How I Find Really Cheap Flights

A frequent flyer's tips for finding really cheap flights, beyond just using Skyscanner.

How to find cheap flights

Flying for less

People are often surprised to hear that I’ve been on yet another long weekend away, and wonder how I can afford it. The thing is, travelling doesn’t have to be expensive! Staying in London, doing a bit of online shopping and going out for a few meals and drinks can often be just as expensive as going abroad.

I do have a few tricks that help me find cheaper airfares and go away without blowing all my savings. They take some extra effort and research but I think it’s all worth it because I get to travel so much more. Hopefully they can help you to plan your next trip too!

 

Compare, compare, compare

Compare the comparison sites! I used to be a loyal Skyscanner user, but more recently I’ve started using Momondo or Kayak to double check that I’m getting the absolute best deal. I’ve found that sometimes one website will have a slightly better price for the exact same flights. It’s always a good idea to check what fare the airline is offering on its own website.

 

skyscanner

How about a weekend in Norway?

 

Keep an open mind

The best way to get cheap flights is to be really flexible, both with your dates and your destination. Try searching for “everywhere” on Skyscanner or “take me anywhere” on Momondo to find the cheapest destinations for your chosen dates. This is how Chris and I ended up going to Stockholm for £50 return. We didn’t have a set destination in mind but Stockholm came up so we booked it. Also great is Momondo’s little calendar above your search results, showing you if you could get a cheaper fare on a different day.

 

momondo calendar - how to find cheap flights

Leaving on Sunday could save you a lot of £€$!

 

Good timing

Timing is everything! Fares fluctuate a lot depending not only on when you fly but also on how far ahead you’re booking. Momondo has this cool feature called ‘flight insight’: it tells you all sorts of things like how many days ahead of flying you should book and what the seasonality is for your destination.

If you’re not ready to book straight away, you can also set up a fare alert so you get an email when the price changes for your chosen route.

 

fare seasonality

November is looking good!

 

Look out for error fares

This is how I booked return flights to Tokyo for £245! Normally I would have had to spend £500+ to get myself over to Japan so when I saw this fare I jumped on it. You have to be very lucky, quick, and flexible to make the most of error fares, but they can save you a lot of money. Sign up to Jack’s Flight Club and you will get great deals emailed to you. Websites worth checking include Cheap Flights Lab, Flynous, Secret Flying, and Fly4free.

 

Consider buying a package

Sometimes you can make great savings when you buy your flights and your hotel as a package. EasyJet Holidays are great! If you find the same flight and hotel for less elsewhere, they will match it and even give you an extra £10 off. Chris and I have bought holidays from them twice (skiing in France and a long weekend in sunny Croatia) and saved money this way. Kayak lets you compare holiday packages from different providers, so it’s worth checking there before booking.

 

Happy flying!

Let me know if you found this useful or if you have any other tips.

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