A lot of travel dreams bit the dust in 2020. Instead of watching the clouds pass by out of the window of an airplane, you had to settle for dreaming of future trips. Well, now the future’s here, and you’re ready to travel, but where should you go first? How can you find cheap flights, so you can travel anywhere and everywhere without spending all your hard-earned savings on just one trip?
Check out our tips below for how to find cheap flights anywhere to save money on your next getaway and have an unforgettable vacation more than just once a year.
Table of Contents
- 7 Easy Tips to Find Cheap Flights This Year
- 1. Write Down Your Schedule Limitations for Airline Flights
- 2. What City Are You Flying Out Of?
- 3. Use A Private Browsing Mode When Researching Flights
- 4. See If You Have Points That You Can Use On a Certain Airline
- 5. Find the Cheapest Cities to Fly Into From Your Departure City
- 6. Book Your Flight As Early As Possible
- 7. Use a Search Engine You Trust To Search For Low Airline Flight to Anywhere
7 Easy Tips to Find Cheap Flights This Year
1. Write Down Your Schedule Limitations for Airline Flights
If you want to find cheap flights to anywhere, first things first. Take a moment to take stock of what’s going on in your life.
Do you have:
- A project that’s due at work?
- School or extracurricular events for your kids that you can’t miss?
- A friend’s birthday coming up?
Get out your calendar, paper or digital, and mark down these special days so you can plan around them accordingly.
Remember: The bigger the window you can carve out, the more options you’ll have when it comes to scoring great flight deals.
This is the time to carefully inspect your schedule to determine if you’re flexible enough to travel anywhere, let alone wait for a super cheap flight. No need to worry yet if the answer is no. Flexibility isn’t the only way to score great flights—it just makes it a little easier. Regardless, you can utilize other ways to save.
2. What City Are You Flying Out Of?
This may be easy to answer if you live in a smaller city. You typically only have one option!
But, if you live in a big city, you likely have more than one airport to choose from. In this case, it’s a good idea to check out which destinations each airport offers. If you’re interested in specific destinations, make a note of which airports offer it and which don’t.
For example, if you want to travel internationally, here are some questions to think about:
- Are all the airports international?
- Do they include long-haul international destinations?
- Do they offer cheap and/or frequent connecting flights to larger airports that allow you to fly out internationally from there?
Answering these questions can put a finer point on your search.
Many people can also take advantage of their location to expand their flight options and increase their opportunities to score those cheap flights to anywhere in the world. For example, the John Glenn Airport in Columbus only services flights in the US, Canada, and Mexico. So, to maximize your options, you can also look into flying out of other airports in Ohio or even nearby ones like Chicago and Detroit.
If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry. Practice makes everything easier. Before you know it, you’ll be searching like a pro in no time!
But, if you’re crunched for time and need someone else to do the time-consuming research for you, Next Vacay monitors all of this, so you don’t have to.
Our dedicated team watches the deals coming out of your home airport and any surrounding airports near you. So no matter where a deal is departing from, you’ll never miss an amazing opportunity to fly out.
3. Use A Private Browsing Mode When Researching Flights
If you’ve searched for flight tickets before, you’ve definitely experienced this.
You find a flight you’re interested in and save it for later to come back to, only to find the price has doubled since you last checked! So what gives?
It’s like raiding the cookie jar without cleaning up behind ourselves.
So how do we clean up after ourselves and get rid of the cookie crumbs?
One way is to clear your cookies and cache after each search. This way, the info isn’t stored on your device, and each time you visit, sites think it’s your first time all over again.
But this can be annoying, and clearing out our browser history might also remove other info you want saved.
Luckily, this is where private browsing comes in. Private browsing doesn’t save your searches, so once you close your window, that’s it. No trail of cookie crumbs for you to worry about cleaning up, and your normal browser search history remains intact.
How to Search For Cheap Flights on An Apple or Windows Computer
A private browser is simple and easy to look for cheap flights to anywhere. Don’t worry, it works for Mac and Windows users.
For the keyboard shortcut, you can click Command + Shift + N (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + N (Windows). This immediately opens a private/incognito browser so you can get to searching.
For the longer route, you can also open your preferred browser and create this same private/incognito mode by selecting the File menu along the top and clicking on New Private/Incognito Window.
Or, select the Menu option in your browser, usually located in the upper right corner, and open your Private/Incognito Window from there.
The Private/Incognito Window will always have a darkened page/URL, so you always know when you’re browsing privately. Now you can start your search for those cheap flights worry-free.
4. See If You Have Points That You Can Use On a Certain Airline
When it comes to earning and using points, you have multiple options to earn big and save more when you travel.
H4: Airline Rewards Programs
Think about these two things:
- Do you often fly with the same airline?
- Are you signed up for their rewards program? (If not, don’t wait!)
Earning points while booking your travel will help you save more down the road by letting you apply your earned points to future trips. Using points to book inexpensive or even free flights? Sounds like pretty smart thinking to score cheap flights to anywhere you want to travel.
Rewards often differ by airline, so it’s best to check out the full scoop on different airline rewards programs. Some breakdowns will make it easy by highlighting the benefits based on the type of traveler you are, so you can make sure to choose the perfect program for you.
If you’re flying and not taking advantage of airlines’ rewards programs, that’s essentially dollars, and future trips, wasted. So sign up and start earning points on your next trip.
Travel Credit Cards
Maybe you’re not ready to tie your future travel dreams to a specific airline. After all, why limit the deals you can take advantage of? We often don’t fly with the same airline for every trip anyway but base our decisions on which has the best price, fewest layovers, etc.
In this case, you can still find great ways to save with point-earning credit cards.
These cards allow you to earn points with every purchase. While you can use those points for cashback and other offers, their biggest value is in their points transfer to hotel and airline partners.
New to credit cards, points, and miles, and how to best use them? We recommend doing some research before actually signing up for a credit card to ensure you’re financially ready. Once you get the hang of it, you can fly to some fantastic destinations on unbelievable deals.
5. Find the Cheapest Cities to Fly Into From Your Departure City
The best way to find the cheapest cities to fly into is to use search engines.
Search engines will help you easily filter through what’s available and give you a quick look at the cheapest places you can travel to out of your airport.
Most search engines will allow you to enter your departure airport and select Anywhere as your destination. Then you can view prices for a whole month and check out which destinations are the cheapest.
Some search engines will even let you compare months, which you can use to get an idea of pricing trends.
What is the Cheapest Place to Fly to Right Now?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Several variables affect which city will be the cheapest place to fly into at any given time.
Some things to consider include:
- Departure city
- Departure/return dates
- Flight time
- Destination (and distance from your departure city)
When looking for tickets, you’ll want to keep these things in mind, and if you’re flexible, you can adjust your plans accordingly to make sure you find the cheapest flights to anywhere in the world.
Is There an Easier Way to Compare What Cities Are the Cheapest?
Yes! Here at Next Vacay, our team compares flight prices for you.
Once you select your preferred airports to depart from, we watch those airports for the best prices and deliver them straight to your inbox.
This way, you can skip all the hours of researching and comparing fares and have the cheapest flight deals delivered right to you.
Just be sure you’re ready to book when a deal comes to your inbox!
6. Book Your Flight Early – But Not Too Early
Tickets often increase in price the closer you get to your departure date—so it’s best to book early.
Worried about having to change your travel plans later on? Look into travel insurance offered by the airline or your credit card to see what changes might be covered if you need to adjust your flight last minute.
Remember: Policies differ by airline and credit card, so make sure you understand the terms before booking.
So, it’s best to book early to avoid the last-minute rise in price that comes days, sometimes weeks, before your departure date. But is there such a thing as booking too early?
The answer is … it depends.
How Far Out Should You Book a Flight?
So let’s say you’re planning a trip.
You already know you want to fly out about a year from now, and because airlines typically schedule their flights 12 months out, you can go ahead and book your flight. Why shouldn’t you? It’ll only get more expensive from here, right?
Because these tickets were just made available, they might actually be more expensive, not less.
In addition, most airlines only offer the option of rescheduling your travel dates within a year of their purchase date. Suppose your plans change, and you need to fly out later than your original date. In that case, you might not be able to reschedule your flight.
Then what’s truly the best time frame for booking your flights?
For cheap domestic flights, you’ll want to book your travel between 1 and 4 months out.
- Any closer than one month and you’ll start to see those prices tick up, or worse, they might sell out
- Use the time in between to watch price trends and get an idea of what’s a good price for your destination
- Be prepared to jump on a deal when the prices fall
Are International Trips Any Different?
Just like you get to the airport a little earlier to make sure you’ve got all your paperwork and baggage taken care of, you’ll want to book your international plans a little sooner.
So to book your international flights, think of being six months ahead of schedule.
You’ll want to give yourself more time to monitor trends and figure out what’s a normal price and what’s a steal for that destination before purchasing your tickets.
What about Holiday Travel?
We can’t forget about the holidays. The busiest times of the year everywhere, and that includes the airlines.
More people looking to travel around the holidays with the purpose of:
- Seeing family
- Holiday getaways
- Normal business travel
- Anything and everything else in between
Flights in and around the holidays can go quickly, and prices tend to rise sooner than during the rest of the year.
If you want to snag cheap flights to anywhere for the holidays, start planning early.
Pro-tip: Begin watching trends 8-9 months in advance and plan to book your domestic travel closer to 6 months before departure and for international destinations around 7-8 months before.
7. Use a Search Engine You Trust To Search For Low Airline Flights to Anywhere
If you’re going to be manually searching for your cheap flights, buckle in. Our Secret to Cheap Flight Fares will get you on your way to scoring some fantastic deals. But when it comes to flight search engines, you’ll want to make sure to find one you trust. Some search engines will inflate the costs of tickets to get their cut or display deals through certain airlines they receive benefits from.
If you’re unfamiliar with a search engine, check out their reviews and BBB page to ensure they’re legit and see what other users have to say.
Also, be sure you understand how they work.
- Do they search the airlines for you?
- Do they link you directly to the airlines to book your flight?
- Do they find their own prices and require you to book through their website?
Each has its benefits, but if you’re booking your tickets through a website other than the airline, you’ll want to double and triple-check any fine print so if there are any issues with your tickets down the road, you know where to go to fix them.
Search Engines: Where to Start?
A good starter search engine is Google Flights because it’s a reliable and trusted site.
It’s also easy to navigate, and you book directly through the airline.
You can search by dates and general regions, like Europe, or specific cities, such as Barcelona, Spain. You’ll also find plenty of other filters at your disposal if you want to narrow down your flight preferences, cut out long layover times or exclude specific airlines.
It gives you a bird’s eye view of the travel landscape, so it’s much easier to pick up trends and find those great deals that’ll have you packing your bags almost quicker than you can book. They also let you set alerts for specific flight routes you’re interested in if you want to get notifications for price drops on a certain destination.
But if spending hours searching and setting up alerts isn’t your thing, trust us; you’re not the only one.
Maybe you prefer getting surprise emails in your inbox with great deals to destinations you’ve only been dreaming of and some you didn’t even know existed.
In that case, Next Vacay might be just what you need.
With a whole team of people dedicated to finding low-priced flights, we look at cutting out all the worst parts of traveling (long layovers, too many stops, etc.) and the worst parts of searching, like comparing pricing and checking airlines. We simply give you the best cheap flights to anywhere in the world.
So where will you take your Next Vacay?