Cheap flight deals are consistently advertised all around us – On TV, magazines, even on the side of buses! However most people struggle to actually find the best deals available to them – due to lack of time or understanding.
Many people just go onto their desired airline website, type where they want to go and when, then settle for that price, which often is much higher than they should be paying.
This needs to stop! There are an abundant amount of ways people can find these super cheap deals, mainly via internet sources.
Through conducting prior research and comparisons you could be saving hundreds of pounds you can then use to splurge on holiday.
Don’t let airlines rip you off. Here are some of my top tips and tools to use in order to get the cheapest possible flights to your next destination.
Kayak Explore – For the more flexible traveller
Kayak explore is my go to flight comparison tool.
If you are someone who is flexible on dates and/or location or someone with a tight budget – this website is the one for you.
Kayak offers you the chance to compare a wide range of destinations for your desired budget and time-period, so you can choose the cheapest possible deal.
How Kayak Works
- To start you simply need to put in your departing airport of choice – you can be precise and just name one airport or for more flexible travellers, you can also include nearby airports.
- Next is your dates of travel – if you are not fussy on when you travel you can just leave the search on anytime. However, you do have the option to include your exact dates of travel or they even let you search for a month or season at a time + your desired trip duration.
- Ah budget, the most important factor! – Here you can adjust the toggle to whatever your required spending limit is per person.
- Finally there is also the option to decide how long you want your flight journey to be. This part may not be so important to some people, but if you prefer short-haul flights this is a useful tool. You can also state if you prefer direct flights to your destination.
In this example I entered 3 requirements:
- Exact dates of travel.
- A journey time of under 8 hours.
- Flights costing less than £75 per person.
As you can see there are a range of cheap flights that have come up to destinations all around Europe. You could fly to Stockholm, Saint Petersburg, Milan, Rome and Paris – all for under £75 each.
For the flexible traveller, this website is a super helpful tool. However, for people requiring a specific destination, this website may not be the most convenient.
Skyscanner price alerts- For the less flexible traveller
If you are after cheap flights to a particular destination in a defined time period, Skyscanner may be the most beneficial comparison website to use.
Skyscanner is similar to Kayak in that it has its own explore feature – which is just as useful. However, for less flexible travellers it does have one key feature I have used many times to find the cheapest flights possible. This is the price alert feature.
How Skyscanner works
On Skyscanner, you simply enter your departing and arriving airport (it also has the option to search nearby airports). Following this you enter your desired dates of travel, you can also just name the month of travel if you don’t have specific dates.
Skyscanner then gives you the option to order your results into the best, cheapest or fastest flights available. This also means you can compare the time of day you want to fly and which time period is the cheapest. Additionally, you can also compare which airline is offering the lowest airfare.
However, if you are not happy with the price offered to you. I highly recommend clicking on the price alerts button (which I have attempted to highlight on the picture above). Through clicking this icon all you need to do is enter your email and an alert is set up! This alert send you an email every time the price changes – this can go up or down.
If you are not in a rush to book, this is highly beneficial as you can just sit back and wait until your flights are down to a price in your budget range. Although, you are taking a risk as it is possible they may just increase in price, but it is often a risk worth taking as it is typical for flight prices to fluctuate up and down.
Can I afford to wait?
If you are worried about your flight increasing in price, Kayak has a very similar process where you enter your destination and dates. However, they also search different independent websites you can book on – instead of just the official airline websites.
Although cheaper these non-official websites are not always the safest. So, I advice sticking to official airline websites and only using these websites as a comparison – it also much easier to apply any add-ons on the airlines page.
However, one very useful tool on Kayak is the our advice tool. This gives a great indication on when you should buy your tickets and what the future activity may be. On the example above it is advising me to buy now and that prices are not likely to decrease over the next week. Therefore, I would be inclined to purchase my tickets today.
Personally, with all this information I have gained, I would return to the Skyscanner website and click on the £42 flight, making sure it transfers me to the Ryanair website to purchase my tickets. I would then be satisfied that I had found the best deal possible.
These two websites are just a few tools anyone can use to find the cheapest available flights. There are many more ways you can search and compare, but I believe these tools I have discussed are the easiest and most beneficial.
Here are a few general tips that may also aid you in finding those highly sought after cheap flights:
- Avoid peak holiday times! – This may be obvious to most, but airlines tend to triple their prices when it comes to school holidays.
- Book mid week trips – Flights tend to be most expensive when you fly on weekends, so it may be best to fly on a weekday, e.g Wednesday to Wednesday.
- Search on private or incognito mode – Surprisingly flights do increase when a route is continually searched. This means websites may increase prices to scare you into booking, as they know you will be worried about them increasing even more. If this does happen, just leave it for a few days and return in private mode.
- It can be cheaper to fly indirect – Typically for long-haul flights (sometimes short-haul) it can work out a great deal cheaper to make a few stops on the way to your destination. So if you have some extra time available and a small budget, this is a worthwhile option.
- Book all your parties ticket on one account – Most of the time it works out cheaper for everyone you are travelling with to book together under one account – instead of everyone doing it separately.