How to search for flights on a budget has come down to a science. There are so many different factors to take into consideration; time of day, day of the week, internet browser, dates for the trip, of course the travel booking website, and so much more.
Here are some tips on how I search for flights on a budget:
Internet Browser: When searching for flights on travel sites, be sure to compare prices from your regular internet window as well as an incognito window. This isn’t the case for all sites, but I’ve noticed a few airlines (ahem Spirit and Delta). I’ve also noticed price differences on Google Flights on an incognito window.
Time of day to book: According to Hopper it’s best to look into booking late at night, after midnight, specifically on Tuesday. Avoid booking on the weekends to avoid higher costs.
Travel booking sites: There are three main travel sites/apps that I use: SkyScanner, Google Flights, and Hopper (the app). However, I use them all differently. First, if there’s a trip I want to take that’s at least three months out, I’ll use Hopper to give me alerts on when prices drop. If I’m looking for a flight in the nearer future, I’ll look at Skyscanner and Google Flights, with the latter being cheaper about 75% of the time.
If you have ultimate flexibility for where and when you will travel next, then I love to use Skyscanner’s feature Destination: Everywhere When: Cheapest Month. After you get an idea of what/when the cheaper destinations are, you can check on Google Flights to see if there’s an even cheaper price out there.
In addition to using the three mentioned above, I also subscribe to email alerts from Airefarewatchdog which always alerts you when there are specific airline sales. Another travel hack site I’ve explored but haven’t had much luck with is Secret Flying. This is a site that reports when flight prices are inaccurate. Most of the time the airline will honor the flight price when they’ve realized there’s a mistake. A recent shocking price mistake found on Secret Flying were flights from NYC to Auckland NZ for $247 roundtrip!
Fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday: In addition to being a cheap day to book, Airfarewatchdog says Tuesday (And Wednesday) is a budget-friendly day to fly as well.
These are just some of the tools and travel hacks I try to take into consideration when booking or searching for flights. Hopefully one of these tips will help you search for flights on a budget. Happy booking!