Since departing on our trip overseas, we have been getting a lot of questions about how we have planned and paid for everything. It can be intimidating when planning an adventure (big or small) on your own, but with some research and the right tools, it can be done.
One of the most challenging and expensive things people face when trying to make travel arrangements is finding a flight to their destination. The reality is that booking the right flight sucks. They are expensive, the prices are constantly changing, and you never want to end up on a dreaded airline with a history of bad experiences. Here are some of my favorite sites to help track down the best flight at the best price.
Say hello to one of my favorite sites to find flights. In fact, we used Skyscanner to book almost all of our flights for our trip to Europe/Asia. I have found it to be one of the easiest sites to navigate through and filter while browsing search results. Unlike some search engines for flights, they will mix and match airlines to help you get the best price. Skyscanner is also great if you are just looking to get away – no matter where that might be. Their ‘Everywhere’ destination search will look for the best deals leaving from the airport closest to you. You can also use them to book hotels and car rentals which makes planning your whole trip much easier.
Take advantage of the filter options that Skyscanner offers, including those available to you after you received your search results. Skyscanner will allow you to specify the number to stops, time tables, and price points which will help you find the best flight for your schedule and budget.
If you know me, then you know my love for Google. I use the search engine on a daily and if I wasn’t already addicted, learning that you can also use it to find deals on flights sealed the deal. My favorite thing about Google is the simplicity that comes with searching the flights. You can set the filters to match your date range, location or even a specific airline that you want to fly with and Google with populate a slew of options for you to go through. They also let you mix and match with return flights when booking a round trip which makes finding an affordable option easy.
If possible, try out the flexibility features offered by Google. Expanding your options on dates and what airports you are flying into can make a big impact when it comes to cost. Google also offers a filter by interest so if you happen to be looking for a weekend of pampering or maybe a few days full of adventure, they can find you deals in locations full of activities.
If you are like me, you scratch your head when you hear that someone got an awesome deal because they found a great price on a flight because their destination happened to be a layover on a flight to another location. How do people find these things? Websites like Skiplagged help with all of the confusion surrounding this concept. Like other search engines, you enter your current location and where you are heading. Skiplagged will then search all flights, including those where the layover is your final destination (they call this a hidden-city). This ensures that you are truly getting the best price from all airline options.
Use the filters on the right hand side of the site to change your settings after receiving the search results. This is where you can review just the hidden-city options and you can also specify an airline if you wish to do so. This is where I play around with times and prices to ensure I am getting the best flight for my schedule.
Hopper is a bit different than the other sites I have mentioned as it is only offered as an app. Hopper’s features range from being able to check out price estimations for flights during extended time frames (weeks or months) and they will suggest if/when you should actually purchase the flight. That’s right – no more guessing on your own. Hopper will suggest if their analytics detect the prices to raise or lower and they will tell you if it’s a good idea to purchase now of if they project the cost to decrease soon. Basically they stalk the flights for you so you don’t have to.
Turn on notifications for the app. Doing so will allow you to watch the prices on flights that you are interested. Hopper will then notify you when they think you should purchase the tickets. They will also let you monitor multiple flights at one time and share the flight info with other people who might be going with you.
Need help finding a place to stay? Check out my favorite sites to help you find a place to stay here.Pin It