Since we all want to pay less when possible, especially when we are traveling, I will share with you everything I do to find cheap flights tickets
When I began my travels it was the days when I was a student, in times when I didn’t have much money (not saying that I’m rich…yet).
At that time I was backpacking, not because I liked to travel with a low budget, but because I’ve had no budget. It was the times when I was traveling on the cheapest buses, hitchhiking, sleeping at the bus station when it was necessary to save some bucks and in consequence, I’ve developed an ability to always find the cheapest deals and tickets.
I have found very good offers for one-way tickets, such as last year at 450USD Santiago-Madrid or Frankfurt-Santiago at 650USD Round Trip, this year.
When I started to travel, I was suffering a lot and it’s now hard to believe that I was VERY afraid to fly, almost fainting from fear on every single flight.
To this day my friends are impressed and write me every week to ask for help in finding a good price on their flight tickets.
For all those who always ask the same question, I’ve created this guide to help you buy your tickets at a good price.
Things to keep in mind when looking for a ticket and some myths around
Start looking when you’re ready to buy, the thing is that when you see a good deal do not lose it. Usually, I follow up for about 4 days when I start looking.
Formerly there were always last minute offers, but lately, it’s increasingly difficult to see them. Therefore, buying your ticket in advance generally ensures a good price, but not if you buy it too much in advance.
If you are looking a year before you will have a standard rate for that date and place and the value will be higher.
Always try to look for many options before buying your tickets and using different
It’s ideal if you have flexibility in your dates, you will have more options, especially if you can travel during the week. Rates vary within the days of the week.
Lots of people say it’s cheaper on Tuesdays, although I have found the cheapest price on a Sunday or even Friday. And to make it clear, it is not cheaper to buy the tickets on Tuesday but to fly that day.
The good thing about traveling during the week is that airports are usually a little less crowded than on a weekend.
It will also greatly affect your ticket the demand that occurs for holidays and important holidays. Traveling near Christmas, for example, can turn out to be a nightmare and if you want to travel in high season get ready to pay more expensive rates around, including hotels and fares.
If you don’t mind making a stopover you will find cheaper prices because it’s usually much cheaper than flying on a direct flight. This will also allow you to search among more options for the different sections.
I love being at airports so I don’t mind waiting a few hours if that means paying much less.
This photo, for example, is the new Instant Paris Lounge of Terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle-Paris airport, it looks like a hotel but it is free for all passengers with stopovers of more than four hours.
In general, almost all destinations require you to have an exit ticket to grant the tourist permission to entry the country, but there are others who agree to enter the country with a one-way ticket if you are following the route by train or bus, for example.
Many times it’s cheaper to buy tickets separately when you have to stop to make a connection, because you can look at different airlines, so always check both options.
No one has yet proven that this is true, but in years of search has always worked…
Do your searches on ‘incognito’ mode
The search engines are connected to the IP of your computer/cell phone and every time you look at a record of your address and the terms you are looking for. It happens in Google, Yahoo and especially in the private search engines that I share here to look for flights.
As the searcher identifies that you are interested in a date and destination, the first time you look for it will show you the best price, but the second time surprisingly you will believe that prices have gone up in the last 10 minutes.
To avoid this I do two things doing incognito searches:
– Delete cookies from the server before the next search if it was not in incognito mode.
– Change source location in search engine
The latter does not always show different results, but often it shows different results depending on the location of origin you indicate.
Buying your air ticket
The air tickets, undoubtedly many times the biggest expense you will have within the trip.
Airport taxes, fuel charges, and various other items are what make these costs so high.
Fortunately, this is changing day by day and prices are becoming more and more accessible to more travelers.
Prices can change a lot between one airline and another, as well as the options of connections between destinations and the number of stops that you are willing to do will influence the options you have.
Always look carefully where you buy your tickets and do it with a reliable agency or directly with the airlines, which is where I have always found the best prices.
You can use search engines that link several airlines and compare prices, but at the time of making the purchase, I always prefer to make it direct with the airline with which I am traveling.
When organizing a trip and buying an air ticket, most passengers are looking for the cheapest option.
How to find the best price for your ticket
Without a doubt, if you organize your trip independently and you have a budget for your trip, the part that takes more time is finding the ticket at the perfect price for you.
Then I share with you in detail how I do my searches with all my tips so you can find that passage so desired and at the best price.
For this article I made a search for a Santiago-Madrid-Santiago flight for the 21st to 1st of March and I compared them in the different search engines. The differences that can be found at the most economical prices, without considering details such as the times of scale, are sometimes up to 400USD !!!
I always start my searches with Skyscanner.
The Skyscanner platform is very simple, fast and has many options for your searches. It is my favorite for all the functions it offers so I will explain how I use it.
The first thing to start to find that very cheap rate is to define a destination that you want to reach.
Considering that you have a destination already clear and defined, the first step is to go to a search engine. As I told you recently, I really like Skyscanner and that is where I start my searches.
Even if you are not clear on the destination you want to go to and just want to travel anywhere, they thought of crazy travelers like us and added a “find any destination” option which is one of my favorites.
By entering the option “I’m Flexible” the search engine will show you all the options available from your home airport and you can have different options to combine and achieve the best rate or find inspiration for those moments when YOU NEED TO TRAVEL.
After defining the place, the next thing is to select the dates.
The good thing about Skyscanner is that it allows you two options to look for cheap flights, one is to look at a chart or calendar with every day and thus to be able to see the price variations during the month.
This option is especially useful when you have flexibility in your travel dates.
For super flexible travelers, there is also the option to search for the cheapest month for the selected destination.
After selecting the place and date you open the search engine and you will have several options listed from the cheapest one.
Here’s the good thing about Skyscanner is that it allows you to view the entire month or change the view by a graph where you can clearly see the cheapest days.
There is something curious, when you choose a day out, the date of return sometimes increases its price when combined with that day, so having this calendar in sight can play with those variations until you get a cheap option.
Once you’ve found the cheapest day to fly, look for the options and find the cheapest time to fly.
Usually, early morning flights are the cheapest as fewer people want to get up early or start their journey at night.
But there are exceptions as in everything and you have to look, I have flown at supposedly expensive hours at the cheapest price, it is a combination of many factors and not to be carried away by the assumptions.
You can select as many scales as you want and if you want to see more than one airline.
After I have already found a certain destination and date, I will check in other search engines.
Momondo is very similar to Skyscanner but includes a comparison between some airlines plus LowCost and also shows at the top something I like that is “The cheapest” and “The shortest” showing the comparison between flights within the same date.
My favorite thing about Google Flights is that it allows you to view a map with all possible destinations from one point.
Also passing the cursor by the place shows you the average fares and thus it becomes easier to set alternative routes to a direct flight.
You also have an option like the traditional searches on Google that is the “I’m going to get lucky” that will look for different options to fly from the destination that I set at the beginning.
To find cheap flights, I also advise you to include in your search the low-cost airlines that exist in several areas such as Europe, Asia, and Brazil.
The appearance of LowCost airlines nowadays allows us to travel around the world for 2oooUSD, half of what it would cost with Economy tickets.
Today it is possible to fly from the United States to Europe for 100USD and flights within Europe or for 9 €, something unthinkable a few years ago.
One of the search engines that include many LowCost is CheapFlights, but for example, in the search for this article, the passages that I showed were much more expensive than in the other search engines for the same route on the same dates.
If you do not have a clear return date or are planning a trip around the world, for example, it will not suit you to buy a return ticket, because you may lose it.
I repeat to you the same advice, to seek and to search more than once.
There are times when Ida-Vueling tickets will be cheaper than buying one Ida, but there are other times when a One Way will be half as good as a return trip and in that case, it is best to take advantage of that flexibility when you like to travel with fewer plans (like me).