Need help finding cheap flights for your next getaway?
Photo by Iwan Shimko
I don’t think this post needs much of an introduction because who doesn’t want a cheap flight? The more you travel, the more conscious you need to be about where you’re spending your money. One of the easiest things to save on is flights, if you do your homework! Here’s what I do to find cheap flights for my travels.
If you know where you want to go
If you’ve already picked a place you want to see on your next weekend break then you’re halfway there! It’s easier when you’ve got a bucket list of places, or even old favourites, that you want to get to. Next on my list is Vienna, but I’m always on the lookout for cheap flights to London too!
In these cases I like to use Google Flights to do my searches. I first start with a weekend that might work, then choose the “Date Grid” option that appears above the results. This gives me all the combinations around the dates I’m looking for. Maybe it’s cheaper to do Saturday to Monday rather than Friday to Sunday. You can also view “Price Graph” that will show you the cost of a trip the length you’ve selected over the full month.
Do a bit of digging with these tools and see what dates and cost work best for your budget.
If you know when you want to go
When you’ve decided you’re definitely leaving town for a specific weekend you’ve got a few options.
Start by using SkyScanner and Google Flights for open-ended searching. You’ll see the cost of flights to all the cities in map view. Then if you find yourself feeling like heading somewhere in the southern half of Europe, start zooming in to narrow it down and see what flights will cost you for those cities on your dates.
You can also add additional filters to your search, like maximum price and number of stops. This is a great way to discover smaller cities you may not have thought of. Paris is great, but have you been to Lyon?
If you’ve decided where and when you’d like to go, but aren’t ready to commit just yet, set up an email alert for that search. I get notifications every other day to tell me if my flights are going up or down in price. I got some amazingly cheap flights from Dublin to Vancouver this summer by monitoring the price with an alert. They went from €850 down to €450! Sold.
If you’ll go wherever, whenever
Check out websites like Secret Flying. They allow you to search for trips to or from a certain place, and display the deals they’ve found around the web. There are some amazing deals to be had, and this is a great way to consider new destinations. London to Singapore for £350? Maybe that works for you! If you’re flexible with your holiday dates, why not try somewhere new?
Other Flight Tips
Get the apps of airlines you fly with regularly. As much as I hate to admit it, the Ryanair app often sends me push notifications for seat sales and, yes, I’ve then gone and bought great seats at great prices.
Get a points or loyalty card for an airline your travel with regularly. I have a British Airways card and get points for all BA and affiliated flights. I recently got asked if I wanted to use points for my last flight to London! Things are getting serious..
Do you have other tips for finding good flights? Please let me know!
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