The Best Sites to Find Cheaper Airfare
If you’ve tried to book a flight lately, you may still be recovering from sticker shock. As prices of fuel rise and the number of taxes, fees, and extra charges added to ticket prices continues to increase, it’s becoming harder to travel on a budget.
This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to being stuck at home fantasizing about your dream destination. A growing number of travel websites and aggregator services are making it possible to find the cheapest airfare to locations around the world. The next time you need a vacation, start your search for plane tickets with one of these five services.
The speedy search process on Google Flights makes it a top choice among budget travelers. It works well on both desktop and mobile platforms, so you can get on the fast track to finding a cheap flight whether you’re at home or on the go.
The search function is straightforward and similar to popular travel websites. Enter your desired dates and destination, apply filters to cater to your preferences and compare the results. If your travel dates aren’t set in stone, choose the “flexible dates” option to see the lowest possible rates for your destination. Google will also display special “date tips” to show you how to save money by departing or returning on specific days.
Other money-saving measures from Google Flights include automatic suggestions based on your search criteria and a “best deal” feature shown in green on your search results as Google’s top pick. You also get access to a monthly fare calendar for an overview of prices from day to day.
With over 1,000 sources, Momondo is one of the most extensive aggregators for airline pricing information. Some reviewers say it’s accurate in its picks for the best possible deals 95 percent of the time, making it in invaluable tool for finding cheap airfare.
Momondo’s sources include regional carriers, budget airlines, and other small operations not indexed by most major travel deal sites. Just choose the option for “cheapest” flights when searching, and Momondo will track down the carriers offering the lowest prices on tickets to your destination. You can choose to fly cheaply on a single airline or combine one-way trips from two airlines to save even more.
When you find the deal you want, click the booking link to be taken to the airline’s website. The information about your itinerary is preserved, so all you have to do is finish booking and get ready for your trip. If you want to keep track of changing prices to see if you can get an even better deal by traveling another time, use Momondo’s fare calendar to monitor fluctuations in ticket costs.
Travelers on a budget can take advantage of Skyscanner’s unique “everywhere” search feature to find the cheapest flights to destinations anywhere in the world. Just put in the dates you’d like to travel, start searching, and discover where you can afford to visit. If traveling is your focus and you don’t have a particular destination in mind, this feature can literally put the world at your fingertips. When you know where you want to go but don’t care when you travel, try the monthly “at-a-glance” feature to find dates with the best ticket prices.
To find the best fare for a specific itinerary, input the details of your trip, apply the appropriate filters and let Skyscanner search a large database of websites to find a deal. Download the Skyscanner app to schedule price drop alerts for your itinerary so that you never pay more than you have to for airfare. You may even be able to find last-minute low prices if you’re unable to plan in advance.
Flexible travelers can turn to Kayak to find cheap airfare using a variety of methods. Enter your origin and destination to receive price alerts in your inbox or include your ideal travel dates to see prices for a preplanned itinerary. Kayak also provides information on prices for entire months and weekend pricing to help you decide the best days to travel. Tell the site the desired length of your trip, and it will look for the cheapest fares for trips of the same duration within a given period.
Like Momondo, Kayak includes two-airline trips in its results. This popular “travel hack” requires you to book each one-way ticket separately using Kayak’s external booking links, but it’s a smart way to save without having to handle the process of finding separate tickets on your own.
If you want to maximize comfort while flying but not max out your credit card, let Hipmunk direct you to flights with the best amenities for the lowest price. This travel site looks for:
- Power outlets
- Seats with extra leg room
- Device streaming
Amenities are displayed along with fares, and trips are automatically sorted according to “agony,” or how comfortable you’re likely to be during the flight based on the perks available. You can also choose traditional sorting methods, including price and duration, and filter according to airlines and the number of stops. This allows you to see not only the cheapest tickets but also the shortest flights.
To check prices in the long term, select the “price graph” option for your search. You’ll see the lowest expected prices for the next 90 days. Choose your desired departure date to see what deals are available for the return flight. If you don’t find the fare you want right away, Hipmunk will send price drop alerts via email when cheaper tickets become available.
Using more than one search option is the best way to find cheap airfare for any trip. As long as you’re willing to be flexible with dates, destinations or both and take the time to search and compare prices, you should be able to score budget-friendly tickets for your dream vacation.