Searching for Cheap flights is one of my favorite parts of traveling! It’s almost as exciting to me as the drive to the airport on departure day!
But what I love even more is teaching people How To Book Cheap Flights online!
In this guide, I’m going to show you How To Book Cheap Flights Online and help guarantee you’re getting the best price when searching for a flight anytime you look.
It’s Easier Than You Think
It’s easier than you think to learn how to book cheap flights online.
There aren’t any big secrets on how to book cheap flights on the internet.
If you search online there are plenty who will lead you to believe so though and I hope to show you otherwise.
There isn’t a Magic Formula, Special Day, or Best Time of the Week to book.
There may be days that are more likely to be cheaper like the beginning of the week compared to the weekend but that’s not guaranteed.
- Start Your Search Early
- Be Flexible on Dates if possible
- Be Flexible on Destinations if possible
- Search Multiple Times a Week
- Use Credit Card Points & Miles
- Be Patient But Don’t Let Analysis Paralysis Win
- Read “How To Book Cheap Flights” By Savage Traveling (this post)
There are a few search engines and services that definitely make the job a little easier and we’ll get into those shortly.
Securing a good deal on a ticket is detrimental in most cases to the amount of time and money you will have for your trip.
So spending a little time learning how to book cheap flights will pay for itself immediately in most cases.
Let’s face it, most people will benefit from finding the best deal on a plane ticket that they can.
I want you to learn how to book cheap flights like I do so you can explore the world as I have.
These tips on how to get cheap flights are worth their weight in gold and I hope you can use them to your advantage!
Start Your Search Early
This seems to be a no-brainer but you might be surprised how many people I hear from wondering why flight prices are so high when they’re only searching 2 or 3 weeks out from their trip.
I’m not saying you can’t find good deals up to the day of departure but you shouldn’t count on that.
We must remember there are only so many seats on a plane and only so many planes flying to our preferred destination at one time.
Seats are limited in a sense.
If you know your roundabout dates you should start looking as far out as possible.
If you know 1 year out, start looking and tracking prices.
Don’t necessarily buy right away but run your searches to get a sense of what the best price for that route is and what the highest price is.
Once you have a grasp on the price range of you’re preferred routes you can continue to check prices until you discover a price that you’re happy with.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
This is one of the most important points I can make when teaching someone how to book cheap flights.
Let me explain.
Say that you’re searching for a roundtrip flight from Chicago O’hare on a Thursday to Paris, France coming back a couple of weeks later.
Just by changing the departure or return dates a day or two ahead or behind can bring big differences in the price.
I try to fly during the week. It’s not a sure thing that during the week will be cheaper but it does seem that way sometimes.
It really depends on the route and the airline company itself. There’s no way of knowing how flight prices will track up and down on any given day.
If we knew that we could make some serious money!
Be Flexible With Destinations
This approach isn’t for everyone especially if you have a specific destination in mind.
But if you can be flexible with your destination you can really luck out sometimes when it comes to aggressively searching and monitoring all the resources I’m providing in this guide.
This method is for the true adventurer and offers a “throw the dart at the map” effect when using Google Flights or any other preferred search engine actually.
Mix up the search fields. Check different days, different cities, different search engines. Just keep digging and eventually you’ll find treasure!
The idea is to basically take advantage of an amazing deal when you see it. This is kind of the dynamic that Scott’s Cheap Flights operates under.
When you see a deal, you book it! This could happen with Scott’s Cheap Flights, Momondo, Google Flights, or any number of other booking platforms.
Just search for the best and cheapest deal to any destination and if it suits your budget and style of travel… BOOK IT!!
Like I said above, it’s not a tactic that everyone can utilize or even feel comfortable participating in. But if you’re looking for a good time and have the ways and means, maybe you can give it a go sometime.
Another caveat to this method is to check a destination’s smaller airports or even nearby cities. Sometimes hidden deals can be found in outlying airports or even cities connected by public transport.
Search Multiple Times A Week
I have a habit of searching for fantasy destinations a couple of times a day if I’m sitting near the computer working or just laying about.
I learned how to book cheap flights by doing this.
Once I searched a few hundred times for multiple destinations week after week for months and months I began to see some pretty amazing deals from time to time.
You have to be ready to act though. These deals usually don’t hang around. People snatch them up or they were mistake fares and will soon be fixed.
The bottom line of how to book cheap flights is taking action when the price is right.
Analysis paralysis will cost you money in the flight booking game and we can’t afford that. The only way to know if it’s a good price or not is to search flights religiously.
Everything costs more these days and taking these actions can at least save us some money when we plan to fly.
If you’re able to be flexible on dates, time and destination, you can really fly around the world for far less than most could imagine.
Once you’re first deal is booked and you’re on your way to the airport don’t forget that if determined enough that you can find amazing deals to far off destinations for the same price as flying coast to coast domestically.
I’ve flown found trip once to Amsterdam from Chicago for $350. My friend at the same time booked a flight from Indianapolis to Los Angeles and paid more than $100 more for a round trip ticket.
My perseverance searching for cheap flight deals really showed me the potentail in this instance. Just one way to Amsterdam from Chicago is an 8 hour flight! Indianpolis to LAX is 4.5 hours or so…
I paid $100 less for a flight that is double the time and distance!!!
Perseverance and using the knowledge in this guide SAVES ME MONEY!
It can you too!
Use Credit Card Points & Miles
I just hopped on this bandwagon recently when I decided to move from less cash to using more debit and credit cards.
This really should be at the top of the How To Book Cheap Flights list but we’ll let it chill here for now.
If you’re planning on traveling domestically or abroad a Credit Card with a points or miles rewards system is silly not to take advantage of.
Many offer quite lucrative sign-up bonuses where if you spend a certain amount on the credit card within 3 months or some other predetermined amount of time you will receive a number of points or miles you can use toward travel with the other miles or points you accumulate from you’re day to day purchases after the introductory period.
My first real points card was a Capital One card. I think its sign-on bonus was to spend $1000 over 3 months and get X amount of Capital One rewards.
Looking back it wasn’t the best deal out there but it opened my eyes to the possibility of earning free flights by spending money that was already going to be spent. I just have to channel it through whatever rewards card I’m trying to work at the time.
This is called “Travel Hacking” and can really accelerate your rate of travel and time on the road if you’re determined.
I really started traveling more once I got the hang of rewards cards.
A card with ample rewards points just sitting and waiting in your wallet for the right time is something special and one of my favorite cheap or free flight tips.
Depending on the card some rewards schemes can be a hassle so due dillenegence when choosing the right rewards card is a must.
Don’t forget some cards have expensive yearly fees. Be sure you read all the terms and conditions before signing up.
Most Importantly – Be Patient
Take your time! It’s not a race. It shouldn’t be anyway.
There are new flights coming online every day and there’s a good chance if you keep up the search that’ll you find your dream price for your dream trip with plenty of time to plan and dream about departure day.
I’ve taught friends and family how to book cheap flights for years but this always seems to be the place where most people lose their cool.
They see a good deal and jump on it immediately just to get an email the next day from one of their flight alerts, alerting them to a better deal.
It’s an easy mistake to make. I’ve done it and all my traveling friends and family have too. It’s OK because it happens to the best of us and it’s something that can take time to learn.
How To Get Cheap Flights
I use 3 tried and true resources when I teach my friends and fellow travelers how to book cheap flights online.
I recommend these:
These are my main 3 tools when finding cheap flights. It’s all you really need. The first 2 choices are free but Scott’s Cheap Flights is a yearly subscription service that we’ll talk about in a few.
It can literally pay for itself with one good deal. The service has that much value!
I also have a couple of Mistake Fare Alert Websites that are absolutely free to browse below.
These resources are quite valuable and a great alternative to Scott’s Cheap Flights. There isn’t one sure method on how to book cheap flights but with a little reading and perseverance, you’ll be finding the best flight deals online.
Google Flights is the best place to start in my honest experience. It’s the most thorough flight tool out there I believe.
In reality, since Google Flights has enabled the function of booking directly with the carrier through Google’s search listing it’s by far the best How To Book Cheap Flights tool on the web.
My best advice for using Google Flights is to browse the map. Put your departure airport in and leave your landing city blank and explore Google’s handy flight map.
This tool is really cutting edge and in my honest opinion has changed the flight searching game for the better.
I’ve made a video that explains and shows you how to use Google Flights the best. Please take the time and view the video directly below.
Momondo is a search engine that I used to use conjointly with Google Fights. But, since Google Flights now allows you to book directly through the carrier I haven’t used it as often.
What drew me to Momondo when I was first learning how to book cheap flights over other more popular (at the time) search engines was that Momondo always seemed to come up about $5 cheaper than their competitors.
Momondo is still a great flight search engine and I still use the mobile app as a reference search engine to see if there’s a direct route from one destination to the other and the approximate price of that route for those days and times.
Momondo is more than just a flight search engine. They also offer a Vacation Package search, Hotels, and Car rental search engine. Basically a one-stop-shop for your whole trip.
Scott’s Cheap Flights Subscription Service
I’ve been a subscriber of Scott’s Cheap Flights email service on and off since early on in there history. Their business model fascinates me!! For a small yearly fee, they blast the hottest flight deals to your inbox almost daily!
This service is most effective if you can be somewhat flexible in your destinations, dates, and times of travel. That being said though, Scott’s Cheap Flights sends deals out daily that are for dates in the future near and far.
These can be deals of many different forms!
Mistake Fares are my favorite! Mistake fares are some of the best deals that get sent out from Scott’s.
Mistake fares are when the airlines publish the wrong prices and you are quick enough to book and the airlines have no choice but to give you the deal in most instances.
These fares, if acted upon, can save you up to $1,000 or more and are not uncommon deals to discover with Scott’s Cheap flight’s email service.
How To Book Cheap Flights Conclusion
As you can tell from this manifesto on How To Book Cheap Flights that there isn’t one sure method.
It takes a little luck and a decent attempt at digging into the tools available and making them work for you.
Once you get the hang of the free tools I’ve offered here there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t pay the very best price for a flight to anywhere in the world.
If you decide to take a chance with Scott’s Cheap Flights I think you’ll be more than surprised at what some people are paying for what once were “Once In A Lifetime Trips” can now be obtained at times for “rock bottom” prices.
The beauty of travel and the internet is that you really don’t need to spend any extra money at all to find good deals. I’ve given you all the tools you need here to go out and find that “Once In A Lifetime Deal” and then repeat the process next trip.
I hope this “How To Book Cheap Flights Guide helped you understand how to find cheap flight a little more clearer so that you can too enjoy this big beautiful world without breaking the bank.
If you liked this Guide:
Check out Savage Traveling’s Saving For Travel (7 Tips & Tricks) guide for more info on Saving money for Long Term World Travel.