Waiting to open the door on your next adventure? With the world finally opening back up, don’t let finding the perfect flight be something that holds you back from embarking on your next vacay. Read on to discover how you can find cheap flight fares and score the perfect deal for your next trip around the world.
Table of Contents
- Do Cheap Fares Exist?
- Where to Start with Cheap Airfare: Ask Yourself These 5 Questions
- Tips for Cheap Flight Fares You May Not Know
- Which Site Is the Cheapest for Airline Tickets?
- How Can I Search for a Cheap Flight Now? The Easy Way.
Do Cheap Fares Exist?
Absolutely! Cheap Fares exist for those savvy enough to find them. Prices for airline tickets constantly fluctuate based on a number of factors:
- Flight Times
The key is understanding how these factors work, being patient, and comparing flight prices, so you can recognize the best deals when they come available.
Airlines know when people like to travel.
Summers and holidays are peak times for travelers and the airline industry, so it’s important to take this into consideration when planning your trip.
If you’re thinking of heading to Japan for the cherry blossom festivals in March-April, don’t expect to be the only one hoping to find the cheapest flights possible. Airlines know this is a popular time for visitors going to Japan and will raise their ticket prices accordingly.
In that case, you’re looking at fewer opportunities to hop on cheap fares for your next vacation. But don’t worry—you can still find amazing deals.
Some trips end up sticking close to home. Others can have you traveling around the world.
If you’ve booked airline tickets before, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that you can nab a short domestic trip for a few hundred dollars—often even less on budget airlines—while a trip to Europe can end up costing you over a thousand. (Yikes!)
Longer distances mean larger airplanes and larger fuel tanks to make the journey, which all boils down to airlines looking to take more cash from your wallet.
International flights really give new meaning to the expression: “Go big or go home.”
Believe it or not, your departure date isn’t the only thing to affect the cost of your plane ticket. The price of your airline tickets can change based on something as simple as when your flight is scheduled to depart.
Airlines often price their prime departure times from the late morning to early evening much higher than their late night and early morning fares.
Ever wonder why so many people will drag themselves out of bed to suffer through flying out on that late-night red-eye?
It’s because that inconvenience will help them save money in the long run, so if you’re traveling on a budget, those inconvenient flight times are a clear money-saver.
Are you looking to fly somewhere remote that very few airlines cater to? If so, you might be looking at a higher price tag to fly out.
Airlines price their flights based on three main factors:
If an airline corners the market on a destination, they don’t have to worry about adjusting their prices to contend with other airlines, especially budget airlines, that offer that same flight route.
This means they can price their tickets however they want, and there’s not much incentive to offer travel deals. Why? Because they’re the only option for travelers to get from Point A to Point B.
On the other hand, this does mean brighter news if you’re looking to fly to popular destinations like London, Dubai, or New York. You’re more likely to see frequent price fluctuations and cheaper round-trip flights as airlines offer cheap fares and other incentives to compete with the larger market.
Where to Start with Cheap Airfare: Ask Yourself These 5 Questions
Finding cheap flight fares is a bit like grocery shopping for a special meal.
If you don’t have a rough idea of what you already have at home or what your meal calls for, you’re going to end up with two things: a lot of ingredients you don’t need and spoiled dinner plans.
So, if you don’t want to spoil your travel plans, here are some things to think about before getting started.
1. Where Can I Travel?
How does the saying go? The world is your oyster.
The reality is, however, that there are probably some limitations on where you can travel. And that’s okay! You don’t want to travel somewhere that will make you compromise on your budget or comfort. And cutting out some places that aren’t feasible or don’t make sense will help you narrow down your options to what actually works.
So, if there are limitations to your domestic and international travel, now’s the time to make some notes to narrow down your options. Think about things like:
- Do you have a passport to fly internationally?
- Are there current social or political events going on that make it difficult to travel to specific destinations?
- Are you flying solo? Planning a family trip?
- Are you able to rent a car?
On top of that, figure out what you are and aren’t comfortable with doing when you travel. For example, not everyone likes renting a car and driving internationally. In some parts of the world, like England and New Zealand, they drive on the left side of the road! So maybe we just leave the driving for when we get back. In that case, sticking close to a bustling city with public transport will make getting around easier.
Jotting down limitations like this will help you determine what destinations will work best for the kind of trip you’re hoping to have.
2. Where Is My Departure Point?
Figuring out your departure city is key when hunting for cheap flights, especially for one-way flight tickets. If you live near multiple airports, determine which one works best for you. Some airports only offer budget airlines that fly regionally while others have major airlines that fly internationally.
Ask yourself: Is there an airport you refuse to fly out of due to the traffic, crowds, lack of flight options, etc? If so, make a note of that.
But remember, it pays to be flexible.
A better option here may be to list your airports by preference. That way you know where you want to fly out without cutting any opportunities loose just yet. Especially when a small airport change could save you money.
3. How Long Can I Be Gone?
As much as we may sometimes wish we could leave and never come back, we do eventually have to make the long, or short, flight back.
Odds are, you have events, special occasions, and more to get back to. It’s important to figure out your schedule and the ideal amount of time you can spend away.
Can you leave for a week, ten days, a month?
Take these travel dates into account when you search flights so you can score the best deals for cheap airfare.
4. How Many People Are Traveling?
We touched on this earlier, but if you’re traveling solo or planning a group trip, you need to know how many people are flying so you know how many tickets you’ll need.
Pro-tip: Always search for deals for a single traveler.
Trying to find group deals on travel sites can suggest tickets at the highest price point, meaning you’re paying more than you need to.
That’s not the way a savvy searcher finds cheap flight fares!
Searching as a single traveler instead means you can see the best low-cost tickets available. Then, after you make your decision to book, you can easily buy your tickets together or use seat selection to get seats next to or near your fellow travelers.
5. Ideally, Where Would You Like to Go?
Finally, if you can go anywhere, where are you going first?
Imagine you can book that flight tomorrow and jot down your top five ideal vacation spots.
You can’t guarantee you’ll find cheap flights to that destination. Unfortunately, no one can, but it’s a good reminder to dream big.
If you shoot for the moon and end up scoring a great price on a spot that reminds you of your ideal destination, that’s still a pretty great deal.
Are the Answers to Any of These 5 Airfare Questions Flexible?
Now that you’ve answered all of the above questions, here’s another important question for you.
Are any of your answers flexible?
The more flexible you can be on these five points, the better because it means an increased chance of finding those cheap fares you’re dreaming of!
Tips for Cheap Flight Fares You May Not Know
Before you book your flight tickets, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, so these are just a few things to keep in mind when you compare cheap flights.
Be Flexible with Flight Dates and Destinations to Find the Best Flight Deals
As we mentioned earlier, the more flexible you are, the more opportunities you give yourself to score BIG.
If you’re open to traveling anywhere, anytime, you’ll have so many more options to choose from when picking your flight. If you have to narrow down your dates and destinations, always try to leave yourself some wiggle room.
- Are there a few different times you could travel in one or more months?
- Are there several destinations you’d be open to visiting if given the chance?
Leaving yourself even the smallest bit of flexibility is a bit like sitting in the emergency row seats. That extra space, no matter how small, can make a big difference in your experience.
Join a Mailing List for Cheap Flight Deals
Mailing lists and social media channels are a great way to get alerted to flight deals on top of the research you’re already doing.
Or, if you’re pressed for time and can’t do a lot of your own research to find the perfect deal, then you absolutely need to be signed up to a mailing list.
Airline newsletters will often include alerts on low-cost tickets they’re offering or special routes they’re adding. If you’re on social media, you can follow these airlines there as well for even more insider tips.
Another option is to sign up for a mailing list that monitors all of these deals and insider discounts for you, taking all that additional work off your hands.
For example, here at Next Vacay, we have a team of people who do all the airline research and discount monitoring for you. We also scan and review multiple offers and deals daily to deliver the best in savings and cheap flight fares directly to your inbox. You can get started with a free 30-day trial and get your next vacation on the books!
Check if You Are Eligible for Discounts
Are you a student? Military member? Senior?
If so, you could qualify for a discount when you fly on certain airlines. And who doesn’t love being able to save more, especially when it doesn’t require any additional work? So, double-check before you book to see if you can knock the price of your tickets down even further.
Pro-Tip: Always search around before you book flights and see if you could qualify for a discount.
Even if discounts aren’t offered directly through the airline, check search engines and travel sites that cater to special groups, such as students, to help you get ahold of a great deal.
See if You Have Earned Points
There are two great options when it comes to earning and using points.
- Airline frequent flyer programs
- Travel credit cards
Frequent Flyer Programs
Many airlines offer loyalty programs for frequent flyers, allowing you to earn points on every flight and apply those earned points to future trips. The best part is that these programs are free to sign up and you can start earning points right away.
You don’t have to be an avid traveler taking over three trips a year to take advantage of these programs either. Most miles/points you earn with airlines won’t expire, so you can easily build them up over time.
Not sure which program is right for you?
Loyalty programs differ by airline, and different factors, such as how often you fly, can help determine which program will work best for you. It’s best to research your options and find the program that’s the perfect fit for your type of travel.
Travel Credit Cards
Travel credit cards are a bit more flexible with how you can use them, and oftentimes, they result in bigger benefits.
Unlike with airline rewards programs, you can earn points through airline tickets and other purchases and the points can be redeemed through multiple airline and hotel partners.
As an added bonus, these cards typically offer insurance for rental cars, lost luggage, and more.
Bonus insurance means worry-free travel.
No matter if you have great or average credit, there are plenty of credit card options out there to help you along on your journey. You just need to know where to look for the perfect deal and get started earning those points.
Pro-tip: If you’re thinking of signing up for a travel credit card, wait for a points/miles deal. Card companies will often give great opportunities to earn big for new cardholders.
Use a Low Fare Calendar to Find Cheap Flights
A great way to get a broad view of the pricing landscape, from the cheapest month to the cheapest days to fly, is to check out a low-fare calendar.
Airline Low Fare Calendar
Most budget airlines will offer a low-fare calendar to give a wide view of pricing to a specific destination for any given month. That’s how you can quickly find the cheapest times to fly out!
Just search “low fare calendar” and the airline you want to check out. You’ll then be able to choose your departure and destination cities and search through their dates to find the cheapest month and cheapest days to score amazing deals on travel.
This is a great way to check out the fares on most budget airlines like JetBlue and Southwest, the latter of which generally doesn’t share its pricing data with flight search engines. This brings us to the next trick you can use to track down the cheapest fares.
Flight Search Engines and Calendars
Most major airlines don’t offer a low fare calendar to compare their monthly rates but fear not. If you want to check out the ticket prices for airlines that don’t offer a low fare calendar, you can still peruse those rates through a simple solution…
Or any other search engine like it. Utilizing tools like this, you can quickly scour different airlines and dates, even fare types, all at the same time. Simply enter your departure airport(s), destination, and travel dates, then you can easily toggle through the calendar feature to see what low-cost fares are available and which airlines are offering the best flight deals. Or set up a price alert to be notified of future cheap flights.
Many search engines offer similar features and the ability to compare prices across several months, so you can use the one that works best for you.
If you’re looking for even more ways to score big on cheap flight fares, check out how you can Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere in 2022.
Which Site Is the Cheapest for Airline Tickets?
You may have seen this coming, but the truth is that there’s no easy answer to this question. A lot of different variables come into play when it comes to finding the cheapest deals for airfare.
- And more…
Not any one search engine will find the cheapest fares 100% of the time and not any one airline will give you the cheapest price time after time.
That’s why it’s important to keep up-to-date with current airline information, flight deals, and discounts if you really want to get the cheapest travel deals to amazing destinations worldwide.
How Can I Search for Cheap Flights Now? The Easy Way.
The easy way is basically the Next Vacay way!
Rather than going through all the labor of searching for cheap flight fares yourself, using search engines, and signing up for multiple airline mailing lists—which send you flight deals but don’t cater to your location or factor in savings—you can sign up for a program that does all of this for you.
Next Vacay is a single mailing list that sends customized deals directly to your inbox and prioritizes quality over quantity to ensure every deal you receive is focused on the bottom line: finding the best flight deals and saving you money.
Signing up takes less than five minutes:
- Head over to nextvacay.com
- Sign up for our 30-day free trial period
- Enter your email and home airport
- Get ready to take your next vacay!