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Top 5 Tips and Tricks to Finding Cheap Flights

Use the Right Search Tool

Google Flights is Black Travel Lounge’s favorite flight search engine to find cheap flights. Similar to Google’s main search page, this is a very power search engine however it just for flights. Once you find what you are looking for, Google then directs you to book directly with the airline you have selected.

Google Flights makes this process seamless. Once you search for your itinerary, it will direct you to the airline’s website to book your flight. Google forwards the search result details so you don’t have to repeat the search on the airline’s site.

We recommend booking your flight directly with the airline you plan to fly. When booking through third parties like Expedia or Travelocity, any changes before departure must be handled by those agencies. This often leads to issues when you need assistance. These online travel agencies may not be based in the US and often cannot offer the same flexibility and exceptions as the airlines. Whenever possible, remove the middleman and book directly.

Have Flexibility

Flexibility is key to finding travel deals. The more flexible you are with your dates, the more options you’ll find, which translates into more opportunities for deals. If tickets for your initial travel dates are too expensive, try adjusting your dates—you may be surprised by the savings.

If your travel dates are flexible, use this to your advantage. According to a study by FareCompare, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday are the cheapest days for domestic US travel.

Price Monitor and Setup Fare Alerts to Find Cheap Flights

After choosing your flight dates, set up fare alerts for those dates. You’ll receive daily updates on ticket prices, which will fluctuate. When you feel the ticket has reached its lowest price, buy it. However, be cautious; if you hesitate too long, the price could suddenly increase and may not go down again.

Many travel bloggers alert readers to travel deals, error fares, and airline sales. We recommend Secret Flying, a site dedicated to airfare deals. You might find yourself planning unexpected trips thanks to the deals you find.

Subscribe to Blogs that Post Daily Cheap Flight Deals

Find Cheap Flights

Subscribing to deal blogs that post daily about airline sales, discounts, and error fares can be an invaluable resource for budget travelers. These blogs meticulously track and share the latest deals, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to save on your next flight. Notable examples include The Points Guy and The Flight Deal. Both sites offer comprehensive coverage of airfare discounts and promotions, often highlighting error fares that can result in substantial savings. By subscribing to these blogs, you’ll receive timely updates directly to your inbox, allowing you to act quickly and secure the best deals available.

Get Creative with the Itinerary

Always compare roundtrip prices to the cost of booking each leg individually. A roundtrip ticket isn’t always the most cost-effective option. Sometimes, traveling one way on one airline and returning on another can save you money.

Many airlines offer rewards if you add a stopover. This strategy helps airlines avoid overbooking their most valuable flights. A stopover can be a great way to save money and include a visit to a new city or country.

If you live in a city served by multiple airports, check fares from all local airports. Additionally, consider airports within a reasonable driving distance. For example, if you live in Tampa, Orlando International Airport often has lower fares and more non-stop options. This tactic can also be applied to your arrival destination. For instance, arriving in Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami can save you money, and the two airports are less than 30 miles apart.

For international travel, consider booking separate tickets for domestic and international legs. For example, if traveling to Asia, book a separate ticket to a major gateway like San Francisco or Los Angeles, then another ticket to Asia. Similarly, find deals to Europe and Africa from major gateways like New York (JFK) or Newark. This can result in significant savings, but ensure you have enough time for connections to minimize the risk of missing your international flight. An overnight stay in your connection city can help reduce this risk.

Buy At The Right Time

Airline sales can occur randomly, often followed by competing airlines. Sign up for alerts directly from airlines, as they sometimes limit fare sales to a certain number of purchases. There have been some incredible fare sales, but you need to act quickly! Historically, airlines have released their promotions and sales on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

According to reports from The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), the best time to purchase tickets is 50 days before departure. Their data shows that passengers pay nearly 10 percent below the average fare if they buy 50 days before their flight.

For Free Flights, Consider Credit Card Points

For those looking to score free flights, credit card points can be a game-changer. By using travel rewards credit cards, you can accumulate points on everyday purchases and redeem them for flights, hotel stays, and more. To learn how to maximize your credit card points and fly for free, check out our detailed guide on Travel Rewards Credit Cards at Black Travel Lounge. This resource will help you navigate the best options and strategies to make your travel dreams a reality.