HOW TO FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS: THE FLIGHT THAT GOT AWAY
We all know that struggle of trying to figure out how to find cheap flights. My mom has called me too many times to count, yelling about how she lost the cheaper flight and had to pay twice as much for the only flight available now. Yeah, thats infuriating but more so just flat out annoying. Through the years I’ve found a few sites that I’ve fallen in love - yes, I said the “L” word - with and I couldn’t imagine planning a trip without.
Skyscanner is your typical flight search website. Except with Skyscanner I find that their prices almost always reflect cheaper than any other site I check into. It’s usually up to date with flight details - and prices! - and it’s easy to use. You type in your origin, destination, and the dates you’re interested in flying and it will give you tons of flight options to choose from.
The cool feature with Skyscanner is that if you have the travel bug and are wanting to travel anywhere with no preference at all you can search for that! You go to destination and click “everywhere” and it will give you prices to exactly that: everywhere. If you’re feeling crazy and know that you don’t care about which dates your trip is, you can search that, too! You go to dates, click on “cheapest month” and there you go! The site is easy to use and has so many options - in my opinion it’s a must have search engine for any travel lover out there.
Skiplagged is a site that basically fights ‘the system'. The creators of skiplagged found out that the airline companies will charge a flyer a cheaper price to buy a flight ticket to a farther distance than the price to go a shorter distance. To make it simpler - *examples used are not actual tickets* - a flight from California to Texas with a layover in Las Vegas might be a cheaper ticket than a flight from California to Las Vegas directly, even though the passenger is flying on the same exact flight. Confusing, I know, but also another one of those annoying things that the airline companies get away with. So skiplagged has put together a platform where you can search those flights that might get you to your destination for a cheaper cost but through a layover. And its easy to use! All you do is put your origin, destination, and dates then they will do all that calculating and comparisons for you!
Now, they still give you regular flight prices but if you happen to be going when the timing is right they’ll give you a 'skiplagged price’ which - using that scenario before - would be the California to Texas flight with a layover in Las Vegas. This means you would get off at your layover and head out the doors to the Las Vegas Strip! The only catch is you have to travel in carryon style and with no checked bags - because your bags will still be on their way to Texas while you’re sippin’ your Long Island Iced Tea by the lazy river pool! Skiplagged also does a great job at walking you through the purchase process on their website. So before I book a flight anywhere, I always check here to make sure theres not a better ‘layover’ deal available.
Hopper is an app on your phone that predicts prices for flights that you’re currently searching. We all know that flight prices fluctuate - a lot. I’ve had plenty of times where I buy my flight one day and my friend gets the same flight the next day for half the price - another annoying thing that airline companies do. But with hopper you can type in the flight path that you’re looking for, with dates of your trip, and they send you notifications when the price changes or when they predict that flight price will change in the future. I’ve gotten notifications ranging from “price went down but don’t buy yet, we predict better prices in the future” to “price went down buy now, we predict a price increase in the future”.
You can buy your flight through this app, too, or purchase it from another platform if you’d like. This gives you that extra little insight into what the airline companies are thinking. A fun feature that hopper has is a thing called ‘price freeze’. They believe in their advice so much so that they are willing to let you pay for the price that they give you - under a “price freeze” - with a deposit. If the price for that particular flight increases you will still pay that “frozen” price. If the price drops lower or you take a different flight, they will refund your deposit when you book your new flight through their app within 14 days! This is a perfect way to lock in that perfect flight price you’re looking for.
The Flight Deal email list is my last flight finding tool. To be fair, I have only looked at these emails and haven’t booked from them before but my friend Brittany has and she loved it. It’s an email list you subscribe to and each day they send you a list of about 15 new flight deals that are going on throughout the world that day. Not all of these deals will be flights departing from where you live - obviously why I haven’t had a chance to use this company yet - but it’s nice to see the deals that are out there. I do think the interface and design of these emails is out of date but a good deal is a good deal so I can’t really complain!
These are my top 4 apps that I am constantly looking at when trying to find cheap flights. I hate when I hear friends say “I almost went - blank - but the flight was too pricey”! While ya, a lot of places make you dig deep into your pockets for a flight ticket, a lot of flights might be cheaper than you think! Look at these apps next time you’re dreaming of the next getaway and just see if maybe that flight price is more doable than you’d expected!
Do you have any bargain flight apps that are your go-tos? I’m always looking for more - you can never have too many!