January 1, 2020
Who doesn’t want to know how to find cheap flights?! As you all know, I love to jet-set, but to keep it real with you – I’m a mom of 4… and kids expensive. In order to keep up what could be an expensive habit of heading to Europe every year, I have to be smart about it! Additionally, as a destination wedding photographer, it’s important to me that I keep travel costs low for my clients. I learned several years ago to never pay full price for an airline ticket again. Today I’m going to share with you my tips on how to book cheap flights!
The most important step in how to find cheap flights is starting the search! While there are plenty of flight search engines out there you can check (Skyscanner, Kiwi & Momondo to name a few), Google Flights is my personal go-to when I begin. I recommend double checking the price you’ve found on one search engine with at least one or two more before booking to be safe! Additionally, check airline’s website to be safe. (Be sure to check the breakdown of the flight legs that are offered to you. While Google Flights will keep you on the same airline the whole trip, Kiwi will put you on whatever airline is the cheapest. You may bounce around a bit. Just something to keep an eye on so you’re in the know!)
If you’re on Chrome or Safari, open an incognito window before you get too far into your price shopping journey. I frankly don’t know if it’s a proven fact, BUT I have definitely watched prices shoot up after the google-gods figure out that I’m stalking a particular flight. It’s always a good bet to open a private tab just to be safe!
An important key here with snagging those international steals on flights, is not getting hung up on specific dates. Choose a timeframe or a month that you’d like to travel within, and then watch everything. I’ve changed my preferred travel dates by one or two days very often in order to save a couple hundred bucks.
Pro Tip: Your honeymoon doesn’t HAVE to be directly after your wedding! For instance, if you’re having a summer wedding, consider a trip to Europe in November for your honeymoon! Off-season travel is tremendously cheaper & the crowds aren’t even remotely the same as they are in high-season travel times. Off season travel will always be my favorite for a bunch of reason!
When it comes to using Google flights, the beauty is being able to see the prices on the calendar easily to choose your dates. Simply enter your city selection & click on the calendar. It will drop down & allow you to see your price options as you scroll the through the months.
Once you find the dates & locations you’re interested in within Google flights set up alerts there. Again, I suggest doing this for multiple dates because prices change by the day!
Additionally, alerts can be set up on many of the other flight search engines. I will warn you that I have NOT been alerted to the best deal before & found it by chance on my own. So even with your alerts set, keep checking yourself once you have a departure in mind!
If you want to travel regularly, I highly suggest snagging a subscription service. Many can be found for free for some basic deals, but for minimal investment you can be alerted to cheap flights & mistake fare prices all over the globe. I’ve used multiple sites for this over the year, but currently I’m using Pomelo, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and FareDrop.
Typically, I still find the best deals out of my local airport (CVG) at this point, but I will always check the surrounding cities as well. Additionally, remember to check all the options for the city you’re landing in. You may have a plan to fly to Florence, Italy – but 9 times out of 10 it will be significantly cheaper to fly into Rome from Cincinnati. (Most of Europe has brilliant train systems that make travel between cities a breeze!)
While yes, this method takes some time & planning, I promise it pays off. The rush you get when finding a deeply discounted flight is well worth it! Be patient, consistent with checking prices, and wait for the good deal to come around.
For instance, I’m flying to Portugal soon and booked my flight through KLM’s website even though Delta is operating the flight. That happened to save me a couple hundred bucks.
There are many more ways to play the airfare game (like with airline credit cards! Another post for another day). However, I find these tips are enough to keep me happy every time! I hope you feel more confident after reading up on how to find cheap flights for your next trip!
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