I haven’t done a money-saving post in a while, and ’tis the season of travel so let’s save you some money on flights, shall we?
My Favorite Search Engines (& Why)
Although I came to find that Hopper’s prices are actually higher than the other search engines, I love using the app for it’s “Watch This Trip” option where you can input your vacation dates and monitor when the prices fluctuate.
They tell you when it’s the perfect time to buy, or if you should wait.
When the app tells me when the prices drop, that’s when I go to all my search engines to compare, & then I buy.
This is another search engine (& app)- but specifically I like their “Search: Anywhere” option.
Say, you have a few days off of work in the future and you wanna plan a trip- but you don’t know where to go.
Instead of searching for the cheapest flights to multiple different cities (and having to chart all the prices), use the search bar on SkyScanner’s website.
Just add the days you wanna travel, hit ‘Search’, and it’ll list all the cheaper places you can travel within those dates- perfect if your motto in life is:
“Catch flights not feelings”
I like searching specifically on a desktop on GoogeFlights because it gives you the option to see a month’s view of prices. Like this:
And it highlights the cheaper (green in the photo) and more expensive options so it can assist you with staying within your budget.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
Okay I don’t know why I never heard of this site until now, but if you’re an international mami- let me help you live your best life.
What this site is:
Scott’s Cheap Flights is a website that finds “mistake fares” on the web and notifies it’s members RIGHT when they find it.
What’s a mistake fare?
“A mistake fare is an error in the price of a flight listing. Errors occur for a wide variety of reasons; these include airlines forgetting the extra zero on a rate or miscalculating a currency conversion.”
I bet you’re thinking- this CAN’T be real.
Believe it sista. It’s 100% legit.
You can even find these “mistake fares” yourself on Google and by searching through every flight search engine, but the site makes it easier for you by doing the work- then sending you notifications via email.
Okay.. this is cool or whatevuh… but what’s the catch?
The catch is:
- It’s only for international flights
- You have to sign up for their services
- You can choose the free or the premium. The premium membership includes the immediate email notifications (when they find the mistake fares). But the membership is pretty cheap (and honestly worth it if you ask me!). It costs $15 for 3 months, $25 for 6 months, or $39 for a year- that’s it!
Okay, so I equipped you with my favorite search engines for savings. Now I’ll equip you with little tips when actually booking.
How much time in advanced do I need to book?
Don’t book too early – despite contrary belief, there is a way to book “too” early.
These are the “sweet spots” to book according to SkyScanner:
Domestic: 2-4 weeks prior to departure
International: 2-3 months prior to departure
The average domestic fare found six months before a selected departure date was found to be 19% higher than fares searched for a month in advance- don’t get too antsy!
Best Fly-In/Fly-Out Days
Domestic: should depart on a Saturday and return on Monday to score the cheapest airfare (roughly 16% lower than average).
International: Sites recommend departing on a Tuesday and returning on Wednesday to save some mula (these flights were 21% lower than the average).
Clear them cookies, girl!
“When searching for flights, clear your cookies or cache, or hop onto a different computer so that your browsing history doesn’t follow you.
Peter Greenberg for Quartz tells us, “While there’s no proof or hard evidence, there is growing anecdotal evidence that suggests airlines are tracking your behavior online, and potentially even tracking IP addresses, and prices could go up for flights that are searched frequently.”
While you’re at it, set your particular web browser to incognito or private browsing mode when shopping for fares.”
Tip: In Chrome or Safari, Incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or Control, if using PC)+Shift+N. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or Control, if using a PC)+Shift+P.
Mix & Match Airlines
In the words of Ariana Grande: “Mix it and mix it and mix it and mix it!”
It’s true- sometimes mixing and matching airlines will save you big bucks.
For example: if you’re flying to New York and the ticket there is cheaper through SouthWest, but coming back is cheaper on Delta- just book both (separately)!
This has been one of my favorite tricks in the book, promise!
Tip: use GoogleFlights for the easiest way to compare airline prices on one screen. Make sure you’re clicking the “One Way” option and not “Round Trip” to get a less-confusing overview of prices.
Peep the format here (red):
Last but not least:
Holiday Booking Tips
“Both domestic and international airfare begin to rise steeply come mid-November.
For domestic and international flights [CHRISTMAS]: departing on Monday 12/25 and returning on Thursday 12/28 could save you up to 45%.
This year, travelers could be paying 28% more by departing on Saturday 12/23 and returning on Saturday 12/30. If you can, fly during the week to save some money.
For New Year’s travel, consider departing on New Year’s Eve and returning on Monday 1/1 or Tuesday 1/2 to save up to 49%.”
That wraps up my best tips to save money when booking flights! For an overview of what I went over (and so it’s easier for you to screenshot), I made this image so you can save it on your phone for whenever you’re shopping for flights and need a reminder!
I got you boo 😉
If you enjoyed this post- you’d probably enjoy my [Side-Hustles for Millenials: Easy Jobs You Can Juggle with your 9-5] post- check it out!