We all know that the biggest expense when planning a trip comes on accommodation and airline tickets. It’s almost impossible to find cheap airline tickets and score a great deal. Yes, there are low-cost airlines where you can buy tickets at $15 if you are lucky, but sometimes that’s not an option. There are dozens of airline ticket search platforms to help you find the ticket tailored to your needs. Therefore, I decided to share my tips and tricks to find cheap airline tickets almost anywhere.
General tips on how to find cheap airline tickets
- First, remember that it takes a lot of time and effort to find cheap flights
- Use incognito window when looking at flight tickets. Search engines tend to observe your searching behavior so that it will show you a high price
- Book airline tickets at least four months ahead. It’s better if you buy tickets six months ahead
- Sign-up for newsletter or price alert emails
- If you are a traveler and plan on traveling around the country, always purchase a one-way ticket and fly out from another city
- Follow airlines on social media to see promotional posts
- Use Kiwi, Skyscanner, or eDreams
Break up your ticket
When planning your next vacation, you might never consider breaking up your ticket and destinations. What I mean is that you need to fly out from a hub airport. For example, I live in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the nearest hub airport for me is in Istanbul, Turkey.
Usually, flights from Tbilisi are costly and breaking up my ticket to Tbilisi-Istanbul and Istanbul-Whatever is much cheaper than direct Tbilisi-Whatever. Here is the example: I am going to Dubrovnik, Croatia in Septemeber and flights from Tbilisi to Dubrovnik on Skyscanner for one person one-way is:
Look at this! In January this year, I bought tickets from Istanbul to Dubrovnik, with a 20-hour layover in Athens for only $124.88 for two people. Not only I scored the cheapest ticket in my life for such a long trip, but I got to explore Athens as well. That’s a double win for me!
And a ticket from Tbilisi to Istanbul is just around the same price – about $60-70. With the above mentioned expensive ticket, I would get a 14h layover in Moscow without being able to leave the airport. Bummer!
Oh, I hear you saying “What about the return ticket?” I am getting there, just bear with me!
Check the website of the airline
Once you find the ticket that is most relevant to your travel plans, don’t buy tickets via ticket search sites right away. Another tip on buying cheap airline tickets is to go directly to the website of the airline. Usually, the search platform may add additional tax or fee, so the final price turns out higher.
However, sometimes that’s not the case either, especially when buying ticket very early. Like I did. When I found the ticket with Aegean Airlines on Skyscanner, I looked at the website, and the flights in September were not up yet. So I had to go to eDreams and buy my ticket there.
Sometimes, price on the official websites is higher than at ticket search sites. So you need to check everything to find the best deal. As I said, it’s time-consuming and requires efforts.
Sign up for price alerts
One of the best features Skyscanner has is the price alerts. You can set up email alerts to any destination you search for and get instant emails when price changes. However, you need to be quick. I got this email and was late for ONLY 10 minutes, and the prices were up. But I still paid less – $88 for two tickets.
Find the return ticket
So I looked at the nearest airport where Wizzair flies and found Budapest. One more city to explore. Yes, I have been there, but it was in 2012 on a field trip from the university. Now I want to explore it differently, plus Oto (my husband) hasn’t seen it. So why not?
I paid a bit more for the flight from Budapest to Kutaisi (the second largest city of Georgia) than I was planning to. But that’s my fault. I bought it a bit later as I was still deciding to prolong the trip or come back home. I am a travel junkie, I know!
How much did I save in the end?
For two people Tbilisi-Dubrovnik would have been $478 plus $133 Budapest-Kutaisi = $611
Therefore, I saved $265.12
How to find cheap airline tickets through Kiwi.com
Kiwi.com is one of my all-time favorite search platforms. It has great features that allow me to find cheap airline tickets anywhere I decide to go.
Search ‘Anywhere’ and ‘Anytime’ Features
I can’t stress more how important is to be flexible with travel dates when trying to find cheap airline tickets. This feature shows the cheapest places from your destination at any time of the year. What I like most about Kiwi is that it shows a destination map with the prices in addition to top countries where you can fly on a budget. When you hover over those top countries it also shows departure dates and how many nights you can stay there.
After choosing the country you’d like to visit, the website displays airlines, price, dates, and how many nights you’ll be there. You can then choose the most appropriate one. It also gives you a tip to save money by flying from another airport to your destination and says how much you’ll save.
If the prices are shown seem expensive, there’s a tab called cheapest, which shows the cheapest way of flying to that country. As I noticed, mostly those flights take longer with multiple layovers. Sometimes, this is not bad at all, as you have the possibility to see the city of the layover.
Searching by the destination country
If you know where you want to go but you are flexible with the city, you can put the name of the country in the To field and see what’s the best result. For instance, this is what Tbilisi-Turkey search looks like with anytime departure and return:
However, if the given number of nights is too much for you, you can click on the dates and see the cheapest price of the given month. For instance Tbilisi-Turkey from March 5-14: The cheapest flights are Tbilisi-Istanbul for $135, the comes to Ankara for $186 and Antalya for $191.
Another great feature of Kiwi is the Price Table. Once you choose the country and see the list of airlines with departure dates, you can open a price table to see if it’s cheaper to fly on another date than what Kiwi displayed.
Search according to the date range
If you have a particular month or dates you’d like to fly, Kiwi shows the best option for those dates. For instance, you’d like to fly anytime from March 1-10 and come back anytime from March 10-15. Similar to other searches, Kiwi will show the price, the number of nights, airline, and departure dates, so you can choose the best that suits your travel plans.
Filter your search
Once you get into those cheap tickets, you can filter them with different variables, such as transport (flights, train, bus), stops (nonstop, 1 stop, etc), duration of the flight, bags (checked-in luggage), time of the day to depart, days of the week, airlines, and airports.
Kiwi introduced a new feature called Nomad. This is when traveling to multiple destinations and want to buy the tickets all at once. It not only shows the flights between those cities but also bus and train scheduleს with the price.
This is how you use this awesome feature: put the departure city and time, then tick the box whether to return to the original city or not, afterward set the return date. When choosing the return date, you can either choose anytime or identify a number of nights you plan on traveling.
In places to visit, you should put the destination points you’d like to visit and a number of nights you plan on staying. For example, let’s say you are flying to Prague and want to also visit Vienna and Budapest. I think this is a great feature for those who have more time traveling around these cities.
How to find cheap airline tickets on Skyscanner
Skyscanner is one of many sites I use to find cheap flights, mix and match or to compare prices. Yes, every platform has a different price on the same ticket. I don’t like buying a ticket and then finding a better deal somewhere else. So I make sure I do my homework and research it before making my final decision.
There are many reasons I like Skyscanner. It has some pretty impressive features that help you find cheap flights to any destination in the world. And I am going to show them all.
When I plan a trip and don’t have a particular destination in mind, I like to see what are my options. I don’t want to write a city each time I want to see how much a ticket cost. So there is one great feature on Skyscanner:
When you put your ‘From’ city and don’t know where you want to go, search ‘Everywhere’ gives you all the possible destinations from your town with the lowest price possible.
You can then add your departure and return dates if you are not flexible with your dates or search for the cheapest option. This leads us to tip #2:
Sort By ‘Cheapest Month’
Okay, so what if you know your destination but don’t know the exact dates you want to travel. This is where search by ‘Cheapest Month‘ comes in handy. Once you click the date section, you can sort your flights according to the cheapest months.
If you know which month you want to visit your destination, but are flexible with the dates, search by ‘Whole Month.’ This shows you on which dates you can find the lowest price on airline tickets.
Set Up Price Alerts
I already mentioned this above. Set up the price alerts to get email notifications on chosen dates and destinations. It shows when prices on certain dates go up or down.
Cheap flight deals via Secret Flying
Secret Flying is another great website where you can find awesome cheap flight deals to anywhere in the world. As I have been monitoring their page, most of those cheap flight deals are available from/to popular destinations like various cities in the USA, Britain, India, Southeast Asia, Europe, and China to name a few.
As I have noticed, Secret Flying is great when you need to fly to a faraway destination, for example, from Europe to Vietnam, Bangkok, or Brazil or from the United States to Europe, Asia, or South America.
A couple of days ago, I saw London to Morocco for only 27 GBP roundtrip!
I am not that crazy to check the Secret Flying website every day. I like their Facebook Page and every time they post an update, I see it first on my feed. To do this, you need to press the following button and set the notification to See First. Or to the same on Twitter.