ULTIMATE Flight Booking Guide 2023 | Get The Best Deal
Scoring cheap flight deals is becoming more complicated - the prices are skyrocketing because of inflation & the OTAs are mainly focusing on increasing their money flow. Here we share the best websites to book your flights for the lowest rate & all the insider tips.
While there are many websites letting you search for flights, through years of experience, the 3 search engines below became our favorites. Each of them is different, and they all have some good and bad things about them. So here are our TOPs with pros and cons described for you, along with some tips on securing the top flight deals.
Best search engines for finding cheap flights:
👉 Google Flights
If you come across a ghost fare, here are some ways to see if the flight can still be booked at the original price:
- Try playing around with the dates in Google Flights
- Check the same dates and see if it can be booked elsewhere, such as in Priceline or Momondo
PRO TIP: Keep in mind that you can put up to seven airports in each box, separated by commas. When looking for cheap flights to anywhere in Europe, for example, you might type "LHR, CDG, AMS, CPH, BCN, FCO, MXP" as your destination to find whether the cheapest flights are to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Rome, or Milan from Chicago.
PRO TIP: The more flexible you are with your travel dates and the destination, the better the price. With Skyscanner - search from a country rather than a city because the lowest-cost departure airport might not always be the one you expect. The same goes for your destination, use “Search Everywhere” to see the cheapest fares.
! Be aware before booking ! - while GotoGate has some of the best options, they’re not as upfront with their fees. For example, the fee for a checked bag is nearly $70! Add on a few extras, and the price skyrockets.
👉 How to book Kayak’s “Hacker Fares”
Some deals will be marked as “Hacker Fare” in the search result. Hacker Fares simply means it’s cheaper to book two one-way tickets that together make a round-trip flight rather than booking a round-trip from a single airline.
👉 Kayak's "Spend By Route" chart
Kayak recently added a new tool, its "Spend by Route" chart, which graphs the cheapest time to travel to a particular destination. The chart shows the average price of tickets for a particular month, which is handy because you can get an idea of which month is the cheapest to travel to a destination.
There are some essential factors to finding an awesome flight deal. Over the years, we noticed some patterns. Here are our findings on ensuring you catch a great deal.
FINDING THE BEST FLIGHT DEAL
While there is no secret formula to finding the best flight deals, there are a few simple tricks that will guarantee you always get the best price.
This is the key rule to cheap travel. Being flexible plays a big role in getting better deals. So, the more agile you can be with your travel plans, the higher your chances are in scoring great deals. Ensure you're searching multiple travel dates and nearby for price comparison.
Airlines use a dynamic pricing model, which means that prices fluctuate often. However, there are some noticeable trends. It's best to book a domestic flight about 1-3 months out, whereas for international travel, aim to book your flights 2-8 months out. If you must travel on specific dates or if your trip is during peak travel times like Christmas, New Year's, or Spring Break, book as early as possible to secure the best price.
👉 Shopping around
Searching from A to B isn't the best way if you’re out to get the cheapest flight. So instead of booking from your origin to your destination, look for a flight departing from a major hub that is near your origin. Then check a major hub nearby where you want to go. Finally, you fill in the shorter hops with a separate round-trip flight.