date will not have a price listed. In order to view prices for that date just click the magnifying glass indicated over the date.
Repeat this set of steps for your return flight as well. Do not worry, you will still purchase a round trip ticket when it comes time to book your flight but by doing these two separate searches you will know which two dates are the cheapest to fly in and out on.
Google Flights is another search engine that has the ability to show you the entire month's worth of pricing like Skyscanner but you can not book flights directly through it. Utilize Hopper and Flyr search engines to discover which locations are cheapest to fly out of, track fluctuations, and price analyses.
4. Utilize Budget Airlines
Budget airlines will offer significantly lower priced tickets. However, it is best to keep in mind that these tickets will come with compromises like no free food or drinks, less leg room, and possibly even no free carry on. Purchasing a budgeted ticket is a great way to save money on your vacation but always read the fine print and utilize the three steps stated below.
#1 Double check the airports location as some budget airlines utilize airports that are located farther out of town than originally anticipated.
#2 Look at the luggage allowance and pay for your exact amount in advance. Each airport has their own set of restrictions on luggage like height, weight, and number of bags allowed per person. Fees will most likely be charged if you are in violation of any of these regulations. Paying for your luggage amount in advance is one of the many ways that budget airlines keeps their prices lower than most.
#3 Always, always read the fine print. For example, Ryanair will charge you a fee if you fail to print your own ticket in advance or violate any of their luggage regulations. This warning is clearly stated in bold font within the first line of the fine print on your e-confirmation. In short, follow instructions and read the fine print. You will thank yourself later.
Again, to be clear, the cheapest flights are not the best serviced flights. Thus, stay adaptable and make sure to do plenty of research.
5. Book International Flights Yourself
A great way to save some cash on long flights with layovers is to book a small stay within the layover itself. For example, if you are flying from Canada to possibly Australia, this flight usually has a layover in LA. Do some research and see if it is cheaper to book a direct flight to LA and then another direct flight from LA to Australia. Do not book two directs that are hours within each other as you may miss your flights due to delays and unforeseen weather. Make sure to book these direct flights at least 8 hours apart from one another or make the layover an additional destination all together and stay a full night before catching your next flight.
6. Find a Cheap Destination
If you do not know exactly where you would like to end up and are just looking to fulfill some wanderlust, than look to Kiwi.com as a great tool for finding travel destinations that can save the big bucks. All you need to do is enter the departure city and date range you are considering to travel to on Kiwi.com and Kiwi will do the rest. On the following page you will view cost estimates that appear over hundreds of destinations all over the world. Keep in mind that Kiwi lists only the most cost-effective destinations and sorts them by price. Kiwi truly shines through its effective manner of mixing and matching airlines to reap the most cost-effective flights.
However, Kiwi ultimately sets itself apart with the personal guarantee it offers. Typically when booking a trip with separate airlines you run the risk of missing connecting flights on account of unforeseen delays and due to the fact that you booked with separate airlines, none hold the obligation to reschedule your flight free of care because each have no association with the other. Thus, you will lose money. Instead, Kiwi guarantees to cover any schedule changes, cancellations, and/or flight delays. Just make sure to contact Kiwi.com as soon as you know of a change and they will provide you with an alternative flight, or full refund.
7. Utilize a Travel Agent
Travel agents are great because they have unique access to undercut rates unavailable to the public. However, this does not mean that travel agents always offer you the best price. The best way to go about using a travel agent is to first begin by doing your own research, find the lowest priced flight, and then proceed to present this information to the travel agent of your choosing to see if they can either beat or match this price. Travel agents really come in handy when researching international flights when even a small amount of savings can equate a couple hundred bucks. Travel agents also have the ability to help you extend a layover from a couple of a hours to a few days in a new destination for less.
8. Utilize Local Airlines
Search engines have proven to be very useful tools but they do not always include smaller airlines when gathering their information especially during less popularly booked trips to remote regions. Thus, if you are flying somewhere out of the ordinary make sure to do your research on existing local airlines in the region. Upon discovery of a smaller airline, through a search engine or not, it often pays off to check their actual company website which could possibly reveal special online offers not offered elsewhere.
9. Do Not Wait to Book
It is extremely rare for airline tickets to become cheaper the closer your departure date approaches. Even budget airlines raise their prices as their baseline rates sell out, especially when traveling to Australia or Europe. In short, if you know the exact destination and date needed for your travels, do not wait around for a sale that may never come. Instead, seize the most obviously savings available to you, the money you save by booking as far in advance as possible.
10. Check Other Currencies
Prior to booking your flight, check if it is cheaper to purchase a ticket utilizing another currency. While budget airlines usually make you purchase your flight using the currency of the country you are departing from, this is not always true and worth some research. Keep in mind that some credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, and if this is the case with your card, purchasing a ticket using a different currency will only cost you more in the long run and is not a smart alternative. In order to reap the full benefit of this loophole, research your credit card along with the currency exchange rate.
11. Look for Airline Fare Errors
Sometimes, airlines make mistakes in their fare postings which can lead to some seriously discounted flight prices. An error can occur for a multitude of reasons including tech glitches, human mistake, or currency conversion mix ups. If you are skilled at spotting airline fare errors then you can save yourself an immense amount of money on flights. Secret Flying and AirfareWatchdog are great search engines for finding airfare mistakes as they conglomerate discounted tickets all in one space. Another great way to spot a mistake is by searching all month long for flights utilizing skyscanner, this will train your eye to notice reduced rates.
12. Hidden City Ticketing
'Hidden City' tickets are found on flights that connect to the city you would like to end up at for a cheaper price than purchasing a direct flight to that destination. In short, you book a flight that CONNECTS to your desired destination and once there, you exit the plane before it reaches its actual stop. You do not get on the connecting flight. This travelers trick can prove to be risky for a multitude of reasons. For example, if you check your luggage, it will end up at the final destination and not the one you exit off. So, you must carry-on your luggage only when utilizing this trick. Second of all, they may not let you off the plane or could possibly detect that you did not take your connecting flight. However, the later reason will be hard to follow because people miss flights all the time for one reason or another. Skiplagged is an amazing website for discovering 'hidden city' tickets but it is also currently being sued by United Airlines. You can definitely score some savings with this hack but please proceed with caution.
13. Utilize Your Points
Whenever possible use the air miles you have rightly earned. Miles or points are best utilized during in country travel as less points will be taken for longer distances. Although, if you have a plethora of points or miles available to you, they can be a great way to save some serious cash on international travel. Take a look at your point and/or mile total accruement and decide which kind of travel will suit your current budget with all details factored in.