Want To Score Cheaper Flights For Your Next Adventure? Do These 18 Things


As predicted, airfare has not been cheaper post-pandemic. With fluctuating fuel prices, increased demand, and operational changes, travelers are finding it challenging to secure affordable flights.

However, with the right strategies and a bit of flexibility, you can still find great deals. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a long international adventure, these 18 tips will help you score cheap flights and make the most of your travel budget. From leveraging technology to exploring alternative booking options, here’s how to fly for less on your next big adventure:

Be Flexible with Dates and Destinations

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Flexibility is key when hunting for cheap flights. Airlines often have varying prices based on the day of the week, the time of year, and even the time of day. Use fare comparison tools that allow you to see the cheapest days to fly. Consider flying mid-week or during off-peak seasons when demand is lower.

Be open to multiple destinations; sometimes flying into a nearby city and taking a bus or train to your final destination can save you a lot. Apps like Skyscanner or Google Flights can help you explore these options effortlessly.

Set Up Fare Alerts

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Fare alert services can be a game-changer in finding cheap flights. Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, or Hopper let you set alerts for specific routes and dates. These alerts notify you when prices drop, ensuring you don’t miss a deal.

It’s a hands-free way to keep track of fare fluctuations without constantly checking. Be sure to set alerts for a range of dates and even nearby airports. This strategy can give you the edge in snagging the best prices.

Use Incognito Mode for Searches

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When searching for flights, browsers may track your searches and increase prices. To avoid this, use incognito or private browsing mode. This prevents websites from seeing your search history, potentially reducing prices. Additionally, clear your cookies or use different devices to keep prices competitive.

It’s a simple trick that can make a noticeable difference in finding cheaper flights. This method helps you avoid price hikes based on your previous searches.

Consider Budget Airlines

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Budget airlines can offer significantly cheaper fares than their full-service counterparts. While these airlines may charge extra for baggage, seat selection, and food, the base fare is often unbeatable. Look into carriers like Ryanair, EasyJet, JetBlue, or Southwest, but make sure to read their baggage policies.

Sometimes, the total cost with added fees is still cheaper than a regular airline. Be prepared for fewer amenities and stricter rules on baggage. Websites like Skyscanner and Momondo can help you compare budget airlines alongside traditional ones.

Use Points and Miles

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Frequent flyer miles and credit card points can be powerful tools in booking cheap flights. Sign up for airline loyalty programs and use a travel rewards credit card to earn points on everyday purchases. Redeem these points for free or discounted flights. Look for credit cards that offer sign-up bonuses with substantial points for spending a certain amount in the first few months.

Check for airline promotions that let you buy miles at a discount. It’s a great way to save on flights, especially if you travel often.

Book in Advance, But Not Too Far

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Booking flights well in advance can secure you a good deal, but booking too early can sometimes backfire. The sweet spot is usually 1-3 months before domestic flights and 2-6 months for international flights. Airlines often release deals and discounts during specific periods, so keep an eye out.

Use tools like Google Flights’ price graph to monitor trends and find the best time to book. Last-minute deals can also be a possibility, especially if you’re flexible with your plans. However, the risk of higher prices is always there.

Check Budget Travel Websites

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Websites like Skyscanner, Kayak, and Momondo aggregate flights from multiple airlines, often finding deals that are not listed on individual airline websites. These platforms are excellent for comparing prices across different airlines and booking sites. Use them to spot trends, monitor prices, and find the best deals available. Additionally, some sites offer features like price alerts and fare calendars.

Make sure to check out lesser-known booking engines as well, as they might have exclusive deals. Combining information from various sources increases your chances of finding the lowest fares.

Look for Error Fares

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Error fares, or mistake fares, occur when airlines accidentally publish flight prices much lower than usual. Websites like Secret Flying and Airfarewatchdog specialize in finding and sharing these deals. If you spot an error fare, book it quickly before the airline corrects the mistake.

These fares can be exceptionally cheap, sometimes costing only a fraction of the regular price. Keep in mind that these deals are often for a limited time and may have strict booking conditions. Staying alert and acting fast is crucial to securing these rare bargains.

Use Airline Miles and Partner Airlines

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Maximize your miles by booking flights with airline partners through alliances like Star Alliance, SkyTeam, or OneWorld. These alliances allow you to use miles across different airlines, offering more flexibility. Check each airline’s mileage program to understand how to best utilize your points.

Sometimes booking with a partner airline can provide better deals or more availability. Look out for special promotions or transfer bonuses from credit card points to airline miles. This strategy can significantly reduce the cost of your flights.

Join Travel Communities and Forums

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Engaging with travel communities and forums like Reddit’s r/travel or FlyerTalk can uncover insider tips and deals. Members often share their experiences, including secret deals, error fares, and travel hacks. Participating in these communities can give you early access to information that’s not widely known. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or share your own tips; these groups are full of helpful and experienced travelers.

Additionally, some forums have dedicated threads for flight deals and discount codes. Staying active in these communities can be a valuable asset in your quest for cheap flights.

Use Student and Youth Discounts

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If you’re a student or under 26, take advantage of special discounts offered by airlines and travel booking sites. Websites like Student Universe or STA Travel cater specifically to young travelers with exclusive deals. These discounts can apply to flights, accommodation, and even travel insurance.

Be sure to have your student ID or proof of age ready when booking. Even if you’re not a student, some airlines offer discounts for younger travelers. It’s a great way to save money on flights, especially for budget-conscious adventurers.

Leverage Social Media for Deals

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Follow airlines, travel agencies, and deal sites on social media platforms for exclusive promotions and flash sales. Many airlines post limited-time deals on their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages. Joining their mailing lists can also alert you to special discounts and offers.

Occasionally, they release promo codes or run competitions that can lead to free flights or upgrades. Make sure to turn on notifications for these accounts so you don’t miss out. Social media is a dynamic space for discovering last-minute deals and flash sales.

Book Round-Trip Tickets

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Sometimes booking a round-trip ticket is cheaper than booking two one-way tickets. Many airlines offer discounts for round-trip bookings, so compare the prices of one-way and round-trip tickets. Use fare comparison websites to check both options.

Moreover, booking a round-trip ticket can provide more stability in your travel plans. If you only need a one-way ticket, check if the round-trip fare is significantly cheaper. It’s a simple trick that can often save you a substantial amount.

Take Advantage of Airline Promotions and Sales

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Airlines frequently run promotions, especially during sales events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or end-of-year sales. Subscribe to airline newsletters and follow them on social media to stay informed about these deals. Sometimes, you can find deep discounts on flights, upgrades, or additional services.

Use airline promo codes and discount websites to find additional savings. Planning your trip around these sales can result in significant savings. Be quick to book these deals as they tend to sell out fast.

Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card

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A travel rewards credit card can be a great tool for scoring cheap flights. These cards offer points or miles for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for flights, hotels, and more. Look for cards with sign-up bonuses, travel insurance, and no foreign transaction fees.

Furthermore, many cards offer perks like priority boarding or free checked bags. Make sure to pay off your balance each month to avoid high interest rates. Using a travel rewards card strategically can enhance your travel budget significantly.

Look for Local Airlines and Lesser-Known Carriers


Don’t overlook local or lesser-known airlines, as they often have competitive prices. Airlines like Aer Lingus, Air Asia, or Vueling can offer cheaper fares compared to major carriers. Check their websites directly or use flight comparison tools that include these airlines. Sometimes, booking directly with the airline can also give you better deals.

Additionally, these airlines might offer promotions or discounts not listed on major booking sites. Exploring these options can lead to some surprising and affordable travel opportunities.

Use Cashback and Discount Websites

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Websites like Rakuten, Honey, and Ebates offer cashback for purchases made through their links. Before booking your flight, check these sites for any available cashback offers or discount codes. These sites can provide a small rebate or additional savings, effectively reducing the cost of your flight.

To add, some offer browser extensions that automatically apply coupon codes at checkout. Combining cashback with other discounts can maximize your savings. It’s a simple way to get a little extra back on your travel expenses.

Consider Stopovers or Multi-City Flights


Opting for a flight with a stopover or a multi-city itinerary can sometimes be cheaper than a direct flight. Airlines often offer lower fares for flights with layovers, giving you the chance to explore another city. Use multi-city search options on flight comparison websites to find these deals. Sometimes, the cost of an extra flight segment is negligible compared to a direct route.

This can turn a long layover into a mini-adventure. It’s an excellent way to extend your journey and see more places without significantly increasing your travel costs.