Besides booking your flights in advance, there are more money-saving flight booking tricks that most travellers have yet to put to good use. Unless you have all the time in the world to manually search for cheap flights, chances are you wouldn’t know how or where to even start.
That’s why we trawled the mighty Internet for expert insights by people who call themselves “Professional Cheap Flight Finders”. Whether they make a living out of it or they’re just hobbyists who enjoy scouring for inexpensive flights, one thing’s for sure: They spend a lot of time doing it, and they’ve seen results.
The founders of Scott’s Cheap Flights, Flystein, and Nomadfly, as well as Jack’s Cheap Flight Club, have recently done a Reddit AMA, and here are some golden nuggets of advice from them and other Redditors to book your next getaway.
WHEN TO BOOK FLIGHTS
“In general, for international flights I recommend booking 2-6 months in advance. Any longer than that and you miss out on future sales, any sooner and the price usually spikes.” –– Brian, Scott’s Cheap Flights
“And if you are looking for holiday season book as early as 11 months in advance if price is right coz its more likely to go only up.” –– Vlad, Flystein
“6-12 weeks in advance is the sweet spot, but it varies greatly. For peak and holiday seasons, I recommend looking just as the flights start showing up (typically 11-12 months in advance).” –– Jack, Jack’s Cheap Flights Club
CHECK PRICES ON COUNTRY-SPECIFIC VERSIONS OF SITES
“For example, the last trip I took to visit my gf’s family in Vietnam (and also a side trip to Thailand) was around $1050 on the US sites. Checking the Thai version of the same website (same company just .co.th), THE SAME FLIGHT only cost $690 (including all bank related fees).” –– /u/PedroDaGr8
“Yes, this is 100% true. Doubly true if you’re taking a domestic flight in another country (i.e. Barcelona to Madrid), be sure to search on the Spain site rather than the US one.” –– Brian, Scott’s Cheap Flights
“Use a VPN connection for checking local airlines in the country of origin.” –– /u/LeNoirDarling
LAST MINUTE DEALS ARE A MYTH
“Almost all flights spike in price the last few days before departure. That’s because airlines have realized that’s the best way to squeeze money out of business travelers who don’t care about price and typically make plans late.” –– Scott, Scott’s Cheap Flights
BREAK UP YOUR FLIGHTS
“Be willing to fly into/out of different cities than is most direct. i.e. if you live in NYC and want to go to Paris, sometimes it’ll be a way better price to fly NYC-London, then hop a cheap flight down to France (and see London while you’re at it!)” –– Scott, Scott’s Cheap Flights
USE A COMBINATION OF FLIGHT SEARCH ENGINES
“Google Flights + Momondo is my favorite way to search for airfare, regardless of where in the world.” ––Scott, Scott’s Cheap Flights
“I prefer Skyscanner and kiwi.com.” –– Beck, Nomadfly
“Google’s backend matrix here is a bit more complex but will get you even better results.
Once you find a cheap fare on google there are a number of other places to look to make sure it’s genuinely the best deal. Momondo picks up fares from the cheapest agents.
Another option for those that are VERY flexible with the amount of stop-overs is lesser-known kiwi.com. They search a lot more options for each route than even Google and Skyscanner does.” –– Jack, Jack’s Cheap Flights Club
Bonus Pro-Tip: Keep an eye on SecretFlying for cheap travel deals.