When looking for cheap flights online the results can be overwhelming. You want the best deal possible but after scouring the internet chasing one good deal after another can be exhausting and make you want to take a vacation from planning your vacation. This is where travel aggregator sites come into play, you already know of sites like Kayak and Trip Advisor which do all the hard work for you. But not all sites are the same. In fact, sites such as Expedia and Orbitz are either owned by or work with the airlines companies and do not give you unbiased prices. In addition to Kayak and Trip Advisor here are a few sites which are proven to give you great results.
Momondo- This is a Danish site which has great prices for flights, less than most U.S. sites for two really great reasons. They eliminate all third party fees and booking fees by forwarding you directly to the airline’s website.
Hipmunk-Has been incredible popular due to its easy to use layout and whimsical chipmunk mascot. The flights are also ranked by price, and also can be ranked by ‘degree of agony’ which takes into account layover time, number of stops, etc.
Bing Price Predictor- If you’re unsure when you should buy your tickets and when to get the best price this feature from Bing is excellent at telling you what dates your tickets will be the cheapest.
Seat Guru-Maps out the seats of each airline and flight so you can get the best seat, if you’re tall you can find a seat with some leg room, or if you need an aisle seat they’ve got you covered.
Those are some of the sites that will help you with your search for the best bargain. In addition to using these tools there are also some helpful tips that can impact the price of you tickets.
Being flexible with dates and airports can give you big differences in price, for instance weekday flights are generally cheaper than weekend flights. Also, airlines typically offer sales on Tuesdays. Flying into a smaller airport can also take the cost down a bit, example flying into the airport in Long Beach is cheaper than flying into LAX. Being flexible with time is an additional money saver since most people don’t want take late night or early morning flights they are cheaper.
Try alternative routes, a direct flight is never the cheapest. The simple decision of choosing a connecting flight over a direct one is likely to save you money. For example I flew to London on a direct flight but took a budget airline such as Ryanair to Berlin. This was a lot cheaper than flying directly to Berlin.
Have a reasonable price set in your mind as you search and don’t hesitate to go for it when you see it. Some people wait too long in hopes that they might find a cheaper one, often times they wait too long and pay even more. If you plan ahead and conduct a thorough search you should be able to find that perfect price.
If you’re a student, take advantage of those discounts! Try a site like STA Travel, I used this site when I was a student and the discounts they offer are incredible.
Book early! The prices of airline tickets can be unpredictable as the cost of oil rises, it used to be that two months was the standard time to book and get a reasonable price. These days I would recommend searching as soon as you know you’re going to leave that allows you plenty of time to research and use the tools at your disposal to find the best price.
These suggestions will hopefully help you in making sure you see the world without breaking the bank. Good luck and safe travels!
Angie Picardo is a writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people understand personal finance.