How to get the best deals on flights
Flight prices are always fluctuating, and you can find the same flight at widely varying price points depending on where you look. There are certain people that always seem to be able to find the good deals and as a digital nomad who takes frequent flights, it’s important you know the tricks of the trade to save you a lot of stress.
The most expensive element of most traveling is the flight. While transatlantic airline rates have decreased in recent years, they may still make a significant difference in any trip budget. Finding a cheap airline bargain may make or break your trip.
This article features tips and tricks to ensure you always get the best deals on flights.
Clear your cookies
Travel costs will increase when a certain route is regularly searched, based on cookies in your browser. This is happening because the site knows you’re really interested in that particular route, meaning you’re more likely to pay for it even if the price goes up. To find the best fares, always search for flights in incognito or private browser mode.
If you are using Google Chrome or Safari you can go into incognito mode by clicking Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, and “N”. For those who use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox the recipe is to press Command (or “Control” on a PC), Shift, and “P”.
This will create a new browser window where your data will not be monitored, preventing price inflation as you search. Once you open the incognito window, your cookies are reset. Close all your windows, open a new one and then search for your flights. This will ensure that your past searches aren’t “remembered,” potentially raising expenses.
Take advantage of flight search engines
Flight search engines check thousands of different flight options and provide you with the best deals. To make sure you always get the cheapest option, make sure to use different engines at the same time, because no engine is perfect and you don’t want to miss the deal.
Here are some of our favorites:
Skyscanner – This search engine will explore the internet for all possible flight options to your chosen destination.. When you click on a country’s name, a selection of locations appears, ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive. So you can locate the cheapest flights to any place in the world in just a few clicks. They also allow you to search for the cheapest month, which can help a lot if your travel dates are not set. There is even an option to search for flights to “anywhere” so if you’re looking for a impulsive, cheap trip then it’s a great option.
CheapOair – With CheapOair you can find thousands of cheap flights to thousands of destinations within seconds. CheapOair has cutting-edge mobile apps for Apple and Android so you can buy your flight tickets from the palm of your hand. At every stage, their technology and user-friendly design offer a hassle-free online booking experience.
Kiwi – The difference between Kiwi and other flight search engines is that the others will try to book you on the same airline or airlines with codeshares for your entire route, Kiwi will show you all the cheapest options, even if it means putting you on two completely separate flights or sending you to a random airport completely off route. While this isn’t the best option for those searching for the quickest and most convenient method to go someplace, it is excellent for those looking for the cheapest alternative. But if you choose this option, consider how much it will cost to transfer from one airport to another and if it is worth it in the end.
Momondo – Unlike more well-known sites like Expedia, this one does not sell flights. Momondo is a meta-search engine that searches hundreds of online travel agents to get the best deal. They will display rates so you may compare them to booking directly with the airline and determine whether the savings are worthwhile.
Kayak – It’s a travel search engine that shows airfare, hotel, and vehicle rental pricing. Kayak condenses the results and allows you to pick the best choice for your trip based on your dates and destination. You may look for cheaper flights up to three days before or after your chosen travel dates, or use the flexible month search to look for tickets four weeks out.
Be flexible on flight dates
There are certain days of the month/week that are cheaper to fly. Many search engines allow you to search flight options for the entire month. By running these searches you can identify which is the cheapest day and book then.
Be open to where and when you go. If you’ve decided on a place and dates and don’t have any flexibility, you’ve already ruled out most of the options for saving money on flights. The cheapest days to travel are often Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The most costly days are generally Friday and Sunday.
Use budget airlines
People are often scared of budget airlines, but you can save hundreds of dollars by booking a flight with a provider like RyanAir, Spirit Airlines, or Wizz Air. These flights are bare-bones, so don’t expect luxury and ALWAYS read the fine print when you book to determine baggage fees, etc. Because they offer cheaper tickets, everything else they try to charge you for, including choosing your seats, food, drinks, carry on, and so much more.
Most of them don’t offer cancellation protection, so make sure to learn everything about your ticket so you don’t end up with a surprise. Also, some budget airlines fly out of smaller airports where fees are cheaper for the providers.
Furthermore, budget airlines may be the most convenient and cost-effective option to connect from your long-haul journey to your ultimate destination. If a journey from one end of Europe to the other costs $50, a cheap airline ticket becomes a lot more enticing.
Use travel points
Travel hacking is a buzzword in the digital nomad community. Booking flights and accommodation is expensive but also a great way to earn travel points with a credit card, and then you can use the points to get huge savings on flights.
Some of the best travel points cards include:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – This is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards on the market. The card’s strong return on travel and dining expenditures is worth the $95 annual fee. Cardholders may use their points to book travel through Chase or transfer them to one of Chase’s 14 prized airline and hotel partners for 1.25 cents apiece.
Capital One Venture Rewards – This is a good choice for most travelers because of its ease of use and generous rewards. With no extra categories to remember, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar spent, making it a great card for individuals with hectic lives.
Chase Freedom Unlimited – This is an incredibly strong card that gives you at least 1.5% back on anything you buy. It becomes a standout card, however, when used with a card that earns transferable Ultimate Rewards points, thereby doubling its worth.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card – After making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, you’ll receive 25,000 online bonus points, which may be used as a $250 statement credit against travel purchases. Also, you will earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee or international transaction fees, and your points never expire.
Get a travel rewards card on time. Avid travelers can use airline rewards programs to win free flights, travel perks, and hotel stays. They include aircraft upgrades, free events, access to airport lounges, and much more.
Even if you are not a frequent traveler or you are just starting out, you should be enrolled in a reward program. This can be very useful if you are moving between countries often as a digital nomad.
Book your own connecting flights
It’s often cheaper to book your connecting flights separately than to rely on the provider to do so. If you’re flying from Costa Rica to France with a stopover in New York then book the two flights separately to save some money.
The same goes for groups traveling together or return flights. Booking tickets one by one will give you the best savings and promotions that can apply. Many budget airlines will increase the price when you are booking two tickets at once or you are booking a return ticket.
Get the best deals on flights
To master the artistry of finding the cheapest flights all you have to do is be patient and do your research. Set a time in a day that you will use to look for flights, and don’t stop after a first try. Look for the flights every day for a week, until you figure out what works best. Skills like these will be invaluable to you as a digital nomad.